For any Bible student and for preachers in particular, John’s Gospel is an inexhaustible treasure house. Throughout years of ministry, preachers will find themselves returning to it time and time again in order to proclaim its wonderful truths. This book is designed to help and encourage Bible teachers of all kinds, but principally preachers who are preparing expository sermon series on books of the Bible, in rediscovering the spiritual riches that are in John’s wonderful writing.
“So, inevitably John has decided to select, and this he does quite drastically. He is not attempting to write a Life. He is not even recording the whole public ministry; large tracts recorded in the other Gospels are omitted. John’s Gospel takes in about twenty-one days in the earthly ministry of Jesus; twenty-one days, mind you, of mighty works and even mightier words: great claims, the carefully chosen ‘I ams’, great conversations such as with Nicodemus and with the woman of Samaria. So John confessedly selects, and with precise purpose.” (Page 11)
“Of course that does not mean we should neglect preaching Christ from the epistles also. But it does certainly mean we must beware of drifting from the historical Christ, the Christ of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If we do that we shall find ourselves preaching another Jesus and another gospel, just like the pseudo-apostles in Corinth. The Christ of the four Gospels is the authentic Christ because he is the historical Christ by which every other ‘version’ of Christ must be measured.” (Page 21)
“Life, the only true life, is the great goal. And for John, to bring to birth real knowledge and experience of this life among his readers and hearers is his overriding purpose. But such life is found in one place only: it is ‘life in his name’ (20:31, cf. 14:6). So belief, personal faith in the one and only God as made known in Jesus Christ, is the matter of crucial importance for John the evangelist. And belief is firmly grounded on evidence: the first hand testimony of those who saw, heard, and touched God the Saviour himself. The key to life, then, is the key to John’s book.” (Page 18)
This book is short, unusual, and valuable. Its aim is to help those who want to preach and teach from John’s Gospel. Rather, it seeks to provide a key by which the expositor can extract the essential message of John’s Gospel in his exposition. It is all the better for being a short work (and ‘no more than a primer’ in the authors’ words, designed simply to ‘whet the appetite’). It is a model of succinct clarity.
—Robert Strivens, The Banner of Truth Magazine
Dr. William J. U. Philip is currently minister of St George's Tron Church of Scotland in the city center of Glasgow. Prior to this he worked as Director of Ministry for the Proclamation Trust for five years.
Dick Lucas is the former rector of St Helen's Bishopsgate, London.