Hot Takes are student-written reviews of relevant books (especially books in the library of the Bible), movies, shows, events, technology, and anything interesting or important to students (13-17 years of age). Usually light-hearted, each piece is all about developing a Biblical worldview, increasing Biblical literacy, and supplementing student ministries.
Have you ever missed a school day and the biggest drama or event of the year happened while you were gone? It feels like this has happened to me one too many times! The next day, I get all the details from that one friend who always seems to witness the action firsthand.
Just like that friend, in John’s Gospel in the Bible, John is that friend! He was a disciple to Jesus. This means he was like a student to Jesus, and learned from Him as He taught and preached throughout Israel. In fact, John describes himself as “the disciple who Jesus loved.” This pretty much tells us that John was right then and there, gathering all of the incredible things he saw!
But, unlike your friend who seems to know all the latest news, John’s purpose in writing his book isn’t simply to inform his friends of all the crazy stuff that happened in his day-to-day with Jesus. He clearly writes in John 20, “these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” John wrote this book so we can all discover who Jesus is, and the power that accompanies giving our lives to Him!
The largest portion of the book depicts Jesus’ ministry. From his many sermons, miracles, and conversations with people like Nicodemus or the Woman at the Well, John gives us a closer look into what Jesus did in the years leading up to His death.
A little over halfway through the book, John writes of Jesus’ last Passover, and the events leading to His crucifixion and, spoiler alert, his Resurrection after three days.
You may be thinking, what makes John’s version of the Gospel unique? Aren’t there three other books that tell the same story?
Well, yes there are, but each of these books are unique in their own way. The Gospel According to John is unique because it’s John’s perspective!
John was a fisherman when Jesus called him to be His disciple. Not only was he a fisherman, but his father, Zebedee, and his brother, James, were fisherman too. When both he and James were called to be Jesus’ disciples, they dropped what they were doing and immediately followed Him.
It’s also thought that John’s family was involved in Jesus’ ministry. His mother, Salome, was one of the women present at the tomb after Jesus’ resurrection. John’s entire family loved Jesus and followed His ministry. Like we talked about before, John was known as “the disciple who Jesus loved,” John was one of Jesus’ closest friends. Because of all this, John’s gospel captures the heart of Jesus’ message and encourages us to accept Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of our lives!