The Gospel of John has been called the “Gospel of Belief.” He’s making a case for faith. A faith that transforms our lives. John reveals a tension between Divine sovereignty and human responsibility. God is sovereign in His purpose, but we must be submissive to His will. We must believe.
Another obvious theme presented by John is the centrality of love. “God so loved the world” is one of the best-known phrases of scripture. As God has loved, so we too must love one another. You don’t love God if you don’t love one another.
The conclusion that the gospel of John wants us to come to is that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” The importance of being the Son is that He has a Father. This terminology wasn’t to challenge Jewish monotheism, but to explain it. How can God take on flesh, dwell among us, be submissive to the Father, die and still be God? There’s a thematic tension between the divinity and humanity of Jesus. This is seen in the terminology of “father” and “son.”
If word count can direct us to the importance of a topic, then we should note that in John the word “believe” is found about 50 times, while the word “love” is only mentioned 20 times, but the word “father” is mentioned 102 times. Almost more than all the other gospels combined.
We say, “like father, like son.” But John takes it another step. The deeds and words of Jesus are the deeds and words of His Father. If this is not true, then the book is blasphemous. The Son is sent by the Father (Jn 1:14). The Son explains the Father (Jn 1:18). Jesus’ work reflects His Father’s work (Jn 5:17, 19). The Son is the only way to the Father (Jn 14:6). The Father has many dwelling places that the Son is preparing (Jn 14:2-3). The Father is glorified in the Son (Jn 14:13). This just scratches the surface of the similarities. It is nearly impossible to separate the two – but we must.
To take it one step further, as disciples we must reflect the Father as we reflect Jesus. Jesus says “abide in me.” Connect with Him. Have an intimacy with Him. From that closeness we bear fruit that glorifies the Father because it looks like Him!