Gospel of Saint John
This Gospel, by the Beloved Disciple, speaks of the Mystery of the Person of Jesus. He is like other men, yet quite unlike them, for He was the Son of God. He was eternally present with God, active in creating the world, and was the source of the moral and spiritual nature of man (life and light). When He became man, He made known the eternal God Whom no one has ever seen (John 1:14,18). St. John records real events, but goes beyond the other Evangelists in interpreting them. He uses symbols from common experience bread, water, light, life, shepherd, door, etc. as well as contrasts light and darkness, truth and lies, love and hatred, etc. to make the meaning of Christ clear. For this reason he is aptly called by the Church the Theologian.
The Gospel is divided in the following manner: Prologue (Ch. 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word...); Jesus Christ as the object of Faith (Ch. 1:19-4:54); Conflicts with unbelievers (Ch. 5-12); Fellowship with believers (Ch. 13-17 (14-17 are generally known as the Farewell Discourses)); Death and Resurrection (Ch. 18-20); and (Ch. 21) An Epilogue.
The Gospel of St. John is read liturgically from Pascha until Pentecost Sunday. This Gospel is read sequentially, for the most part, for the fifty day. There are, however, several exceptions to the sequential daily reading. On three days, the Gospel lessons are taken from other Gospels:
- On Bright Tuesday, from Luke
- On the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, from Mark
- On Ascension Day, from Luke
Sunday readings: The Gospel lessons on the Sundays during this period (except the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers) are all taken from John, but they do not follow any particular sequence. On certain other days during the fifty-day period, the strict sequential reading from John is broken.