On John’s Gospel
There were three gospels contained the birth, early life, and earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. These also contained the record of His death, burial and resurrection. When the synoptic gospels are placed side by side, the student of the Word can see how details of the three gospels give a complete record of the life of the Messiah. They do not contradict one another, but support one another. If this is so, then why will there be a need for a fourth gospel? This is discussed in this lesson.
At the time of this gospel, there was a lot of “theories and false doctrines” floating among the infant churches. Jesus had returned to heaven a long time ago. John’s key purpose was to lead these infant churches back to the truth of the gospel
Bible Background Commentary
The time is after 70 A.D. Jewish religious groups had grown weak by this time. One of the many reasons for this was the Pharisees. This sect held many of the leadership positions of that time. Their influence spread all the way to Mediterrean Jews. Conflicts arose between the Pharisee leaders and those who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah. [Ibid.] When it came to evidence of this fact, the Pharisees added “a line to a standard prayer that cursed sectarians, [Christian Jews].” [Ibid.]
John’s antagonism toward the Pharisees in his Gospel suggests that their opposition is somehow related to the opponents his readers faced in their own communities. [New Testament – John – Introduction – Setting]
The Christian Jews experienced persecution from the Pharisees. those who had chosen to believe in Jesus made a strong decision about the Messiah. They decided, based upon their exclusion from all synagogues, they would not recant. Along with this, came the suspicious attitude of the Roman Empire concerning this “sect.” This “sect” did not worship the Emperor. It was for these reasons among others that John wrote his gospel. It is a gospel of encouragement. He wanted them to know that the object of their faith was Jesus Christ. His walk and earthly ministry were fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. This presented a strong argument for their faith. Those who opposed the Christian faith “misrepresented biblical Judaism.” [Ibid.]