How would Jesus respond if he were to read John’s words about him? Would he recoil and say, “Whoa, John has got me all wrong! He has embellished and mythologized me to the point where I don’t even recognize myself”? Or would he nod approvingly and say, “Yes, I’m all that—and more”?
On this topic, Bible scholar Raymond Brown says, “I have no difficulty with the thesis that if Jesus … could have read John he would have found that gospel a suitable expression of his identity.” Dr. Ben Witherington III, who has spent a lifetime analyzing the academic minutiae concerning Jesus’ self-perception, agrees with Brown’s assessment. “When you’re dealing with the Gospel of John, you’re dealing with a somewhat interpreted picture of Jesus, but I also believe it’s a logical drawing out of what was implicit in the historical Jesus. And I’ll add this: Even if you eliminate the Gospel of John, there’s still no non-Messianic Jesus to be conjured up out of the material in the other three Gospels. It’s just not there.”
Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III