The Presentation of the Person of Jesus in John's Gospel
Throughout John’s Gospel Jesus is portrayed in different ways. He is
described as “flesh” yet he also has divine qualities and
characteristics. John regards Jesus as Logos meaning “word”.
According to Lightfoot the logos had “diverse origins and might convey
different shades of meaning to different readers”. Such readers would
be Jews and Greeks. This quote proves one of John’s main purposes to
First the Jewish background relating back to the logos or ‘Word’ of
God. This was seen as a creative force as mentioned in chapter 1
Genesis. This also connected to the prophets where they delivered
God’s word to the audience. Wisdom was spoken of with a connection
Greek background the reason and the outward expression of inward
thought. For the stoics, logos was the all – pervading presence of
God, the mind of God guiding and controlling life. They searched for
the ‘divine spark’ to become a child of God. Philo of Alexandria was
a Hebrew and a historical figure that came to earth and lived with
mankind. This exemplifies this of Jesus.
Logos is vital for the evangelist’s appreciation of the person of
Jesus but only used in the Prologue. This was to show pre-existence,
creator, life and light of men, flesh which is ‘sarx’ superior to John
he Baptist, an encounter between the earthly and the heavenly.
Jesus is also described as the ‘son of God’ in 1v14 ‘Became flesh and
dwelt among us, full of grace and truth’. Unique as the Son of God
who shares his glory, has power and authority, divinity. Jesus refers
to God as Father as in 3v35 ‘My Father is working still, and I am
working’. The Jewish authorities considered this blasphemous e.g.
‘Before Abraham was I am’, 8v58 and 10v30 ‘I and the Father are one’.
John presents Jesus using ‘I am’ and the language of the divine, which
Jesus shares, the divine status.
Jesus as Lord, which is a title, which shows Jesus as a figure to be
respected, used by Martha and Mary to stress the belief that Jesus is
the Messiah. Chapter 13 shows examples of Simon Peter, John and
Thomas call Jesus Lord.
Jesus as the prophet, Messiah and King of Israel in 4v19 the Samaritan
woman acknowledges Jesus as a Prophet. This term implies Jesus’
knowingness and evident in trials and passion narratives, John
portrays Jesus as ‘The Prophet’. 6v14 is the feeding of the 5000
shows supremacy and quotes of the Lord. 1v17, Jesus is identified as
Christos like the Messiah. Unlike Mark’s gospel there is no veiled
Messianic Secret in John for example in Signs. 7v14 ‘This is the
Christ’. Mary anoints Jesus a sign of Messiahship. Jesus is
rejected, he lays down his life freely and re-enters glory. Kingship
is a recurring theme, when Jesus enters...