The Study of the John


“Although the author’s name does not appear in the Gospel, early church tradition strongly and consistently identified him as the apostle John. The early church father Irenaeus

(A.D. 130- 200) was a disciple of Polycarp (A.D 70-160). (Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John. With Polycarp’s permission, Irenaeus testified) that John wrote the Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia Minor when he was advanced in age” (John MacArthur).

The author preferred to identify himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (read John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7 & 20). After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves (Matthew 17:1). The three disciples must have been the closest friends of Jesus.

The Gospel of John has been called “the crown of the Scriptures.” It is perhaps the easiest book to read in the New Testament. At the same time, it is the most knowledgeable intellectual book.  

The eagle is a fitting symbol for the book of John. William Barclay says, “the eagle of all

living creatures alone can look straight into the sun and not be dazzled.” The Apostle John of all the New Testament writers has the most penetrating gaze into the eternal mysteries and the eternal truths, and into the very mind of God.

The central theme of the Gospel of John is written in John 20:31. The author says, “but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”

THE STUDY OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN: Introduction Read More »

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1, NASB). The Word was active in creation. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host (universe).

-Psalm 33:6, NASB-

The Word was with God, and the Word was God. The divine Word (the Logos) and God were exactly alike. The Apostle John writes about the eternal preexistence of the Word who he identifies as Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us before Abraham was born, I am(John 8:58, NASB). John tells us Jesus, the Son of Man, was He who descended from heaven. (John 3:13).

All things came into being through Him (John 1:3 NASB). God… has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world(Hebrews 1:1-2, NASB).

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome it).

-John 1:5, NASB)- When a flashlight shines in the darkness it shows what is ahead of us. It is a “spiritual flashlight” that shows us the giver of life. There is another kind of darkness. It is  spiritual blindness. It is a state of mind that refuses to acknowledge the giver of life.

Our study next week will be from John 1:6-13.

John 1:1-5 Read More »

John 1:6-13

The book of John was written by John who was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.

His name is not mentioned in the book. The man is John the Baptist.

He was a witness of the true Messiah. John the Baptist said Jesus is the true Light of the world. What does the Light mean? Jesus reveals (sees into) what is in our hearts. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NASB). Jesus Christ only can free us from sin.   

We must believe in the Messiah who is our true Deliverer. To confess He is divine, that he is the Son of God, and to place our faith in Him. We who have faith in Jesus Christ are given the authority (right) to be children of God.

When I was in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, I had an experience that made me feel like I was in heaven. As I looked over the landscape everything was covered with a blue haze. Once again, I was amazed God had created a beautiful earth. When we see the beauty in nature how can we not believe in God?  

Next week’s study – John 1:14-18

John 1:6-13 Read More »

John 1:14-18

God has revealed himself in various ways. In the incarnation (appearance in human form) the Word (Jesus) became man. At the transfiguration, Jesus shined like the sun, and His garments became as white as light (Matthew 17:2, NASB). It was known as Shekinah, the visible symbol of God. Jesus is the true Shekinah.

Jesus was full of grace and truth. There is no limit to God’s grace for His people. “The Law revealed only a part of truth… (the) full truth toward which the Law pointed came through the person of Jesus Christ” (John MacArthur).

No one has seen God at any time (John 1:18, NASB). Adam Clarke says, “The Logos (Word) and the Only begotten are identical.” The Light (vv. 7 & 8) is identical with the incarnate Word. Jesus says, “…no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27, NASB)

Next week’s study – John 1:19-34

John 1:14-18 Read More »

John 1:19-27

 When John (the Baptist) started his public ministry, the Israelites had a greater hope the Messiah was about to deliver them from Roman captivity. Because of that the priests and Levites had some questions they wanted to ask John (the Baptist).

 1:19-20 – Who are you? The priests and Levites wondered if John could be the promised Messiah. When they asked him, John said, “No.” If John was not the Messiah, could he be a figure of end-time expectation?

 1:21-22 – Are you Elijah? John said, “No.” There was a greater reason the priests and Levites could have believed He was Elijah. In the Old Testament, there was something said about Elijah and the latter days (read Malachi 4:5). Even the disciples of Jesus wondered about the same thing (read Matthew 17:10). Something very unusual happened to Elijah (read 2 Kings 2:11). Luke 1:17 says, that in the latter days there will one “who will exhibit Elijah’s spirit and power.”John was asked, Are you the Prophet? He answered, “No.” Again there was a greater reason the priests and Levites could have believed John was a prophet (read Deuteronomy 18:15).

 1:23 – Who then was John? He said I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord (prepare for the Messiah’s coming),’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

 John knew some of the people wanted to elevate him to a position greater than what was rightfully his. John was a humble man. He said, He(Jesus) is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen” (John 1:27).John likened himself to a slave who was required to remove his master’s shoes. The difference was John didn’t even feel like he was worthy of removing the Messiah’s shoes.

John 1:19-27 Read More »

John 1:29-34

John 1: 29-34 – Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  It must have startled those who, for the first time, heard Jesus being called the Lamb of God. It referred to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid on the Cross. … he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world (1 John 2:2). Someone said, “Jesus of Nazareth was the Lamb of God, who, by sacrificing himself and everything he had, could take away the sin of the world and blot it out.” The apostle Paul thought of Jesus as the Passover lamb (read 1 Corinthians 5:7). One of the most wonderful titles for Christ is the Passover Lamb. It reminds us of the love, the sacrifice, the suffering, and the victory Jesus had over death.    

1:30 – This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me…’ Once again,John (the Baptist) makes it clear his only function was to point men to Christ. “He claimed no greatness and no place for himself; he was only the man who, as it were, drew back the curtain, and left Jesus occupying the lonely (center) of the stage” (William Barclay).

 1:31 – I didn’t know him, but for this reason, I came baptizing in water… Jesus was a cousin of John (the Baptist), but he didn’t know Jesus was the “Coming One” or the “Messiah.” He didn’t know it until he witnessed the promised sign.

 1:32 – John testified, saying “I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on him. The Interpreter’s Bible says,“At Christ’s baptism John was as certain as if he had seen with his bodily eyes, as sure as if he had heard audible words (read Luke 3:21-22),

“The word translated ‘dove’ is loosely applied to a number of smaller species of pigeon. It is used to symbolize innocence and purity” (Young’s Bible Dictionary). (Read Leviticus 1:14 & 14:22).

 1:33 – He said to me, ‘On whomever you will see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ F.F. Bruce says, In Ezekiel’s prophecy of restoration, God promises not only to purify his people with clean water but also to impart to them a new spirit -his own Spirit” (read Ezekiel 36:25-27).

 1:34 – I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God. It is a title that points to the uniqueness that exists between the Son and the Father.

                                         -All Scripture Passages are taken for the World English Bible-

John 1:29-34 Read More »

John 1:35-42

Once again John the Baptist is pointing his two disciples to Jesus. Why did they want to spend time with Jesus? I do not know, but it seems obvious they wanted to get to know Jesus better.

 After the two disciples spent some time with Him, they were convinced He was the Messiah.  Andrew was so excited he could not keep the good news to himself. Andrew told his brother we have found the Messiah, which translated means Christ (John 1:41, NASB). He brought his brother to Jesus. Andrew was a man who felt compelled to bring others to Jesus.

Jesus asked the disciples, what do you seek? (John 1:38, NASB) It is a fundamental question of life that we need to ask ourselves. What are we looking for? Could it be we have turmoil in our souls, and we are trying to find peace within? Could it be we are trying to find peace with God? The only way we can find that peace is through Jesus Christ.

 In John 1:42 (NASB) Jesus said, Simon the son of John you shall be called Cephas, which means a rock. It took time before that happened, but Jesus not only sees who we are, He also sees who we can become.

Next week’s study -John 1:43-51

John 1:35-42 Read More »

John 1:43-51

1:45 – Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses and the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. This is emphasized in various ways throughout the gospel (read Deuteronomy 18:18).

1:46 – Nathanael said, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Nathaniel was from Cana in Galilee (read John 21:2). The Galileans despised the people who lived in Nazareth which was also in Galilee. To them, Nazareth was an insignificant village without any prophetic importance (read Matthew 2:23). Philip did the right thing when he said, Come and seeHonest inquiry many times can be a cure for prejudice.

1:47 – When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, He said, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit, no fraud or hypocrisy. Don’t you think Nathanael must have been in a state of shock when Jesus revealed He knew some things about him?

1:48 – Nathanael found out Jesus knew more about him than he could have believed was possible. When you were under the fig tree “could be a rabbinical reference to a seat under a fig tree as the right place to study the Torah. Nathanael is praised as a true searcher of the Scriptures (The Interpreter’s Bible). 

1:49 – Nathaniel said to Jesus. Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel! Whatever doubts Nathanael had about Jesus disappeared. 1:50 – Jesus said, Because I told you, I saw you underneath the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these!  “There will be a fuller proof of His Messiahship” (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament).

Like Nathanael, the Lord knows our thoughts. If today Jesus told us what he knows about us what would he say?

-All of the Scripture passages are taken from the World English Bible (WEB)-

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John 1:43-51 Read More »

John 2:1-11

2:1 – The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. “The wedding banquet was an Old Testament symbol of the Messiah’s arrival (read Matthew 22:1-14)” (Baker Commentary on the Bible). Marriage feasts lasted seven days. On each day, new guests arrived at the marriage feast. A lot of wine was consumed during the feast. When Jesus walked on the face of this earth, wine diluted with water was safer to drink than water by itself.

2:3   … They have no wine. The spiritual application is “the bankruptcy of Judaism” …Old institutions must pass away” (Baker Commentary on the Bible). “The deeper truth is that symbolically, Judaism is revealed as deficient (in its stress on ceremonial washings to the neglect of spiritual matters, and in its depletion indicated by the empty jars, where Christ brings fullness of the blessing of the highest sort (read John 7:37-38). -Wycliff Bible Commentary-

2:4-5 – Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? At first,what Jesus said to his mother seemed to be a little bit harsh (read John 19:26). The more accurate translation of Jesus’s words is: “Dear woman, why do you involve me” (The Bible Commentary)? Jesus said, My hour has not comeIt was not the right time for Jesus’ death (read John 7:30).

2:6-8 – Now there were six waterpots of stone. According to Josephus (a Jewish historian who lived from 37 A.D to 98 A.D.), each stone jar contained about 8 3/4th gallons. “Ritual purification was usually observed by Jews before and after meals.” (The Bible Commentary). Read Mark 7:3.  

2:9-10 – The ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine. “The good wine the Lord made perfectly pure and highly nutritive” (Adam Clarke).The new wine is abundantly superior to the old.

2:11 – This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. “The word ‘sign’ refers to significant displays of power that pointed… to the deeper divine realities that could be perceived (observed) by the eyes of faith” (John MacArthur). “Signs, the miracles of Jesus in John are so-called to draw attention away from the miracles and point to their significance”

(F. F. Bruce).

-All Scripture passages are taken from the World English Bible-


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John 2:17-25

1:17 – Zeal for your house will eat me up. David “was being persecuted because of his zeal (intense devotion) toward God’s house and God’s honor (read Psalms 69:9). The disciples were afraid that Jesus’ actions would precipitate (accelerate) the same type of persecution.” The Apostle Paul says, … The reproaches those who reproached (condemned) you fell on me (read Romans 15:3). (John MacArthur).

 1:18 – What sign do you show us?The Jewish leaders did not understand why Jesus condemned them. They didn’t realize it was because they needed to have a proper attitude and to be holy in worship.

 1:19 – … Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death and found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other, Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying, we heard him say I will destroy this temple that is made with the hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. At Jesus’ trial,the chief priests and the whole council used these words to threaten Him (Mark 14:55-58).

 1:20-21 – The Apostle John explains the words of Jesus in verse 19 as a reference to his body which in fact was raised from the dead within three days of obvious death and burial. The chief priest and the disciples could not have understood what Jesus meant until after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

 1:23-25 – The Apostle John demonstrated the deity of Christ in the story of the cleansing of the Temple. Jesus knows us, who we really are.                                      

                    -All Scripture passages are taken from the World English Bible (WEB)-

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John 2:17-25 Read More »