The late Edward Schillebeeckx, OP, wrote:

It began as an encounter. Some people – Aramic- and perhaps also Greek-speaking Jews – came into contact with Jesus of Nazareth and stayed with him. This encounter, and what took place in the life of Jesus and in connection with his death, gave their personal lives new meaning and new significance. They felt that they had been born again, that they had been understood, and this new identity found expression in a similar solidarity toward others, their fellow-men. This change in the course of their lives was the result of their encounter with Jesus, for without him they would have remained what they had been (see I Cor. 15.17). It had not come through any initiative of their own; it had simply happened to them.1

This is Schillebeeckx’s starting point for his exploration into the Christian community’s transformative experience with Christ as Lord. This can be applied to Johannine community for they continued to experience the living Christ through the Spirit. This continual experience of Christ in one sense culminates into the Prologue of the Gospel of John—the Prologue is a result of the ongoing experience with Christ in the Spirit that proceeded from the Father and the Son.

In light of the above, Paul N. Anderson has freely provided a resource on the Gospel of John to help one reflect upon and deepen experience with Christ. The exercise is founded on the “5 Rs of Transformative Bible Reading”: Read, Reflect, Respond, Remember, Record. There are two outlines attached; one is tied to this year’s pre-Easter (Lenten) calendar, and the other is a general outline. Feel free to make use of these as is fitting (you may also download these and repost/forward to others), and may you be blessed with a deeper and more meaningful experience with Christ.

Forty Days With the Gospel of John – Pre-Easter
Forty Days With the Gospel of John – General

1. Edward Schillebeeckx, Introduction to Christ: The Experiences of Jesus as Lord, trans. John Bowden (New York: Crossroad, 1981), 19.[Back]