Category Archives: Gospel of John

John’s Kingdom Theology of Love

N. T. Wright on the John’s link between kingdom, cross, and the love of God:

…[I]n the broader Johannine perspective, we discover that the only word to do justice to this kingdom and cross combination is agape, “love.” The death of Jesus is the expression of God’s love, as the famous verse of John 3:16 makes clear. For John, it is also the expression of Jesus’s own love: “He had always loved his own people in the world; now he love them right through to the end” (13:1). And, with that, John introduces the powerful and tender scene in which Jesus washes his disciples feet. In between these two, we find a “good shepherd” discourse, where the mutual love between Jesus and the father leads directly to Jesus his vocation to “lay down his life for the sheep” (10:15).

Throughout, Jesus remains God’s anointed king, crowned as such by the pagans, however ironic the crown of thorns is (John 19:1-3). As such, he is the truly human being. When Pilate says “Here’s the man! (19:5), We are surely to hear echoes of that primal Johannine moment, the Word becoming flesh as the climax of the new Genesis (1:14). But this Genesis call this new creation, is aimed at redemption; and the suffering Messiah, wearing the ironic royal robes, which acquire a second level of irony in John’s treatment, does for his people and the world what he had said all along he would do, as the shepherd giving his life for the sheep, as the seed sown in the ground to bear much fruit. The cross stands at the heart of John’s kingdom theology, the vision of the love of God revealed in the saving action in the death of his Son, the Lamb, the Messiah.

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Salvation in the Gospel of John

John Piper summarizing the theme of redemption in the Gospel of John:

We can sum up this great salvation from John’s Gospel with the following steps: all that the Father has chosen to be his, he has given to the Son (17:6); and all whom he has given to the Son, the Son knows (10:4) and calls (10:3); and all whom he calls, know him (10:14) and recognize his voice (10:4-5) and come to him (6:37) and follow him (10:27); and the sun lays down his life for the sheep (10:11, 15); and to all for whom he dies he gives eternal life (10:28) and keeps them in the Father’s word (17:6), so that none is lost (6:39) or snatched out of his hand (10:28), but is raised up at the last day (6:39) to glorify the Son forever (17:10). This is why the Father has pleasure in election. It is indestructible foundation for an infallible salvation that redounds in the end to the glory of the Father and the Son.”

– John Piper, The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God, 140