I remember a few stories from John from my childhood. When or where, I am not sure but I do have some reflective thoughts. For example, I recall hearing about Jesus feeding the 5,000 (as it is called). The main thing I remember is how many people there were and how happy they were when they ate. I also remember being impressed with the little boy who came forward – how did he do that? I would have been so hungry, I thought, and could never do that! I remember seeing pictures of the big baskets the disciples gathered afterwards and just thinking, “Wow”. I even specifically remember seeing some picture in one Bible book which illustrated the idea of the crowd trying to king the king. For some reason, that always stuck with me and raised a lot of questions: “Why did they like Jesus so much here but not later”? “Why didn’t Jesus want to be the king”? Things along those lines.
This Gospel has been immensely important to my walk. What has happened is this: I started digging deeper into John for apologetic issues first but then it turned into something … more. As I would go to the text to show the deity of Christ to Witnesses or Muslims, I began to appreciate the book more and more. As I would go there to try to combat the claims of Calvinists (until I became one), I felt like I learned so much about Jesus from chapters such as John 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10. And last semester I did an amateur translation of John 1 and it hit me between the eyes in a powerful way. The impact of John on my life is deep indeed.
I hope to learn more about this book and what it says about Jesus and his message, his work and his person. I want to see how John fits in with the synoptics. I want to understand John’s role in the NT and the OT as well. I want see John within the context of the Canon, especially the Old Testament themes (which are extremely prominent). Lastly, I want to know more about John’s role in the history of the church and what that should mean for us (and me) today, as we gain great spiritual insight and benefit from the wonderful work.