Each of the four biographies of Jesus in the Bible reflect the perspective of its author. While Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain many similarities, John’s account is the most different. He offers a unique perspective on the life and teaching of Jesus.
Some refer to the book of John as the gospel of love because he mentions the word twenty times, more than Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In considering variations of the word, the total is thirty-nine times, more than the other three combined.
In his much shorter letter, called 1 John, love and its variations occur twenty-seven times. John, it seems, is all about love.
However, other keywords are even more prevalent in the book of John. The word know appears sixty-six times in this book, while believe occurs fifty-three times. It would seem that John’s chief desire is for us to know and believe in Jesus.
That would be a great reason for him to write an account of Jesus’ life.
We can also understand John’s unique perspective by looking at words he uses infrequently. For example, angel only appears three times in John, far less than Matthew’s nineteen times and Luke’s twenty-four times (Mark, five times).
The book of John contains only a few of Jesus’ parables. In fact, the word parable is not found at all in John, compared to sixty-six times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
So John’s purpose in writing his biography of Jesus is so that we would know and believe in Jesus and to then live a life of love. Angels and parables are not so important to these central themes of knowing, believing, and loving.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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