For most of my life, John was my least favorite book of the Bible. I loved the concreteness of Mark or the poetry of the Psalms. Even the genealogies of 1 Chronicles interested me more than John. It seemed vague and wandering and unsure of what it wanted to be.
Even through seminary, I did not take the Gospel of John that super seriously. There were passages I liked, of course, but I always told myself that I was more of a Mark and Matthew kind of guy.
Full time ministry changed that for me. As I started administering communion, the words of Jesus around communion in John 6 had more meaning. As I preached funerals, the words of John 14 became so deeply life giving. As I performed weddings, the words of John 2 held power.
As well, as I began to teach others of the Trinity, the Gospel of John became the ultimate source and resource to explain the amazing mystery and power of our God who is Three-in-One
The Gospel of John begins at the beginning, before the beginning. It begins in poetry and power with the Logos, the word, the reason, the meaning, becoming flesh. Logos is a challenging word to translate into English. Logic is a direct cognate. Word is often used, but a word describes the separate words on this page, it does not describe how meaning is made from the words on the page.
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. (John 1:1-5, CEB)
The story of Jesus is more than the story of an old teacher and the people who followed him. The story of Jesus is the story of life and light creating everything and fighting off the darkness of corruption which wishes to smother that light.
After reading the other gospels (referred to as synoptic because they all look at the life of Jesus in a similar way), John blows away our expectations and presents a Jesus both God and man, both Alpha and Omega, both teacher and savior.