The Person of Christ as Revealed in the Gospel of John

John 1 - 12

The Gospel of John is the distinctive Gospel of the Deity. There can be no question that the special theme of this evangelist is the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet nowhere shall we find more distinct statements of His humanity. Let us put side by side three verses from the first chapter: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1); “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (1:14); “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (1:29) In these three verses we have three great characteristics of our Lord:
  1. He is God, and with God (a phrase which declares at once His oneness with God and His distinct personality).
  2. He was made flesh, became absolutely Man.
  3. He is the atoning Sacrifice, the One by whom sin is taken away.
Every chapter in this amazing Gospel sets forth some feature of the person of our Lord. In chapter two we read, “He knew what was in man.” (2:25) Here we have His omniscience. In chapter three, He is the only begotten Son of God, a relationship that is eternal and divine. In chapter four, we see the weary Traveler by the well of Sychar searching the heart of the woman and revealing Himself to her as Messiah, the Christ. In chapter five, we see Him as the One to whom all judgment has been committed, that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father; He is also the Giver of eternal life. In chapter six, He is the Bread of God which came down from heaven to give life unto the world. In chapter seven, He stands and cries, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (7:37,38) He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, whom He would impart to those believing upon Him. Again we ask, Who but a divine person could give the Holy Spirit? It is interesting to see the use made of the symbol of water in the three chapters. In chapter three, new birth is effected by the water, the action of the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit; in chapter four, we have a well of water in the believer, satisfaction by the Holy Spirit through the word of God; and in chapter seven, it is the outflow of rivers in the same divine power. Thus life, communion and testimony, all come through the Holy Spirit from the Son of God.

In the eighth chapter, He who had in grace to the sinful woman said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more” (8:11), declares to the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” (8:58) In chapter nine, having opened the eyes of the man born blind, He reveals Himself to him as the Son of God, the object of worship. In the tenth chapter, we see Him as the Good Shepherd, who has power to lay down His life and to take it again; who is the Giver of eternal life to His own, and who declares, “I and My Father are one.” (10:30) In chapter eleven, we have Him as the Great Shepherd of the sheep, who brought again from the dead Lazarus, and who reveals Himself as the Resurrection and the Life.

In the twelfth chapter, the close of our Lord’s public testimony before men, the evangelist, in commenting upon the unbelief of the people who refuse to acknowledge the Lord in spite of all the works He had done, refers to the passage from Isaiah 6. In this chapter the prophet beheld the Lord in His glory and majesty, before whose Presence the seraphim veiled their faces. In our chapter, the inspired evangelist tells us whose glory it was the prophet saw. It was none other than the glory of the Son of God which had just been refused by the unbelieving nation.

John 13 - 17

From chapters thirteen to seventeen, we have the special ministry of our Lord to His own. Abundant witness is here also given to His person. In chapter thirteen, we see Him girded as a servant; in chapter fourteen He declares, “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.” (14:9) In this chapter also we have one of those remarkable, incidental confirmations of the dignity of His person. “If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him.” (14:23) In scripture God is never associated thus with man; there is ever two thousand cubits between the ark and the people; and yet here, in the simplest way, the Father and the Son are associated together. In chapters fifteen and sixteen, He again speaks of Himself as the One who will send the Holy Spirit. In chapter seventeen, we are privileged to enter the sanctuary with Him and to hear the outpourings of His soul to the Father. This one chapter affords most absolute proof of the Godhead and humanity of One who could say, “I have glorified Thee on the earth” (17:4), as Man, and, “The glory which I had with Thee before the world was,” (17:5) proving His Godhead.

John 18 - 21

The entire scene in Gethsemane, at His trial and at the crucifixion, shows One who, along with the dignity of His divine person, had the capacity to suffer and to die. At His resurrection He shows Himself to be the last Adam, and gives also unmistakable evidence of His deity. No wonder the evangelist closes his record with what must have been an exaggeration if his subject had been less than divine: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” (21:25)