Daily Bread is a series of daily posts designed to inspire and support you after the House Party.
In the run up to Easter and the week after it, we will be following the story of Jesus’ passion in the gospel of John. Daily emails will go out, which will include both the passage and a brief commentary on it.
Matthew, Mark and Luke are referred to as the “synoptic” gospels as they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and with similar wording in Greek. Biblical scholars, on the whole, believe that Mark was written first, and the authors of Matthew and Luke both knew and used it in constructing their accounts of Jesus’ life. John’s gospel, on the other hand, is viewed as separate these three, and can sometimes be overlooked in our study, not containing some of the most famous stories about Jesus, for example his birth.
The author of John is generally understood to have been an apostle of Jesus, and the son of Zebedee. The relationship between it and the other gospels is much debated, but it is widely considered to have been the most influential in the early church.
One view of the origins is that John knew of the other three synoptic gospels but wrote to supplement them. That is not to say that he constructed his gospel with copies of the others in front of him, but would have been aware of the other accounts of Jesus’ ministry. Evidence for this includes some of the same stories being included in all four gospels, for example the feeding of the five thousand, and the healing of the paralytic.
An alternative view is that John’s gospel is entirely independent from the others. Evidence for this includes important passages that are not contained in the others at all: for example John 20:30, and 21:25, both of which are included in the Easter story.
Try to use this as a chance to continue some of the good habits we have had on the house party – the chance to sit in quiet, read the bible, and pray. You may not have ever read through a number of chapters in order before. The gospel story is at its most powerful when you understand its full context. Even if you have, it is likely that you will notice different points. Try to read the passages through a number of times, or even say them aloud.
It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”.