April 24

John 19:30-31

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” vs. 30

By the time John wrote his gospel toward the end of the first century there were doubtless many stories about Jesus circulating among the congregations. Some were oral traditions but it’s likely a good number were in book form. Most of these documents have been lost to us, but for John there were a wide variety of texts available as he composed his book. As he sifted through the material he was careful in what he used and followed what could be called the “apostolic standard,” only recounting those stories which had been passed on through the disciples. Some of what he wrote can also be found in the other gospels, but much is unique to John, and he actually tells us why he picked what he did. He had a clearly defined purpose for his gospel, and he formed the stories of Jesus in a way that served his intention. Like Paul, he wasn’t as interested in the historical Jesus as he was in showing that Jesus is the Christ. He says it clearly, “These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” His book is an amazing gift to the Church–in it we see the clear connection between the Word who was present in creation, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit present in our world today.

Thought for the Day: Which is my favorite gospel?

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