Context: John’s gospel was written around 85 AD, most likely to the church in Ephesus (where he was a long-time pastor) but it was certainly meant for broad distribution to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the world. It differs from the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) in that it includes additional stories not featured in the other three (e.g., the first cleansing of the temple and Jesus’ ‘high-priestly’ prayer in the upper room after celebrating the Passover meal). It is built around 7 ‘signs’ of Jesus’ messianic mission as well as Jesus’s 7 great ‘I AM’ statements testifying to his divinity.
Observations: How does this passage substantiate Jesus’ claims of divinity? How does it communicate his incarnational humanity? According to this passage is everyone a child of God? Who is able to claim ‘the right’ of being His children? Why is Jesus described as coming with both ‘grace and truth’? What if He came with only one and NOT the other?
Application: What doubts, if any, do you have regarding the deity of Christ? How could this passage help you overcome them? How can you model Jesus’ example of ‘becoming flesh and dwelling among men’ in everyday life and with everyday people? What is the Lord stirring you to do or become from this passage?
Prayer: Today, let’s praise God that he identifies with our humanity and weaknesses while still empowering us to embrace His divinity and holiness. And let’s ask God for ‘new stories’ of transformed lives throughout the Lenten season!!