John is the most personal of the four gospels. John's account is generally agreed to be the last one written, so he had the advantage of seeing how the other gospels were received in the early church. He then could reemphasize what the Holy Spirit viewed as most important. In Dr. Laney's phrase, what we have in John's book is the “Gospel of Belief.”
In this gospel we have the record of the conflict between belief and unbelief due to Jesus' claim to messiahship. Belief in Christ leads to life; unbelief leads to darkness and death. The purpose of John's gospel is to persuade the reader to believe.
Laney performs two equally important tasks in his commentary, which is part of the Moody Gospel Commentary series. He writes as a scholar who must be engaged in all the textual and critical issues. But in his heart, Laney is a preacher who must distill this scholarship into practical application for the layman.
Working from overall chapter outlines, Laney takes the reader verse-by-verse through the text, ensuring interpretive continuity. But he also highlights how belief in Christ unfolded as His ministry developed.
Laney arranges his commentary into homiletical sections that can easily be taught or preached, a helpful guide for teachers and pastors that is rarely found in commentaries.
He also includes at crucial points a number of questions that hook the reader into deeper study. The book ends with selected bibliography of other works to use in further study.