Book of John; is a different Gospel than those called the synoptics’. John has his own unique audience that he is writing to. Remember that John was the youngest of the Apostles, and most likely Peter was the oldest. In John 21:20, after Peter has been given his “death prophecy” he asks about the “other disciple” – Jesus lets him know that is not to be his concern. John was allowed to live until a very old age. He is known as the “Elder”. John writes his Gospel, not with a different message, but from an entirely different vantage point. He has witnessed or was well acquainted with he lives, [deaths of the other fellow apostles] of those who had been preaching the Good News. Most of the 1st generation evangelist/apostles have been dead for nearly 15-20 years by the time he writes. He has knowledge of the saints, but also of the Fall of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70. H e is well acquainted with the “imperial worship” and persecution; having experienced it first hand, yet remained alive from the ordeal.
John, one of the “son of Thunder” is now a mellow, aged man that has witnessed so much of first century Christianity. He has been taking care of Mary [mother of Jesus] and both resided at Ephesus. It’s like John has outlived everyone, and only he remains. John is yet to write the final treatise of God – the Book of Revelation; he is a loving Elder statesman for the faith. In his Gospel, John is combating heresy of Gnosticism. The Gnostics have been around for sometime, some even think they found strength in the Essene’s and John the Baptist followers. The Gnostics are proud of their belief system and knowledge. They promote a “dualism” of man; where the physical and spiritual are separated and have no effect on each other.
John opens his Gospel with a solid apologetic statement to the “eternal existence” of Jesus. The Words “In the Beginning” find substance in light of Genesis 1:1. While Jesus the flesh was born during the reign of Herod the Great, Jesus the Son of God was pre-incarnate. 1 John brings a wonderful witness to the bodily presence of Jesus – in that He [Jesus] was heard, touched, seen – all sensory input that Jesus was real, not a figment of someones imagination.
The history of John as the forerunner is prophecy fulfillment. John’s work of repentance and baptism, pave the way for Jesus’ own ministry. Now since the people affirmed John as a real prophet, they were is great dilemma when it came to who Jesus really was; for if he is the Christ, then they must worship him and acknowledge that John the Baptist got the identification of the “Lamb of God” correct.
John has a unique way of bringing to the reader the lives of the Apostles before they were apostles. I find it quite interesting that many of the Apostles are related to each other very closely. We see early on the work of Andrew bringing others to Jesus, specifically, his own brother.
John is different n how many Passovers Jesus and the disciples attend. Some have Jesus only at 2 Passovers, whereas John has him early. John is really difficult to follow at times, for His message is not to follow Jesus’ ministry in a chronological way as Matthew, Mark and Luke do; but to bring significant case where the reader has to declare that Jesus is the Son of God. John 20:21; gives us the reason for John writing, that you might believe in Jesus Christ and that believing you may have life in His name.
The famous chapter 3, shows us how that religious leaders, having spent their lives in pursuit of God, actually miss God. In Chapter 4, the woman at the well reflects that Jesus in fact came to sinners, not to the Jewish religion. In Nicodemus and the Woman we have the stark contrast of lives – good and holy Vs. immoral and dirty. The Gospel is for all people, for all are broken and need the Savior’s healing touch. In many of the periscope John includes, are unique to his gospel. John is not trying to prove that Jesus is a real historical person, but that He was truly the Son of the Living God..