The Gospel of John


An Introduction to:

The Gospel According to

St. John

© 2008 Dr. David E. Walker

The apostle John, one of the sons of Zebedee, wrote the gospel of John.  The title itself and internal evidence testify to that fact.

John 21:20-24
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

    When John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he saw a vision of the second coming of Jesus Christ and in that way tarried till Jesus came (verse 22).

    This passage also identifies John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved(verse 20).  See also John 13:23; 20:2 and 21:7.  While Jesus loved all the disciples (John 13:1), He loved John in a special way.  Note that he is the only disciple that leans on Jesus’ bosom at the last supper, and he is the only one who is told the identity of the son of perdition (John 13:23,26).

Being “the disciple whom Jesus lovedmakes John a type of the church, the body of Christ.  The church is loved in a special way, even though the scriptures teach that “God so loved the world(John 3:16).

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

 John also is “caught up” to meet the Lord, just as the church will be at the rapture (Rev. 4:1).

   As a type of the church, John included church age doctrine when he wrote the fourth gospel.  While Matthew, Mark, and Luke are said to be synoptic (“to see it together”), about 92% of John is peculiar to John.  In other words, the bulk of the material in John is not found in the other three gospels.

     John, who wrote around 85 to 90 A.D., also had access to Paul’s epistles, giving additional credence to the fact that John wrote applicable church age doctrine for the body of Christ.  Some examples are

  1. The indwelling Christ – John 14:20

  2. Gentiles being part of the fold – John 10:16

  3. New Jerusalem  – John 14:1-3

  4. The abiding Holy Spirit – John 14:16

  5. Eternal Security – John 5:24

And because John also gives the interpretation of Jewish terms, (see John 1:38, 41, 42; 4:5; 5:2; 6:1; 9:7; 19:17 and 20:16), this gospel seems intended more for Gentile believers.  After all, it was written after the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70).

One purpose of John’s book is to get the reader to believe on Jesus Christ for eternal life:

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

   The word “believe,” in one form or another, occurs nearly one hundred times in John’s gospel and truly is the emphasis of his book.

The theme, as it relates to Jesus Christ, is that He is not just the King of the Jews (Matthew), or the servant of Jehovah (Mark), or the Son of man (Luke), but that He is God incarnate: “God manifest in the flesh(1 Tim. 3:16).


unto David a righteous Branch(Jer. 23:5 Traces Jesus back to the son of David . . . King of the Jews


my servant the BRANCH(Zech. 3:8) Implies a servant has no geneology


the man whose name is The BRANCH(Zech.  6:12) Traces Jesus back to the first man . . . Son of Man


branch of the LORD(Isa. 4:2 Traces Jesus back to God, He is the Son of God.

Here are just some of the verses in John that confirm the Deity of Jesus Christ: 1:1,3, 14, 33, 34, 49; 3:13,14; 5:23, 26; 6:51, 62; 8:58; and 13:33.