John presents us with a Christ who saw the cross as his destiny and who saw the glorification of God through that sacrifice. He knows he will be raised. For he sees his death glorifying God in the same way that the blind perosn’s sighltless glorified God — because God can overcome it. John also presents us with a Jesus who knows he is the Christ. Who takes on the label of messiah and the title Son of Man and lays claims to a connection with God that is complete and unequivocal.
This is a position embraced by orthodox Christianity but a position very hard to justify from the readings of the other three canonical gospels. There in Jesus the messiahhood of Jesus is hidden even from his closest disciples and Jesus’ divinity if only fully revealed in his death and resurrection.
Where do I take this?
Personally I tend to follow Mark. Jesus never claimed to be divine or even the Christ. That he was and is I accept — but accept that this belief evolved through prayer and reflection on the meaning of the passion and through the revelations given by the resurrected Lord.
For me John is reading the resurrection backwards into the earthly life to declare that what was hidden was always there.
But the task of believing is shaping us to God’s purposes. You must make every effort to support your faith with goodness (2 Peter 1:5). How does believing Jesus was and is divine form the very foundation of the world make me a better person, a better Christian, a better agent for God’s spirit on earth?
For me, paradoxically, it is the Markan Jesus who can do this. Mark gives us a Jesus in which the divine was present but hidden. And so presents us with a God who creates through self-emptying. We become more godly (God-like) not by becoming more powerful more glorious more more more. We become more God-like by setting aside ourselves for teh sake of others.