It will be seen very quickly that this little book makes no pretension to being a commentary on, or an exposition of, John's Gospel. That is left to the scholarly folk who eat their meals in the sacred classical languages of the past. It is simply a homely attempt to let out a little of what has been sifting in these years past of this wondrous miniature Bible from John's pen.
The proportions of this homely little messenger of paper and type may seem a little odd at first. The longest chapter is devoted to only the opening eighteen verses of John, the prologue. While the whole of the first twelve chapters of John, excepting that prologue, is brought into one smaller chapter. It wasn't planned so, though I felt it coming as the wondrous mood of this book came down over me. I think it mast be the effect of the atmosphere of John's book.
Sometimes John packs so much in so little space, and again he goes so particularly into the details of some one incident. The prologue is a miniature Bible. The whole Bible story is there in its cream. And on the other hand John spends five chapters (xiii.-xvii.), almost a fifth of the whole, on a single evening. He devotes seven chapters (xiii.-xix.), almost a third of all, on the events of twenty-four hours. John is controlled not by mere proportion of space or quantity, but by the finer proportions of thought and quality.
It has been difficult to hold these homely talks down to the limit of space they take here. So many veins of gold in this mine, showing clearly large nuggets of pure ore, lie just at hand untouched in this little mining venture. But it seemed clearly best to get the one clear grasp of the whole. That helps so much. But there'll be strong temptation to get one's pick and spade and go at this gold mine again.
But now these things are written that we common folk may understand a bit better, and in a warm way, that Jesus was God on a wooing errand to the earth; and that we may join the blest company of the won ones, and become co-wooers with God of the others.
S. D. G.