Gospel of St. John - Word of God, Seven I Am Sayings, Seven Discourses, Seven Signs, I Am Statements of Jesus

PsalmStudy ™ - The Gospel of John

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Jesus said: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34/ESV)

Jesus said: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16/ESV)

Articles on the Gospel of St. John will be published here as they are prepared for various adult Sunday School and Bible Study activities.

The author of this Gospel was the apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23/ESV; cf., John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24), and who was among the first disciples called by Jesus. John, his brother James were partners in their father's (Zebedee's) fishing business prior to their calls by Jesus to follow Him. John's Gospel is rather different from the other three. We do not know whether or not he knew of them. His witness to Jesus goes its own way, highlighting matters that remain implicit, less developed, or missing in the other Gospel accounts.

The other three Gospels can be summarized as presenting the following themes. Matthew presents the promised Messiah and describes His credentials. Mark presents the activities of Jesus' ministry and illustrates His power. Luke presents the nature of Jesus, His personality, and how He related to people. Luke relates more parables than the other evangelists.

John's style of witness is also unique among the Gospels. John stated his purpose like this.

John begins with the profound announcement that Jesus is the in the beginning creative Word of God who had become embodied as a human being to be the light of life for the world. After this comes the proclamation that this Jesus is the Son of God sent from the Father to finish the Father's work in the world (John 4:34).

Unlike the authors of the synoptic gospels, John wrote with both theological and sacramental symbolism. He used images like bread, light, sheep, water and world to provide rich substance for meditation. John presented no parables and relatively few stories of healings. Instead, he recorded several long discourses of Jesus which are loaded with theological content.

Commentators over the years have seen the Gospel of John in terms of three sevens. They are the seven I am statements, the seven signs (i.e., miracles), and seven discourses. This paper is a discussion of the seven I am statements, some of which are parts of the seven discourses. Here, for general information is a list of the three sevens.

Seven I Am Sayings

  1. I am the Bread of Life (John 6)
  2. I am the Light of the World (John 8)
  3. I am the Door (/John 10)
  4. I am the Good Shepherd (John 10)
  5. I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11)
  6. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14)
  7. I am the Vine (John 15)

Seven Discourses

  1. The New Birth (John 3)
  2. The Water of Life (John 4)
  3. The Divine Son (John 5)
  4. The Bread of Life (John 6)
  5. The Life-Giving Spirit (John 7)
  6. The Light of the World (John 8)
  7. The Good Shepherd (John 10)

    Seven Signs (Miracles)

Seven Signs

  1. Water into Wine at the Wedding in Cana (John 2)
  2. Healing of Official's Son (John 4)
  3. Healing of the Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5)
  4. Feeding of the Five Thousand (John 6)
  5. Walking on Water (John 6)
  6. Healing of the Man Born Blind (John 9)
  7. Raising of Lazarus (John 11)

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