Posted by: SandreS | August 18, 2009

The Gospel of John

Some believers, who understand the special message which was committed to Paul, question where the Gospel of John fits into the dispensational layout. Is this Gospel a “Gentile” gospel written to the Body of Christ or is it distinctly Jewish as are the synoptic Gospels?

The Subject of the Gospel of John

The subject of the Gospel of John is the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul gives us vital information concerning this short portion of His history:

Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers (Romans 15:8).

The Gospel of John records this ministry of Jesus Christ. It is a ministry which was limited to the nation of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24; John 4:22).

The Purpose of the Gospel of John

The purpose of this Gospel is clearly shown:

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name (John 20:30-31).

The stated purpose was to present Jesus as the Messiah (or Christ). This was accomplished through the recording of signs. Signs are Israel’s birthright (Exodus 4:8). They belong to her: “We see not our signs …” (Psalm 74:9); “For the Jews require a sign …” (I Corinthians 1:22).

Paul’s ministry to the Body of Christ was not one of signs (II Corinthians 4:18). Paul in his epistles focuses his presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ, not on the fact that He was Israel’s Messiah, but rather that He is the Head of the Body (Colossians 1:18).

The Content of the Gospel of John

The content (i.e., doctrine, or teachings) of the Gospel of John is identical to the recorded Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is distinctly Jewish. This runs contrary to what many believe and teach; that John’s is somehow a Gentile Gospel. The Gospel often recognized as “most Jewish” is Matthew where we find Christ presented as King, but compare the following list of words and the number of times which they are used in each Gospel:

Word              Matthew             John
Jew                              0                             2
Jews                            5                           64
Jews’                           0                             4
Jewry                         0                              1
Circumcise               0                              1
Circumcision           0                              2
Messiah                      0                              2
King                             9                            15

The Gospel of John is distinctly Jewish in its subject, purpose and content. As the Scofield Reference Bible (page 1252) so aptly puts it:

In his (Paul’s) writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
©1989, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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