Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition NLT - Page 17



page 1790
Vital Statistics
PURPOSE:
To prove conclusively that Jesus
is the Son of God and that all
who believe in him will have
eternal life
AUTHOR:
John the apostle, son of Zebedee
and brother of James, who was
called a “Son of Thunder”
ORIGINAL AUDIENCE:
New Christians and searching
­non-Christians
DAT E W R I T T E N :
Probably between AD 85 and 90
SETTING:
Written after the destruction of
­Jerusalem in AD 70 and before
John’s exile to the island of Patmos
KEY VERSES:
“The disciples saw Jesus do many
other miraculous signs in addition
to the ones recorded in this book.
But these are written so that you
may continue to believe that Jesus
is the Messiah, the Son of God, and
that by believing in him you will
have life by the power of his name.”
(20:30-31)
KEY PEOPLE:
Jesus, John the Baptist, the
disciples, Mary, Martha, Lazarus,
­Jesus’ mother, Pilate, Mary
Magdalene
KEY PLACES:
Judean countryside, Samaria,
Galilee, Bethany, Jerusalem
S P EC I A L F E AT U R E S :
Of the eight miracles recorded,
six are unique among the Gospels
to John, as is the “Upper Room
Discourse” (John 14–17). In fact,
over 90 percent of John is unique
to this Gospel—John does not contain a genealogy or any record of
Jesus’ birth, childhood, temptation,
transfiguration, or appointment of
the disciples, nor any account of
Jesus’ parables, ascension, or great
commission.
John
HE SP OKE , and galaxies started to whirl, stars burned
in the heavens, and planets began orbiting their stars—
words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power. He
spoke again, and the waters and lands were filled
with plants and creatures, running, swimming, growing, and multiplying—words of animating, breathing,
pulsing life. Again he spoke, and man and woman were
formed, thinking, speaking, and loving—words of personal
and creative glory. Eternal, infinite, unlimited—he was, is, and always will
be the Maker and Lord of all that exists.
And then he came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called planet
Earth. The mighty Creator became a part of the creation, limited by time
and space and susceptible to aging, sickness, and death. But love propelled him, so he came to rescue and save those who were lost and to
give them the gift of eternal life. He is the Word; he is Jesus, the ­Messiah—
the Christ.
It is this truth that the apostle John brings to us in this book. John’s
Gospel is more than a historical account of the life of Jesus; it is a
powerful argument for the Incarnation, a conclusive demonstration that
Jesus was—and is—the very heaven-sent Son of God and the only source
of eternal life.
John discloses Jesus’ identity with his very first words: “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was
God. He existed in the beginning with God” (1:1-2). The rest of the book
continues the theme. John, an eyewitness, chose eight of Jesus’ miracles
(or miraculous signs, as he calls them) to reveal Jesus’ divine and human
natures and life-giving mission. These signs are (1) turning water to wine
(2:1-11); (2) healing the official’s son (4:46-54); (3) healing the lame man at
the pool of Bethesda (5:1-9); (4) feeding the 5,000 with just a few loaves
and fish (6:1-14); (5) walking on the water (6:15-21); (6) restoring sight to
the blind man (9:1-41); (7) raising Lazarus from the dead (11:144); and,
after the Resurrection, (8) giving the disciples an overwhelming catch of
fish (21:1-14).
In every chapter Jesus’ deity is revealed. And Jesus’ true identity is
underscored through the titles he is given—the Word, the “one and only
son,” the Lamb of God, the Son of God, “the true bread,” “the resurrection and the life,” the Vine. And the formula is I am. When Jesus uses this
phrase, he affirms his preexistence and eternal deity. Jesus says, “I am
the bread of life” (6:35); “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5); “I am the
gate” (10:7); “I am the good shepherd” (10:11, 14); “I am the resurrection
and the life” (11:25); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6); and “I am
the true grapevine” (15:1).
The greatest sign, of course, is the Resurrection, and John provides a
stirring eyewitness account of finding the empty tomb. Then he records
various post-Resurrection appearances by Jesus.
John, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, has given us a personal and
powerful look at his beloved master, the eternal Son of God. As you
read his story, commit yourself to believe in and follow him.
Timeline
Herod
the Great
begins
to rule
37 BC
Jesus
is born
6/5 BC
Escape
to Egypt
5/4 BC
Herod
the Great
dies
4 BC
Return
to
Nazareth
4/3 BC





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