Themes in John’s Gospel

One of John’s Themes: Go and bring a friend to believe in Jesus

An example of deliberate narrative designing can be found in the stories that narrate the call of the disciples. In almost every case, it is someone who already believes that testifies to others and brings them to encounter Jesus, after which they believe as well. For example, John the Baptist tells two of his disciples to follow Jesus. One of them, Andrew, tells his brother Simon Peter, who then comes to Jesus and becomes a disciple himself (John 1:42). Jesus finds Philip, who tells Nathanael, who then comes to meet Jesus for himself and becomes a disciple (John 1:49). The Samaritan woman meets Jesus by the well and testifies to her Samaritan people; they invite Jesus to stay with them, after which they become believers in the gospel (John 4:41-42). The purpose of this pattern becomes clear at the end of John’s Gospel, when Thomas refuses to believe the testimony of this fellow disciples when they tell him that Jesus has risen from the dead. He basically tells these men that he won’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus unless he sees it for himself. Jesus returns and invites Thomas to see and touch his resurrected body for himself, all the while offering a gentle reprimand: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The final statement in this narrative expresses the sole mission of John’s Gospel: to bring all of mankind to believe in Jesus, that he is the Christ, the Son of God, and that if we would believe, that we would have life (John 20:30-3).

About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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