On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” John 2:1-3

One of the most beautiful gifts that God has given humanity is his word. God chose to reveal his personality and heart for us through pen and ink. Written words can be meditated on, evaluated, visited, and revisited. The richness expands further as we notice that the scriptures come to us through many genres. There is history, poetry, letter, lament, and prophecy. They all gather up into one declaration of who God is and what he is doing in the world.

The four Gospel accounts, which give us the clearest picture of who Jesus was and his ministry, also come to us with different styles and perspectives. Why didn’t the apostles gather together and create one master account of the life of Jesus? The answer is: they each wrote to different people, for different reasons. Although there are differences between all the accounts, John’s Gospel stands out as the most unique. You see, John wrote his Gospel later than all the others and his goals were different than the other Gospels’. His Gospel is rich with metaphors and cosmic language. John wants us to capture and believe that Jesus was unique, timeless, powerful, and the savior of the world.

As we spend time in this series in John’s Gospel, let your knowledge of the style inform the way you read. The narratives have meaning beyond the surface, metaphors beyond the literal, and power beyond the cursory read. Let your curiosity about that drive you past the surface and deeper into this masterfully crafted account of Jesus. To practice this kind of reading, read chapter 2 verses 1-11 with your imagination awake. Ask questions, imagine the setting, the sounds, the smells, the tones of voice. Ask yourself, “why is this story here and what is John trying to teach me about Jesus by including it?”

By Aaron Bjorklund