Two weeks back I wrote about the Synoptic Gospels, namely the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I had to interrupt the continuity due to Christmas and the New Year weeks.

This week, let me continue sharing with you the last Gospel according to John. Just by cursory reading, one can understand that this Gospel is different from the other three Gospels in content and in the order of the events presented. The main intention of John is not to write just what Jesus performed, rather to give the symbolic significance hidden in the events performed by Jesus. Hence it is popularly called “Spiritual Gospel”.

The main theme that runs through from the beginning till the end of John’s Gospel is to present Jesus as the Lamb of God. When Jesus enters the story for the first time, he comes to John the Baptist to be baptized. John the Baptist, seeking Jesus coming towards him, says: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”. So also, the crucifixion of Jesus takes place on the Passover feast, in order to symbolically present Jesus as the Lamb of God.

What makes John’s Gospel again different from the other three Gospels is the discourses and dialogues of Jesus with his disciples. For example, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and Luke is a collection of Jesus’ teachings on various occasions. The Sermon looks like one string of teaching with no question of the disciples interfering. It is just a collection. Whereas the discourses and dialogues in John’s Gospel are not a mere collection; rather, there is a deeper reflection of these teachings, in order to bring out their inner significance. In other words, John is different from the other three Gospels in this that he has taken an effort to interpret the teachings and sayings of Jesus.

May the Word of God enkindle our faith

Fr. Arul Joseph V.


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