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John study guide

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Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read :
Jesus' first miracle - turning water into wine (2:1)
Jesus teaches Nicodemus (3:1-21)
The seven "I am.." statements of Jesus (6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 10:14, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1)
Jesus' last miracle - the 2nd catch of fish (21:1)
Orientation John is book #4 of 27 in the New Testament, and the last of four gospels. For more information see the Bible Overview page.

Synopsis The main message of John is that Jesus is more than a teacher and messiah: he is part of the Godhead - 1 of the 3 forms of the trinity.

Jesus, as God, was present at Creation (1:1). John the Baptist prepares the way (1:29). Jesus selects 12 disciples and begins His ministry (although none of the parables, and only a few miracles appear in this book). His first miracle is changing water into wine (2:1) - later ones include healing the man born blind (9:1) and raising Lazarus from the dead (11:1). However, the Jewish leaders are not convinced He is the messiah, and believe he draws his power from Satan (8:48).

The entire second half of the book covers the last week of Jesus' life. He rides into Jerusalem (12:12), washes the feet of the disciples (13:2), is arrested (18:1) and tried (18:28). He is crucified (19:17). Three days later he rises (20:1) and appears to many (20:13, 20:19, 20:24). The book ends by mentioning many more acts of Jesus are unrecorded (21:25).

Activity Review the seven "I am.." statements of Jesus: 6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 10:14, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1. What does each statement teach us about the nature of Jesus?

Many events of Jesus' life are recorded in more than one gospel. Refer to the Harmony of the Gospels to see which events are in which gospels. Choose some which appear in more than one gospel and compare the accounts. Are there differences?

Discussion points The gospel of John leaves out much of Jesus' life. There is no mention of His birth, baptism, temptation by Satan, parables, ascension - and just a few miracles are recorded - mostly those that do not appear in the other gospels. What can we conclude from the content of this gospel? * (Read his summary in 21:25 for a hint.)

John 9:1 brings up the question of "inheriting" punishment from the sins of previous generations. Compare this with Exodus 20:6 and Ezekiel 18:18.

Connections The Matthew study focused on the parables of Jesus. The Mark study focused on the miracles of Jesus. The Luke study focused on Jesus' birth. This study focuses on other events contained in the gospels.

For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014

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* It is believed this was the last gospel to be written, and that he intended it as a supplement; and did not include accounts already appearing in other gospels. Perhaps he intentionally added accounts not present in other gospels, such as some of the miracles.