Theology Of John's Gospel Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Term Paper Paper: #99046285 Related Topics: Christology, Theology, King John, Religion And Theology
Excerpt from Term Paper :

John's Gospel is a strongly theological work. The basis for the Christology of John's Gospel is the Word. Also, John gives deep theological insights through the stories of the Samaritan woman at the well, the man born blind and the rising of Lazarus from the dead. John's account of the Passion is also deeply theological and quite different from the accounts of the other gospels. Finally, John uses many motifs to highlight the divinity of Christ. It is clear that John's gospel is not merely an historical account of Jesus' life on earth; rather it is a skillful examination of the theology of Christ and Christianity.

The Christology of John's gospel based on the prologue.

The basis for the Christology of John's Gospel is found immediately in the prologue's first sentence: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (King James Bible Online). Christology, the "study of the person of Christ" (Oxford University Press), is here rooted in the "logos," which is the word or the rational of God. God speaks through his Son and the same word that is responsible for Creation is the same word that is spoken by the Old Testament prophets and the same word that brings Jesus and is Jesus. In Christianity, Logos Christology means that the point where God's self-communication to us reaches perfection is in Christ. Everything we know of God is revealed in Christ, who is both the complete revelation of God and the response to that revelation. Anyone yearning to know of the love and forgiveness of God should see that in Jesus, who is God's primary sacrament.

b. Theological insights

i. The Samaritan woman at the well

The story of the Samaritan woman at the well appears only in John's Gospel (4:4-41) (King James Bible Online), not in the other three Gospels. It is part of the people's gradual understanding of who Jesus is, usually by people within the stories misunderstanding the true meaning of Jesus' words and acts. The Jews of that time despised the Samaritans, who had no claim on the Jewish God, and the Jews would have nothing to do with them. However, when Jesus and his disciples went to a town in Samaria, Jesus sat by the well while his followers were looking for food and a Samaritan woman came to draw women and Jews did not deal with Samaritans, so the woman was surprised when Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Jesus essentially told the woman about her loose morals and that if she knew who was asking her for water, she would ask him and he would have given her "living water." She misunderstands, believing he means literal water that would always quench her thirst. She leaves her water pot and goes out to tell other Samaritans about this prophet that told her everything about herself because he might be the Christ. Some Samaritans come back with her and after listening to Jesus for two days, they tell the woman that they now believe in him, not because of what she said, but because they have heard him for themselves. She misunderstood his meaning but they got the true meaning and the true meaning is revealed to the reader in the process.

A lot is revealed about Jesus and salvation in this story. First, Jesus reaches out even to outcasts with loose morals who are shunned by Jews, so love and salvation are available to everyone, including our enemies. Secondly, eternal life is attained only through the "living water" given by Jesus, who is the Messiah. Third, our witness to others about Jesus can be powerful, as the Samaritan woman was able to draw other Samaritans to him, who then achieved even stronger faith by listening to Jesus themselves. Finally, though Jesus reaches out to all, in order to receive eternal life, people must be instilled with the gift of the spirit (Fletcher). In a brief story, quite a bit is revealed about Jesus' divinity, his mission, the incorrect and correct interpretations by the people he encounters, and the ultimate truth of God revealed through Jesus.

ii. The man born blind

The story of the man born blind (9:1-41) (King James Bible Online) also shows the gradual revelation of who Jesus is. In addition, it explains how some Pharisees viewed Jesus as trouble and began to act against him. Here, Jesus meets a man who has been blind from birth, not because of any sin but to reveal God's work. Jesus picks up dirt, spits in it, makes clay and rubs it on the man's eyes, then tells him to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. When the man washes it off, he can see for the first time in his life. His neighbors were stunned that he could see and after he explained what happened, they took him to the Pharisees. The Pharisees questioned him and he explained what Jesus had done and that he could see. The Pharisees also questioned the man's parents, who referred them back to the man. The Pharisees were disturbed that Jesus, who did…

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