The Gospel of John 1-4 - Boice Commentary review

The Gospel of John Volume 1: The Coming of the Light (John 1-4)The Gospel of John Volume 1: The Coming of the Light by James Montgomery Boice

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boice is theological gold, and this collection of sermons differs only in addressing Scripture even more directly to the normal lives of God’s people in the pew. With a natural blend of exposition and application, Boice draws instruction from every ounce of every verse.

As an example, in writing on the Incarnation from John 1:1, 14 (a 5-page chapter/sermon on just these two verses), he applies the truth that Jesus became a man this way:

“By becoming man Jesus has also provided us with an example of how the life that is fully pleasing to the Father should be lived…. I often have been asked by people who are concerned with the state of the church today why it is that so many of the young men who go to seminary (even a good seminary, for that matter) come out of it without much of a message and without much of an ability to lead the churches they eventually serve. This is good questioning. As I have thought about it, I have come to feel that one of the main reasons is that they lack an adequate example of what the Christian ministry can be. They have never had contact with a strong church or with an intelligent preaching ministry that is Bible-centered and faithful to the great themes of the gospel. SO, lacking an example, they wander about in their approach and fail to provide strong leadership…. Thus, Jesus became man in order to go through all sorts of situations with all sorts of people in order that we might be provided with a pattern upon which our Christian life can be constructed.”

He goes on to describe Jesus as a needlework sampler that we look to as we live our life and do our work. Excellent illustration and application of biblical themes.

My one quibble would be that he goes a little too slow through the text, sometimes drawing in lots of other biblical texts and themes only tangentially related to the text. I think he does so to increase biblical literacy, which is good. But it obscures the main point occasionally.

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