Lately, I have been reading the gospel of John and, as I compare it in a very cursory way to the synoptic gospels that I read first, I find it to be perplexing, raising more questions than it answers. The purpose of this gospel seems to be quite different from that of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and I will have to spend much more time seeking answers to the questions John's gospel raises for me. I have read the gospels many times before, but the act of writing summaries of the passages I read and listing questions that are raised has made me read them in a completely new way. I look forward to going back to compare the four gospels directly and then exploring in detail possible answers to the questions that have been raised by reading research of scholars and commentators who know far more than I about the interpretations of the gospels' teachings and the backgrounds against which the gospels were written.
For me, understanding more about the life and ministry of Jesus is increasingly important in my faith journey, and I long to be more knowledgable about everything about the life and times of the man who continues to be a great mystery for me. After a half-century of calling myself a Christian, I still have so little understanding of who and why Jesus was and is. I feel certain that I am not alone in feeling this way, and it is something about which I pray every day. I would love to hear the thoughts of others about how best to explore what the gospels have to teach about Jesus and how others who are full of questions seek to have their questions answered.