The book of John is a Gospel that contains Narrative History, Sermons, Parables, and a few Prophetic Oracles. It was written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. The key personalities of this book are Jesus Christ, His Twelve Disciples, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Lazarus, his sisters Mary and Martha, Jewish religious leaders, and Pilate. It was written so that all may believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God who gives eternal life. John’s gospel uses the word “Believe” 98 times and the word “Life” 36 times, in an effort to embed the importance that one must believe in order to live eternally. John is not one of the three synoptic (common view) gospels, but instead was written with a more theological substance, yet equally as inspired and important as the first three gospels. • Chapter 1 is the preamble of the Messiah’s coming ministry. John gives clear evidence that Jesus is more than just a man, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). John then describes that the “Word” is Jesus who became a man to “live among us” (1:14). The beginning verses in the first chapter teaches us that Jesus is more than just a man who came into existence but rather, He is infinite God. • Chapters 2-12 consist of Jesus’ ministry. He meets with a religious leader named Nicodemus and teaches him that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless they have been personally “Born-Again” (3:3). Several times throughout the book, Jesus claims that He Himself is God, “I am the Father are one” (10:30). Jesus also repeats and applies to Himself, the Jehovaic statement, “I AM” as found in Exodus 3:14, for example, when Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25), “I am the way the truth and the life” (14:6), “I am the door” (10:9), and “I am the bread of life” (6:35). • The events in Chapters 13-17 occur less than 24 hours before Jesus’ death. They describe the details of the Last Supper with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus taught many important topics to the Disciples during this time. Some of these were topics about the Kingdom, and about the work of the Holy Spirit that would be sent to them. He also prays for Himself, His disciples, and for all the future believers. • Chapters 18-21 portrays the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In these final chapters, He is on trial and then convicted illegally. After which He is appallingly beaten, humiliated, and then crucified. Jesus resurrected and arose from the tomb and appeared to Mary Magdalene and to His disciples. When John finishes his gospel he writes one of the most amazing truths about Jesus Christ, “And there are many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (21:25).
The book of Ecclesiastes contains Proverbs, maxims, sayings, and is largely an autobiographical story. Solomon wrote it late in his life, approximately 935 B.C. He had become aware of the mistakes that he made throughout his life and began to document them. The purpose of Ecclesiastes is to spare future generations the suffering and misery of seeking after foolish, meaningless, materialistic emptiness, and to offer wisdom by discovering truth in seeking after God. It appears that Solomon once again, wants to teach the reader wisdom, “I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with” (1:13). • Chapter 1-2, deal with Solomon’s personal experiences throughout his life. He describes that everything he sought was a selfish pleasure and meant nothing eternally. Generally, he speaks concerning the meaning of life, “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind.” (1:14). Solomon, the man whom God gave the most wisdom; sought after, researched, and tried everything in an attempt to find lasting happiness, and came to this conclusion: “All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind and there was no profit under the sun.” (2:10-11). • In chapters 3-5, Solomon gives common explanations and observations. One, in particular, is 5:15, “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return…”, speaking of everyone who dies takes nothing with him; possessions, in the end, are ultimately useless. As tough as it is, our sinful nature naturally gravitates toward materialism. • Chapters 6-8, Solomon gives advice for having a meaningful life, “Consider the work of God, for who is able to straighten what He has bent?” (7:13). • In chapters 9-12, Solomon writes a conclusion that clears up the entire book, everyone will eventually die and all the deeds of man are vanity (useless) without God; our obedience must be to Him. “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments because this applies to every person.” (12:13).