You can’t miss out on John’s main message. This gospel is all about sonship—specifically the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus faced a lot of opposition, but with each trial, he presented proof that he really was God’s own dear son. Even better, Jesus’ mission wasn’t just about proving his own sonship. The book of John shows how Jesus’ life and works demonstrated our worth, too. Yes, we are also the sons (and daughters) of God.
The book of John divides easily into four sections. First, an intro, which explains the essence of John’s theology—that Jesus is the Son of God. Second, the first “middle half,” known as The Book of Signs. This portion chronicles Jesus’ work. The second “middle half” comes next and is known as The Book of Glory. It details Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Finally, the conclusion of John tells of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples after the resurrection.
Who was Jesus? The Gospel of John couldn’t be clearer on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. But that’s not the only way it portrays Jesus. In this gospel, Jesus is also the bread of life, the living water, and the good shepherd. Even better, he offers proof of his divine nature through healing—so no one misses the point.
The main theme of John is all over this gospel—in Jesus’ words and works. That’s because eternal life was key to Jesus’ ministry. He wanted us to know that we can find eternal life for ourselves. And his promise isn’t just that we’ll find eternal life, but that as the sons and daughters of God, we’re actually living it.
The best thing about the Gospel of John is that it gives us the tools to live a life that’s absolutely amazing. It all starts with sonship—and with Jesus’ example.
A Sunday School teacher adapted the story of Jonah to fit her all-girls class (Jonah became Joan-a, the king of Nineveh becomes a queen, etc.). Using paddle puppets, lines inspired by the book of Jonah, and loads of creativity and enthusiasm, her class had a great time getting a deeper grasp of Jonah's (or Joan-a's!) meaning. They are excited to share this adventure with you!
If you remember only one descriptive word about the Gospel of Luke, remember this one: universal. In Luke, everyone is worthy—everyone of every religion, race, culture, gender. Luke says anyone can experience the salvation that comes from understanding Jesus’ life and works. In other words, Luke is all about the universality of Christianity—and the all-embracing nature of grace.
The gospel of Luke breaks down into three sections: two short ones at the beginning and end, and a big one in the middle. Here’s what you’ll find in each. In Section 1, you get the story of Jesus’ birth and baptism. In Section 2, you get the story of Jesus’ ministry. And in Section 3, you get the story of the Christian church after Jesus’ resurrection.
In every gospel, Jesus is loving, generous, and supremely kind. But the portrayal of Jesus in Luke is especially compassionate. Over and over, Luke features Jesus’ benevolence toward the weak, the suffering, and the outcast. Why? Because Luke is all about the universal nature of Christianity.
Luke isn’t just about universal salvation; universal salvation is this gospel’s main theme. In fact, the theme of universal salvation permeates almost every aspect of Luke, including the explanation of Jesus’ lineage, the story of his birth, and the chronicle of the people he helped and healed during his ministry.