Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Gospel of Saint John


Among the diverse jobs I have been blessed to have held over the years was being a sketch artist at Cedar Point, the 'Best Amusement Park in the World'. Frequently, customers would ask the cashier to draw their caricature. Her response was always, "I'm just Joni, the cashier". Joni became endearingly known to us as "Just Joni". Ironically, she was one of the most creative of all of us. I would bet that her caricatures would have illustrated more insight into who people really were than any of our artist's renditions did. 

There is a Christian song that plays on the radio that has in it the lyrics, I'll give you the Gospel of St. John. Hits me like a wake up bomb. My initial thought when I heard it was, "Just John? What's the deal with his Gospel? I thought Paul was our guy, not to mention Jesus! " As God would have it, our Bible study recently announced that it was moving on to the inspired writing of John. I couldn't wait until the study to read it, so I didn't. 

Apparently, John knew a few things about opening statements…his grabs you by the collar and pulls you right in! He writes in John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The word was God…that takes my breath away! This makes sense. How many times has a verse that previously meant nothing to us suddenly make perfect sense? What about when we stumble instantly upon a verse we weren't even sure we were looking for, yet it answers a question we didn't even ask yet desperately needed to?  And isn't it breathtaking when we can quote a verse and name it when we cannot even remember such things as the name of our favorite song?

After reading just John's first verse, I had to find out more about the author. John, one of the first apostles chosen, was the only apostle who was at the cross with Jesus. He was a loyal friend who Jesus loved, and entrusted to care for His beloved mother. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (John  19:26) John was the last apostle to die and the only one that was not murdered. 

So many of the verses that believers and unbelievers alike are most familiar with are from our Apostle John. Here are a few of them…

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) 

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11) 

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13)

And then there is this verse, if you are in your lifetime to read only one… For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
What a blessing God's vessel John was to us. He preached the Gospel again and again into his nineties with so much vigor that the Roman emperor exiled him to an island called Patmos to quiet him. But God was not finished with him yet. This is where He gave John the great prophecy mystery, what is now the last book of the New Testament. The Revelation of Jesus Christ…Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy…And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation) 

It is by no means my recommendation to read only a portion of the Bible. In fact, not only should we read it in it's entirety, but study it in depth. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) In fact we are even encouraged to become addicted! I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints) (1 Corinthians 16:15) In any event, if you are one of many who do not have the patience or time to spend reading God's word (or are simply too bullheaded to fit it in, like I was) just John will give you the gist.

Please remember, BIBLE BAIT is written by a novice Bible study student, not a Bible scholar. If something doesn't look quite right to you, dig into God's word. The one thing I promise you is that you won't get bored! Many thanks to my friend Renee Driscoll, who helps me keep Bible Bait Biblically correct.

Blogger Alan Wilhelm said...
If it wasn't for God directing John to write the Book of Revelation we would be ignorant of the spiritual impact of national and int'l events today.
Additionally, Rev 1:19 is the key to the book of Revelation.
19 "Therefore write the THINGS which you have SEEN, and the THINGS which ARE, and the THINGS which will TAKE PLACE AFTER these things.

thank you Tamara and thank you Apostle John.
Bearcat al
January 1, 2013 3:19 PM
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1 comment:

Alan Wilhelm said...

If it wasn't for God directing John to write the Book of Revelation we would be ignorant of the spiritual impact of national and int'l events today.
Additionally, Rev 1:19 is the key to the book of Revelation.
19 "Therefore write the THINGS which you have SEEN, and the THINGS which ARE, and the THINGS which will TAKE PLACE AFTER these things.

thank you Tamara and thank you Apostle John.
Bearcat al