John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 1:1, Why Does John Think Jesus Is God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

//It’s clear from the context of John’s prologue that the “Word” in today’s verse refers to Jesus. John explicitly claims something extraordinary: Jesus is God.

What makes John think this is so, when this claim differs so much from the Synoptic Gospels, which all present Jesus and God as two distinct beings? Well, here is some wild speculation for you.

In my latest book, I suggest that the Beloved Disciple of John’s Gospel and Lazarus are the same person. Lazarus is also spoken of as the one Jesus loves. This is no new revelation; Ben Witherington III, for example, has long argued that Lazarus is the Beloved Disciple, and that the Beloved Disciple wrote John’s Gospel.

Which leads to the wild speculation part. Lazarus, you recall, was raised by Jesus from the dead. This was no mere resuscitation, mind you; Lazarus had been dead for four days, and his body stank. In Jewish tradition, the spirit departs the body after three days, finally resigned to the fact that the body cannot be revived. Thus Lazarus was dead as a doornail, the spirit long gone, when Jesus shows up to resurrect him … and John’s Gospel makes a point of proving this.

So … perhaps the author of John’s Gospel, having died and met with God, had a bit of insider knowledge about who Jesus really was?

Ya never know.

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