If truth be told I have ignored John in my preaching because it’s so “spiritual.” None of the other stories and many of the characters of John are not found elsewhere in the New Testament. I am an occasional Revised Common Lectionary preacher so I often find another passage to preach on as I go through my year. Enter a commentary that cuts through the thorny issues of trying to make sense of John and welcome to a world of high Christology and loving appeal.
Karoline Lewis in the Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries John (Fortress Press, 2014) is a more-than-welcome addition to the literature on John. Marianne Meye Thompson of Fuller has a newer “critical” commentary out but Karoline Lewis of Luther Seminary is specifically designed for preachers and teachers. She emphasizes the central importance of the Prologue (1:1-18) for understanding the whole Gospel and doesn’t shy away from the enigmatic “I Am” sayings, the strict dualism, and the harshness toward “the Jews” which offends many, justifiably so. Those of you who are not lectionary preachers or followers may find her a little bit too oriented toward the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America which she serves.
I recommend it for getting your preaching and teaching going on this the most mystical and ethereal of Gospel stories.