The Gospel of John Movie Review
- Friday, September 05, 2003
Bad: Because this is a literal translation of the Gospel of John, there are a few scenarios and characters missing that are familiar to many people who have read the other Gospels. For instance, there is no explanation of what happens to John the Baptist after he recognizes Christ as the true Savior. After Judas betrays Christ, we don’t see him hang himself. Jesus isn’t shown praying in the garden and asking that the cup be passed from him. There’s no explanation of who Mary Magdalene is and why she’s constantly hanging around the disciples and Christ. During his trial, Jesus is never taken to Herod, no man steps from the crowd to help Jesus carry his cross and the thief on the cross who's repentant isn’t told he will be in paradise that day with Jesus. And – perhaps most important for a person who might not know the story of Jesus nor be familiar with the Scriptures – there’s no explanation of his appearance before many in that area or his ascension into heaven, so the audience doesn't see or know what happens to Jesus after he appears to his disciples and lets them see the holes in his hands. I'm aware that some of these scenarios are minor points to the story and in no way take anything away from the Gospel of John as it is literally translated. But I feel it’s important to recognize that there may be a few people who see this movie who don’t know the story of Jesus, who aren’t familiar with the Scriptures and therefore have no idea of what happened in the other Gospels. So you may want to fill in the blanks with answers to some of those questions if you happen to attend the movie with an unbeliever.
Bottom Line: I realize people may be overwhelmed at the thought of a three-hour movie. But truthfully the story is so compelling and entertaining that it doesn’t feel like a long movie. And when it was over, I wanted more. This is an obvious, excellent teaching tool for adolescents and teens to become familiar with Jesus and what he stood for. But I can truthfully say that as a “seasoned” Christian who has been a believer my entire life, watching this movie gave me a renewed appreciation for Jesus and the struggles he went through to bring God’s message to the world. The movie made me appreciate the Scriptures that have (through the years) become so familiar and seeing Jesus’ uniquely human character in dialogue form gave me a renewed intimacy and appreciation for the sacrifice he made on the cross. His radical personality, his passion for the truth to be told so that many would be saved, his compassion, and his heart made me fall in love with Jesus all over again, and I bet this movie has the same effect on you!
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