The Bible is a big book and one of the most popular questions I get from a new believer is, where do I start? Most people would think logically about reading a book and start at the front and then just read on through. While this might work for a mature Christian, I cannot recommend this approach for the new Christian. Why? I’m so glad you asked!
The Bible is a large book made up of many smaller books — 66 to be exact. The first book, Genesis is really about “the beginning” and the last book, Revelation is really about “the end”. But the problem with starting with Genesis, for the new believer, is that it is filled with genealogies, numbers and historical accounts. When you are a new believer your main focus should be cultivating your relationship with your new found Savior and brother, Jesus the Christ. So rather than begin at the front you might want to consider reading about the life of Jesus.
There are 5 books that focus much on the life of Jesus: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts — although Acts talks more about the “acts of the Apostles” than it does Jesus. Each of the other 4 books are called Gospels and they focus on the life of Jesus, each with their own point of view.
All of the books of the Bible were written by men whom where inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). But only one of these four Gospels was written by a man that actually walked with Jesus when He was on earth. This man’s name was John, son of Zebedee and he not only walked with Jesus, he was one of the original 12 Apostles as well (Matthew 10:1-3). It is believed that he is the one Apostle who outlived all the others. He is the one mentioned in John 12:23-25 as “leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” He was the only Apostle at the foot of the cross and Jesus trusted John with the care of His mother when He hung on the cross (John 19:25-24). John, along with James and Peter, is named by Paul in his letter to the Galatians as one of the pillars in the Church (Galatians 2:9).
John is the only one of the four Gospel writers that had a personal relationship with Jesus. He tells us that he wants us to know that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God so that we “might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31). This is a book that is written with the intent to build our foundation in Jesus. It is the best book to learn about Jesus as God.
So while the Gospel of John is not found at the front of the Bible, and does not even appear as the first book of the New Testament, it does help us to know most about Jesus and the importance of our personal relationship with Him.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. ~ John 1:1
Jesus is the Word!
If you are a new believer or even one who has believed for a long time and you want to learn the most about your Savior and brother, read the Book of John — it is found as the 4th book in the New Testament.
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