Do You See Jesus More as Friend or Lord?: How to Read John’s Gospel Day 5

How are you more likely to see Jesus Christ? As your close, kind, personal friend? Or as your sovereign King and Lord?

If we are honest, most people feel more strongly about one or the other. What is curious as you read John’s Gospel is that he sees Jesus as both. While on the earth, Jesus was his nearest and dearest friend, and they did life and ministry together, side-by-side. After Jesus rose from death and returned to His throne in heaven, John was also able to worship Jesus as his exalted ruling and reigning Lord.

This combination – having Jesus as our friend and Lord – is an amazing balance that is good and healthy for every Christian to pursue. As we compare John’s Gospel to the other three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), we can see the emphasis that different writers place on different names and titles for Jesus Christ. The following chart is adapted from Graham Scroggie’s book, A Guide to the Gospels:

Name Matthew Mark Luke John
Son 11 3 5 17
Beloved Son 2 3 3
Son of God 9 3 6 9
Son of David 9 4 4
Son of Man 30 14 25 12
Jesus 142 77 84 239
Jesus Christ 6 1 3
Christ 9 5 11 16
King 14 6 5 14
Lord 59 10 57 48
Rabbi 2 4 8
Teacher 11 12 21-23 7
Shepherd 2 1 5
Light 1 1 19
Prophet 2 1 5 5
Head 1 1 1
Stone 2 1 2
Rock 3 2
Heir 1 1 1
Man 4 1 6 16
Jesus of Nazareth 3 4 3 4
Holy One 1 1 1
Bridegroom 6 3 2 3


As the above chart shows, John speaks of his Lord with the name Jesus more than all the other names and titles used for Jesus in any other Gospels and more often than he uses all the other names and titles combined in his Gospel. For John, Jesus is the name of his best friend. As well, in John’s Gospel, we also read of the numerous occasions that Jesus declares Himself to be God, as the following chart (adapted from Scroggie’s book) shows:

Jesus’ Declaration of His Deity Scriptural Reference
“I am from above,” “I am not of this world” John 8:23
“I am not of it (the world) John 17:16
“before Abraham was born, I AM” John 8:58, cf. Ex. 3:14
“I and the Father are one” John 10:30
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”

“If you knew me, you would know my Father also”

“When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me”

John 14:9, 8:19, 12:45
“Non one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man.”

“What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!”

John 3:13, 6:62
“I came from God… he sent me.”

“I came from you… you sent me.”

John 8:42, 17:8


Further emphasizing the divine authority of Jesus, the following are occasions in John’s Gospel where Jesus makes incredible claims about Himself (as adapted from Scroggie’s book):

Jesus’ Claims about Himself Scriptural References
He is equal with the Father John 5:17–23, 10:30–33
He gives eternal life John 10:27–28
He existed before His birth John 3:13, 6:33, 6:62, 8:58, 17:5
He came from heaven & promised to return there John 3:13, 6:62
He claimed authority for His teaching John 5:24
His relationship with God is different from other men John 20:17
He claimed His death forgives sin & draws people John 12:32–33
He is above all & the judge of all people John 3:31, 5:26–27, 13:13
He gives rest to the burdened John 7:37–38
He claims that to eat Him is to live John 6:54-57
He claims that if we obey Him we will never die John 8:51


What title for Jesus is your favorite? Why?

I will spend roughly an entire year preaching verse-by-verse through the entire Gospel of John, and those sermons can be found for free each week after they are preached at

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