Introduction of John - Compared with The Other Three GospelsVolume 3, Number 74
Created Date: September 21, 2013
Posted Date: September 21, 2013
Our last study finished an examination of every passage the Greek words listed below are found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. We’ll now consider these words in the Gospel of John. The following recaps their use in Matthew, Mark and Luke compared to the Gospel of John:
1. Pistis (Smith’s Greek-English Concordance # G4002.), usually translated “faith,”
•Occurs 24 times in Matthew, Mark and Luke
•Not found in the Gospel of John
2. Pistos (Smith’s # G4003), usually translated “faithful,”
•Occurs 11 times in Matthew and Luke
•Used only once in John
3. Pisteuo (Smith’s # G4000), usually translated “believe,”
•Occurs 34 times in Matthew, Mark and Luke
•Found 99 times in John, more than any other book in the NT
4. Oligopistos (Smith’s # G3540), always translated “of little faith,”
•Occurs 5 times in Matthew and Luke
•Not found in John (or anywhere else in the NT)
5. Apisteo (Smith’s # G569), always translated “believe not,”
•Occurs 4 times in Mark and Luke
•Not found in John
6. Apistia (Smith’s # G570), always translated “unbelief,”
•Occurs 5 times in Matthew and Mark
•Not found in John
7. Apistos (Smith’s # G571), usually translated “that believe not,”
•Occurs 4 times in Matthew, Mark and Luke
•Used only once in the Gospel of John
We see that out of these seven words found prominently in Matthew, Mark and Luke, four, including our primary word “faith,” is not found even once in John. In the case of two words, John only used them once each. On the other hand he used the word “believe” more often than in all the other three Gospels put together and in fact more often than in any other New Testament book. This is not just an academic fact; it’s another indication of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, which teaches the special purpose for each Gospel account. For, although all four Gospels give an account of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, each is presented from a different point of view. This is evident in a number of ways.
Matthew presents Jesus Christ as God’s perfect King (in waiting, for he is not King of Israel as yet, but He will be); Mark as God’s perfect Servant and Luke as His perfect Man. There never has been, nor will there ever be, another man able to:
•Govern mankind honestly, justly and equally. When the sands of time run out and mankind looks back though human history, it will be clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that a government or ruler has never existed that was completely fair and just while honestly fulfilling everyone’s needs; in other words, upholding God’s perfect standards. However, The Lord Jesus Christ will do so and His 3-year ministry as recorded in Matthew is the harbinger of His future Kingship;
•Come close to serving God perfectly, but Jesus Christ did so, as revealed in the Gospel of Mark as God’s perfect Servant;
•Be the man about whom God could say He was, or is, totally pleased; Luke presents Jesus as just such a man.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,; all except Jesus who had no sin, ; ; . That God requires faith in man is evident for without faith it is impossible to please Him, but there’s never been a man who had total faith in God; except for Jesus who is the author and finisher of faith, . And so the accounts of Jesus as God’s King, Servant and Man emphasize the necessity for faith, but when we come to John we see Jesus, as God Himself and the word “believe” emphasized.
Other evidence of the unique character of Jesus presented by each respective Gospel is as follows:
•Matthew begins with Jesus’ lineage traced back to David the King,; Mark presents Jesus devoid of lineage, for a slave or servant had no recognizable lineage in the days of Christ; Luke traces Jesus’ lineage back to the man Adam, the son of God, . Juxtaposed to Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Gospel of John documents nothing about Jesus’ human parentage because John presents Jesus as God Himself: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” . “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” .
•Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the pivotal incident when Jesus actually began His earthly ministry at about 30 years of age when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and God declared Him to be His beloved Son, in Whom He was well pleased,; ; . The Gospel of John does not include this account of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descending upon Him, simply because Jesus was God in the flesh.
•Matthew, Mark and Luke record the incident when Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain where He was transfigured so His face shown as bright at the sun and His garment was white as the light while He spoke to Elijah and Moses. And the voice of God came from a cloud, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”; ; . This incident was a foretaste of what the man Jesus would later become; The Lord Jesus Christ in glory. The Gospel of John does not record this incident because John presents Him as God Himself.
Back to the 7 words we’re studying; as stated above the word believe is found 99 times in John’s Gospel. Out of the other six words, four are never used in John and two are only found once each there. These two words, Pistos (Smith’s # G4003), usually translated “faithful,” and Apistos (Smith’s # G571), usually translated “that believe not,” are found in the same verse in the second to the last chapter of John: “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (the Greek word Apistos, usually translated “that believe not”), but believing (the Greek word Pistos, usually translated “faithful).”.
Just eight days before this we read: “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”. Some belittle Thomas for this and refer to him when speaking of someone who doesn’t believe, as “a doubting Thomas.” However, one has to wonder if any one of the other Apostles might have reacted the same as Thomas if they, like he, hadn’t been present when Jesus previously revealed Himself to them. It fell to Thomas to fulfill a role in helping to establish the truth of Christ’s resurrection for coming generations who might doubt the fact of it. Thomas asked and answered the question for us all.
“And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”.
A little while after this, Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles revealed the Gospel (good news) to we who live in this age of Grace: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.”.