It is hard to believe but if you are on track so far with your reading, we are over 1/3 of the way there. If you are not there, just keep going from where you are and do your best to catch up. One feature that I like to use at times on the Bible app is the reading feature. Some of the versions can read to you (and you can even adjust the speed). Perhaps you want to check it out.
This week we are in the book of John and will at the end of the week go to the book of Acts. I wanted to give you a few items of content for you on the book of John,
1. The book is written by John the apostle, the brother of James, called a "Son of Thunder". It was probably written between 85-90 AD and before John's exile on the Island of Patmos.
2. In your reading you may have noticed there is more "commentary" in that John explains the events that are happening and their meaning. This gospel has new material that we do not find in the other gospels. In fact, the last sentence of John indicates, that if all Jesus did was written down, the whole world could not contain the books.
3. The purpose of the book is found in John 20:30-31, "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." The purpose is that the readers of this book may believe in the person of Jesus Christ and that we might experience his life within us.
4. Based on point 3, many scholars have noted that the book is arranged by miraculous signs.
Sign 1 - Water into Wine - John 2:1-11
Sign 2 - Healing of the Officals Son - John 4:46-54
Sign 3 - Healing of the Paralytic - John 5:1-15
Sign 4 - Feeding of the 5000 - John 6:5-14
Sign 5 - Jesus Walking on the Water - John 6:16-24
Sign 6 - Healing of the Blind Man - John 9:1-7
Sign 7 - The Raising of Lazarus - John 11
When you read these accounts, note the miracle and the response. After Jesus does a miracle (or sign), people put their faith in him. For example we see this in John 2:11, "This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus' first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him". Cause and effect.
Reading with that lens, you will also see how people wanted more and more signs but they were not recognizing the signs that were already revealed. John 6:30 is an example, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?" According to the signs above, Jesus already had done at least three signs. People wanted more.
5. This book can also be identified by the seven I am Statements of Jesus.
1) I am the bread of life (John 6:35)
2) I am the light of the world (John 8:12)
3) I am the door (John 10:7,9)
4) I am the good shepherd (John 10:11,14)
5) I am the resurredtion and the life (John 11:25)
6) I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
7) I am the true vine (John 15:1)
Remember, when Jesus says "I am", he refers back to Exodus 3:14 when God reveals his name to Moses. You know this is true when in John 8:58 - 59, "'Very truly I tell you,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!' At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." They were going to stone him for blasphemy, claiming that he was God.
6) Lastly, if you combine the 7 Signs in John with the 7 I Am Statements of Jesus, you see more fully what John is saying through his book. Jesus is the Messiah. His life and teaching authenticates his identity.
In terms of your reading and application, keep reading to know the person and character of Jesus better. Read with the lens of how can I love God more fully and love people more like Jesus. For more information, check out the Bible Project Video John 1-12, or Bible Project Video John 13-21. These are so well done. I hope you check them out.
I hope you have a great week. BTW, thankful our youth and youth leaders had a great weekend at Resurrection! Praying that God uses this event in their lives to love Jesus more and love one another more as a youth group.
Yours in Christ,