What is one book of the Bible you often return to, and why?

2 Min Read

My favorite book in the Bible is the gospel of John. It presents the deity of Christ in a way that is magnificent. It is a glorious portrayal of Christ, in a way that exceeds even the Synoptic Gospels in my opinion. So much of John is devoted to the last week of Christ’s life with the Upper Room Discourse, the Lord’s High Priestly Prayer, His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, and the six trials He suffered before He was condemned and taken to the cross. Then there is the portrayal of Christ at Calvary in the gospel of John.

I love the interactions of Christ with people in the gospel of John. For example, He tells Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Before Nicodemus could even ask a question, Jesus answered him. I love the truth of the new birth. I love the “I am” statements of Christ in the gospel of John: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12); “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7); “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11); “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25); “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6); “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). I just love those. It electrifies my soul to think about each of those “I am” statements.

The miracles in John’s gospel are unique and different from the miracles in the Synoptic Gospels, in that they are sign miracles—that is, miracles with a message. Just to take the first one, turning water into wine—it is a picture of the new birth, which is in the next chapter. God will take our dirty, stagnant lives and transform them into the very best they can be.

When I came to Christ, I was converted at age seventeen under the presentation of that miracle of Jesus turning water to wine in John 2. I knew that my heart was like that water in the water jars. It was dirty. It was stagnant. It was filthy. But Jesus turned that into the best wine the head waiter had ever tasted, and I knew God would do that with my life. That part of John has ministered to me from the day I was converted to Christ.

I love the prologue to John’s gospel, those first eighteen verses. Luke and Matthew start with the birth of Christ. Mark has no beginning and starts with Christ at age thirty. But John’s gospel starts in eternity past, and that just like pulls me up: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). And then, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). That just takes my breath away.

So, that is a long answer to a short question, but I love the gospel of John. I am writing a commentary on Romans, and I love Romans. And I’ve written commentaries verse-by-verse through Psalms, Job, and Philippians—but John has my heart.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Steven Lawson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.