All the portraits that we are going to look at come from the Gospel of John. To understand their meaning it might be helpful to know a bit more about the Gospel itself.
If you compare the Gospel of John with the three other Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), you will see that it differs in many ways. Actually, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they are so closely connected to each other (i.e. they describe the life of Jesus from the same point of view and often re-tell the exact same stories.).
John has a different approach. He does not focus so much on the successive events in Jesus’ life but rather on the meaning of his actions. You will find much more of Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of John than in any of the other Gospels.
What is the purpose?
John states the purpose of his Gospel clearly in John 20:30-31, “30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
A book of signs
As John states in John 20:30 he describes the “miraculous signs” that Jesus did throughout his ministry. The Gospel is known as a book of signs. It differs from the Synoptic Gospels in the sense that you will not find any of Jesus’ parables in John’s Gospel. Instead, he uses signs (sometimes miracles) to convey Jesus’ message of salvation.
Many of the signs have their origin in the Old Testament, so we will often refer back to the Old Testament, to discover their meaning. In this study, we will focus on a few of these signs trying to paint a portrait of Jesus.
Remember to pray as you do this study that God will open your mind and above all your heart to message of John as he paints these pictures. Also pray that you will get to know Jesus better as you discover these pictures one by one.
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Update: Artwork created by Nikomas Perez.