“One of these things is not like the others.” That was a classic segment on Sesame Street, as well as the title of a popular children’s book. It proves again that everything you need to know in life you probably learned in Kindergarten.
After all, when it comes to the four gospels, it has been long recognized that “one of these things is not like the others.” There are three Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—with very similar content, tone, and pacing. And then there’s the gospel of John.
From the very beginning, the church fathers even recognized that John was notably different than the others. In fact, Clement of Alexandria famously referred to John as the “spiritual gospel,” as opposed to the more “earthy” Synoptics.
Ok, but what exactly makes John so different? Given that John loves the number seven—as one example among many, his gospel is structured around seven “signs”—let me offer seven things that makes John so special. [Continue reading]