The apostle John wrote the book of the Bible by his same name to address the false teachings of a man named Cerinthus, who argued that Jesus was not the divine Son of God. John’s purpose for this book is succinctly summed up in 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
Introduction to John
Unlike the other three Gospels, which give us an outline of Jesus’ words and deeds, the Gospel of John gives us a collection of the deep sayings of Jesus, which systematically present and explain the eternal mysteries of the faith God had revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament.
Authorship of John
The Gospel of John was written by the apostle John, one of Jesus’ hand-picked twelve disciples, brother of James, son of Zebedee. John was in the inner circle of disciples with his brother James, and Simon Peter.
Purpose of John
John wrote this Gospel to address the false teachings of a man named Cerinthus, who argued from Moses’ writings (Deuteronomy 5:7 and 6:4) that there is only one God, and therefore Jesus, the Word, cannot be the divine Son of God. John wrestled Moses’ writings back from this heretic and taught that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, begotten of His Father in eternity, who took on human flesh and lived among us as the promised Christ or Messiah. John recorded a series of Jesus’ miracles, but he called them “signs” instead of “miracles.” They are signs because they point to Jesus’ divinity. This Gospel’s purpose is summed up in 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
Outline of John
For the purposes of this study, we will divide the Gospel of John into a prologue, four parts, and an epilogue.
- Prologue: The Word became flesh
- Jesus’ Ministry (1:19–10:42)
- A Death and Resurrection; Persistent Unbelief (chs. 11—12)
- Passover and Holy Week (chs. 13—19)
- Jesus’ Resurrection (ch. 20)
- Epilogue (CH. 21)
As you walk through the Book of John, use these free Bible study questions to guide your devotion time!