Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts focused on movies about Jesus.
If could recommend just one movie about Jesus Christ, it would be, without question, The Gospel of John. Except for an introductory preface, all text in this movie comes from the Gospel of John; every verse is present (using the Good News Bible translation), and no extra scenes are added. The movie has strong actors and actresses, and the narrator is very good!
This film is extremely engaging, portraying several events from the Savior’s life that are sometimes not depicted in movies (e.g., John 2, 5, 8). John records the Savior’s serious conflicts with the chief priests leading up to the Crucifixion; watching them helps us understand why some people perceived Jesus to be a societal threat.
Full disclosure: I’ve watched this movie in many settings, and some people don’t like how Christ is portrayed in this movie. For example, try watching the three minutes of the movie that matches John 5:36-47 (this link will start you at the right place).
Some people will say, “Wow, Jesus seems arrogant, angry and rude.” I am not suggesting Jesus was arrogant or angry or rude; at the same time, when you look at the words that he says, it’s hard to imagine them being said in a kind way. How do you nicely say, “You have no love for God in your hearts”? I’m not saying the movie 100% accurately portrays what happened, but watching a variety of representations of Jesus Christ can expand our ideas and insights into his life.
The Gospel of John also contains many poignant scenes. I love seeing Jesus teach the Bread of Life sermon, his prayer for the disciples just outside the garden of Gethsemane, his crucifixion (very tender scenes between Jesus and his mother), and his appearance to Mary Magdalene. This depiction of Christ’s resurrection gave me a new way to think about why Mary did not easily recognize the Savior.
As of this writing, The Gospel of John is available to watch for free on YouTube. I could not recommend it more highly and encourage you to check it out.