This week we are reading all the way through John (closing out of Gospel experience) and beginning the first few chapters of Acts (learning about the spread of the Gospel and the early church).
The Gospel of John, written by one of the disciples, is very different than the others and so is NOT considered as a synoptic or similar Gospel. While it does mention some of the same stories of people and healings and miracles, the timeline of Jesus' ministry is different than the others and John also includes large chunks of teaching (like chapters 6, 10, and 13-16) that explain who Jesus is that are not included in any other Gospels. No reflection on the Gospel of John would be complete without time and attention spent on these final words - because here John finally explains the rationale behind what is included and not included within his Gospel: "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But THESE are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:31)
Acts or Acts of the Apostles, is the second of Luke's major writing, showing how the disciples spread the goods news of the Gospel after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension back to heaven. The key verse for this book is Acts 1:8: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." This verses sets the tone for all of the action in the book. The first major segment is chapters 1-7 where the actions centers around the Jews in Jerusalem and Peter is the main figure. The timeline here is about 2 years from Pentecost through the stoning of Stephen.
Here is the schedule:
18 - John 1-4
19 - John 5-8
20 - John 9-12
21 - John 13-16
22 - John 17-20
23 - John 21 - Acts 3
24 - Acts 4-7
May God add his richest blessings to the reading, the hearing and most importantly the living out of His Holy Word. Amen.