This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

— 1 John 1:5.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
— John 3:19.

Who would not rejoice to hear from Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, what, in a few words, he meant by the word gospel—or rather, what in the story of Jesus made him call it good news! Each would probably give a different answer to the question, all the answers consistent, and each a germ from which the others might be reasoned; but in the case of John, we have his answer to the question: he gives us in one sentence the gospel according to Jesus Christ himself. What in all of what he wrote did John look upon as the essence of the goodness of its news? In his gospel he gives us all about him, the message concerning him; now he tells us what in it makes it to himself and to us good news—tells the very goodness of the good news. It is not now his own message about Jesus, but the soul of that message—that which makes it gospel—the news Jesus brought concerning the Father, and gave to the disciples as his message for them to deliver to me. Throughout the story, Jesus, in all he does, and is, and says, is telling the news concerning his father, which he was sent to give to John and his companions, that they might hand it on to their brothers; but here, in so many words, John tells us what he himself has heard from The Word—what in sum he has gathered from Jesus as the message he has to declare. He has received it in no systematic form; it is what a life, the life, what a man, the man, has taught him. The Word is the Lord; the Lord is the gospel.