Books of the Book: John

John Among the Gospels

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00003B

00:01 And welcome back,
00:02 we are studying the Gospel of John
00:04 and we are with Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:05 Dr. Jon Paulien, we are--
00:08 we were talking about the unique features of the Gospel of John.
00:12 Tell us more about those? Yeah.
00:15 Yeah, Gospel of John does a lot of things
00:17 that none of the other gospels do.
00:19 For example, in the Gospel of John
00:22 Jesus is much more assertive.
00:26 He really gets on people sometimes.
00:29 He could even be combative
00:31 kind of sarcastic at times
00:33 which is not what you would expect from Jesus
00:36 in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
00:37 So the Jesus portrayed in John
00:39 is quite a bit different in personality from the others.
00:42 You might say, well, you know why is that the case?
00:45 Well, if Jesus is representing God to us,
00:48 He might just be little bit bigger
00:51 than any of our own personalities.
00:53 But for example, in chapter 844
00:56 he calls people "Sons of the devil."
00:59 If I would have say that to you and really mean it,
01:02 you know, wow,
01:04 you son of a devil, you, you know, it's kind of--
01:07 you would hope I was joking, you see.
01:09 So Jesus is very serious when He says that.
01:12 And another one, I remember in Chapter 10.
01:17 They're mad at Jesus and they are picking up stones
01:20 to throw at Him and he says, "Time out."
01:22 He says, "You're about to stone Me,
01:24 but I've a question.
01:26 For which of My good works are you stoning me?"
01:29 You see, now that's funny.
01:30 You know, you'd stop and think about it.
01:32 So Jesus is very assertive.
01:34 I mean, He instead of disappearing
01:36 like He would in Luke, He starts,
01:39 you know, challenging His stoners.
01:43 What they are doing here.
01:46 You've got narratives in the Gospel of John
01:48 that are nowhere else, Nicodemus,
01:50 the Samaritan woman for example,
01:52 the Lazarus story, these are not found,
01:57 you know, the tomb of Lazarus,
01:58 and so these are not found in any other gospel.
02:02 Often in Matthew, Mark and Luke there are three party dialogues,
02:07 where you have Jesus talking with two other people
02:10 or two groups or something and it's going back and forth.
02:14 In the Gospel of John it's always one on one.
02:17 And He will speak to one person
02:19 and then He will speak to another
02:20 and so on, so that's a difference.
02:24 I mentioned in an earlier program
02:26 that John doesn't have parables.
02:29 You know, like sower goes out to sow
02:32 and he puts out the grain and some other grain does well
02:35 and some gets choked out and, you know, so on.
02:38 Doesn't do parables,
02:39 the closest thing to a parable would be divine and the branches
02:43 or maybe the good shepherd, but those are analogies,
02:47 they are not really parables.
02:49 So in John the stories themselves become parables
02:52 and we'll see how that works in future programs.
02:56 In the Gospel of John, Jesus is not a teacher.
02:59 He doesn't talk for chapters long.
03:03 He simply acts and His sayings are short and clipped and so on.
03:08 And one more thing He said, in the Gospel of John
03:11 Jesus repeatedly visits Jerusalem,
03:14 where as in Matthew, Mark and Luke,
03:17 His main visit to Jerusalem is really the only one.
03:20 In Luke, He visits as a child,
03:23 but in His ministry-- He does His ministry in Galilee
03:27 and then comes to Jerusalem.
03:28 So John is sharing a bunch of earlier visits to Jerusalem
03:32 that aren't mentioned in the others.
03:34 So when we look at John uniquely there's a whole lot here
03:38 that we want to pay attention to.
03:40 And one of the most exciting
03:44 features of the gospel is the narrator.
03:48 You know, you noticed that sometimes in stories
03:50 there's a narrator who breaks in and he says,
03:52 "This is what was going on," you know.
03:56 Morally he was dead or whatever.
03:57 And so there's a narrator in the Gospel of John.
04:01 Let's get acquainted with it. Sure.
04:02 It's in Chapter 1 and you'll find him
04:05 all the way through the gospel, but Chapter 1 verse 38.
04:14 John 1:38, why don't you read that?
04:17 "Then Jesus turned and seeing them following,
04:20 He said to them, "What do you seek?"
04:22 They said to Him, "Rabbi"
04:24 which is to say when translated Teacher,
04:26 "where are You staying?" Okay.
04:29 Where's the narrator there? When--
04:34 He's interpreting Rabbi, see, right in it.
04:37 Here, Rabbi, where are you staying?
04:38 He interrupts that.
04:40 So obviously Jesus did not say that.
04:41 Jesus didn't say.
04:43 You know, Rabbi, which is interpreted being teacher.
04:45 Where are you staying?
04:46 No, the people didn't say that.
04:48 That's the narrator inserting, why?
04:50 Because the reader may not understand that term.
04:53 So the narrator steps in
04:55 and he tells the information that they didn't know.
04:59 Look at verse 39.
05:01 "He said to them, "Come, and see."
05:04 They came and saw where he was staying,
05:05 and remained with him that day.
05:07 It was about the tenth hour. Okay.
05:10 You know my Bible has parenthesis.
05:12 For the tenth hour there?
05:13 That one and also the previous one,
05:15 which is to say when translated teacher. Yeah.
05:17 You see, so the translator there is recognizing
05:21 that there is something else going on here.
05:22 It's not part of the dialogue.
05:24 Yeah, it's not part of the dialogue, exactly.
05:26 So Gospel of John has this feature
05:29 constantly jumping in there.
05:32 You know, well, it was about the tenth hour.
05:34 Explaining stuff that the reader needs to know
05:37 to fully understand what is happening here.
05:40 Go to verse 41.
05:42 "And he brought him to Jesus.
05:44 Now when Jesus looked at him,
05:46 he said, you are Simon the son of Jonah
05:49 and shall be called Cephas, which is translated, a stone."
05:53 Which again we see the parenthesis in my version.
05:56 That's right. That's right.
05:57 So he's interpreting what that means, okay.
06:02 So there you see how the narrator
06:05 kind of inserts himself.
06:07 And it's interesting about this narrator.
06:09 First of all he knows everything.
06:12 The narrator knows what characters thought,
06:15 what they felt, what they intended to do.
06:19 You know, he knows what Judas is thinking at the supper table.
06:23 He knows what the disciples are thinking about Judas
06:26 and all this, narrator keeps plugging it in.
06:30 He can be everywhere.
06:33 He's there with Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
06:37 But then the disciples show up
06:39 and the Samaritan woman goes to town.
06:41 Narrator follows her to town
06:43 and at the same time he knows
06:45 what Jesus and the disciples are talking about with each other.
06:48 So the narrator can know, knows everything.
06:51 And the narrator can go anywhere
06:54 and he also knows what's in the future.
07:00 There are several times in the gospel where it says,
07:03 you know, they did this and so and he says,
07:04 but they didn't really understand at this time,
07:07 because the Holy Spirit hadn't come yet.
07:09 So the narrator jumps in and he says,
07:11 these guys are kind of dumb right now,
07:13 but they're gonna get smart later on.
07:14 So he knows the future of what's going on in the story.
07:18 So lot of people--
07:20 So he's kind of helping the reader understand.
07:23 You know, you probably don't know what I mean by this,
07:27 but this is what it really means.
07:29 And so that's, that's helpful. Yeah.
07:32 And since you watch for the narrator as you go through
07:35 and the narrator gives you the information that you need.
07:39 And one thing you'll notice is the narrator is always right.
07:44 Because-- And you know he's right
07:46 because what he is saying
07:47 connects with everything else you know about the situation.
07:50 Through the narrator you know stuff
07:53 that the people in the story don't know.
07:56 So it's like inside information.
07:58 And he knows it because he was there. Yeah.
08:00 He saw it. Yeah.
08:02 So in one sense, I would say
08:03 the narrator sounds to me like the Holy Spirit,
08:06 providing he is-- John is illustrating
08:09 how through the Holy Spirit that extra information
08:13 comes where everything make sense.
08:15 You know, about Christian faith.
08:18 It makes perfect sense to those who walk with Jesus.
08:21 To somebody who doesn't have that relationship,
08:23 it may make no sense at all.
08:25 And here you see why,
08:27 that when people are lacking in certain information,
08:31 they can't make the decision that they need to make.
08:34 And so the Holy Sprit is constantly trying
08:36 to bring us the information we need.
08:39 In the Gospel of John people are constantly
08:43 misunderstanding Jesus.
08:46 You know, that brings us back to that second generation thing.
08:49 We would like to think
08:51 that if we were there with Jesus personally
08:54 that, you know, we would follow Him.
08:57 Man, we'd be better off.
08:59 In the Gospel of John the people with Jesus
09:02 never seemed to get it, they don't understand.
09:05 Take a look at Chapter 14.
09:09 John Chapter 14 and verses 7 to 9.
09:17 "If you had known me,
09:18 you would have known my Father also.
09:21 And from now on you know him and have seen him.
09:24 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father,
09:27 and it is sufficient for us.
09:29 Jesus said to him, I have been with you so long,
09:32 and yet you have not known me, Philip?
09:34 He who has seen Me has seen the Father,
09:37 so how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'"
09:41 You see there's a misunderstanding going on here.
09:44 Jesus makes a statement.
09:47 The disciples take Him literally, you know.
09:50 Jesus says, "I've shown you the Father."
09:54 Philip says, "No, You haven't."
09:57 And Jesus says, "Yes I have."
09:58 If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.
10:03 So in this misunderstanding that's going on,
10:07 it highlights the fact
10:09 that the Gospel of John wants you to go deeper.
10:12 If you take the stories only on the surface
10:15 you will misunderstand.
10:17 And if you think that being with the physical Jesus
10:21 makes all the difference,
10:23 just take a look at those who are with him.
10:25 They never did get it.
10:26 Over and over in this gospel you have this,
10:30 you know, Jesus makes a statement,
10:31 they respond taking it literally
10:34 and then Jesus or the narrator responds once more.
10:39 For example in Chapter 8 you have the story
10:41 that before Abraham was, I am.
10:48 Well, you know, they were saying,
10:50 you are how old and you say you've seen Abraham?
10:53 You know, well, they did get it.
10:55 In what sense is Jesus seeing Abraham?
10:57 He's saying well, I was with Abraham
11:00 on the mountain there when he sacrificed Isaac.
11:03 I was there with him, you see.
11:06 But that doesn't make sense,
11:07 but that would make sense to the reader, why?
11:11 Why do you think it would make sense to the reader?
11:13 It would just somehow provide some kind of assistance.
11:21 Because the first chapter of the book is the prologue
11:24 and it tells us who Jesus is.
11:26 He was the Logos. He was with the Father.
11:31 He was equal with the Father
11:32 and he came down and was made flesh.
11:35 See the reader knows all that.
11:38 So in all of these stories
11:40 the reader knows the moment Jesus speaks.
11:43 The reader knows what He means,
11:46 but the disciples don't get it,
11:47 the Pharisees don't get it,
11:49 the Samaritan woman doesn't get it.
11:51 So what took the disciples several years
11:54 to understand what Jesus said,
11:55 immediately the reader will understand as he reads it.
12:00 So you and I can read it. Okay, that's what it meant.
12:02 It doesn't-- we don't have to spend,
12:03 you know, several years to know what Jesus was talking about.
12:07 And in a sense these misunderstandings
12:09 are teaching us how to understand this gospel.
12:14 Don't take the surface level, you will misunderstand.
12:18 When you go beneath the surface,
12:19 like divine and the branches the surface level is good.
12:23 You get the story of Jesus, there's a lot to learn there,
12:25 but when you go a little bit deeper,
12:27 it opens fresh windows,
12:29 exciting pathways into the gospel.
12:32 Well, Dr. Paulien, this is exciting to know more.
12:35 And I wish that as I read the Bible
12:37 that I allow the Holy Sprit
12:39 to help me to understand more. Me too.
12:41 And friends, I hope that you too as you read God's word,
12:44 you can understand by God's spirit.


Revised 2014-12-17