John, the beloved disciple. One of the first disciples called. Part of Jesus’ inner circle. A fisherman by trade. The author with the most to say wrote his account of the gospel almost twenty years after the others. Ancient sources indicate an elderly John, living in Ephesus was asked to write his memories of Jesus Christ. Presumably to refute a false narrative that was being circulated. John begins by calling Jesus the “word made flesh” and immediately makes clear that Jesus “was with God in the beginning”. If you are only going to read and study one book in the entire Bible, John’s gospel is the recommendation. For those who are questioning salvation or the newly saved, this is the book for reference.
John waited twenty years to write his gospel. That apparent hesitation is thought provoking. John was Jesus’ beloved friend. His writings show that the feeling was mutual. Was John’s hesitation to write borne of that great love? Perhaps John felt as did Mary, the mother of Jesus. Of her, Luke said, “but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” Luke 2:19 .
John’s book has a tone of love, respect and awe that can only be felt by one who has been with Jesus. John shares some but not the whole of the miracles he witnessed. John extensively quotes Jesus. His writings testify that he knew Old Testament scripture well. John is the only disciple who records Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, a conversation that sums up the entire gospel message.
836 times throughout the Bible are the words “come and see”. John records them twice in the first chapter. In verse 39 Jesus tells two of John the Baptist’s disciples to “come and see” and in verse 46 Phillip invites Nathaniel to check Jesus out for himself. “Come and See”. But, in 4:29, John’s record of this phrase is the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry on earth. A familiar story of the Samaritan woman at the well.
This woman, unworthy and unclean in the eyes of everyone who beheld her. A woman with a reputation for adultery, immorality and self-indulgence. People turned the other way when she appeared, shunned by her family and former friends. She had been with Jesus only a few moments but it was enough to change her life. Being in the presence of Jesus should change us.
When this woman shouted “Come and See” in the streets, people ran to see. Scripture says that Jesus stayed there for two more days and many believed His message. They believed because they came to see. They came to investigate for themselves the things they were hearing about the man, Jesus.
John’s gospel invites us to come and see. In the presence of Jesus, we will be changed. As you read and study the Word, don’t fail to open your eyes and see, but also be changed.