It was written between 80-90 AD, about 50 years after the Apostle John witnessed Jesus’ earthly ministry. It is the only gospel which is written anonymously by John, the son of Zebedee, one of the most prominent of Jesus’ disciples, (not John the Baptist but the disciple John) “John” is the only name NOT mentioned in this Gospel, although the writer is described as the disciple “whom Jesus loved”. (13:23)
The book of John is Apologetic in purpose (Gr. “Apologia”) John “defends” the Good News, providing reasons for SAVING FAITH and assuring readers that they can receive the divine gift of eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. He writes to convince readers of Jesus’ true identity as the Incarnate God-Man whose divine and human natures were perfectly united into the ONE person who was prophesied to be Christ, the Messiah, the Savior from sin for all who would BELIEVE and TRUST in Him alone for salvation.
The Gospel of John is Evangelistic in nature (Gr. “Euaggelizo”) John brings the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. He uses the word “believe” 99 times, John emphasizes the act of belief by using only the verb “pisteuô” (to believe), the noun “pistis” (faith) is not used in this Gospel. This Gospel is divided in two parts: Signs (Ch. 1–12) and Glory (Ch. 13–21). The theme of the book is stated in:
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that (in) believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:30-31 (KJV)
I have always loved the crucial first verse of this Gospel, as it answers the most important question of all time and eternity: Who is Jesus? This is the beginning of the prologue of the Book of John, the God-breathed out word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same (the WORD) was in the beginning with God..” John 1:1-2 (KJV)
So John comes with the TRUTH about the PERSON, the WORD who created: This WORD was always WITH God. If you read just a little bit of John’s Gospel you find out that John is clearly speaking about the PERSON of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “THE”, before the word God is so we would not translate it “A” God, and incidentally, in the Greek there is no word for the article “a”. So the Word dwelt eternally with THE ONLY TRUE LIVING God. God had powerfully expressed himself in the word through creation, in revelation, and salvation in the Old Testament, but now John contends that the LOGOS is not a principle, an idea, an abstraction or notion. He is not part of some mythological storyline, not a thought, or a force, but a Person, namely, the Lord Jesus who has revealed Himself in the Flesh. (1:14 “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”) THE LOGOS comes as the personal self-expression of God revealed in the flesh.
John is saying, This WORD is a person whom I have met and I have seen HIM with my own eyes. I’m going to tell you with words, about THE WORD, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man.
So John declares Jesus’ Personality or PERSON when he says, “THE Word was WITH (pros) God,” it’s not in the same sense that you are “with” me at the moment; “Pros” (πρός), “with”, in the Greek, expresses RELATIONSHIP; “Pros” relates a level of equality and a level of intimacy with God Himself. The WORD was forever in perfect equality and intimacy, forever in relationship with the Father and now THE WORD comes with the very activity of God among His people and He DECLARES God! The last verse of this prologue is.
“No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18 (KJV)
The third clause, “And the Word was God,” reveals CLEARLY and without a doubt Jesus’ Deity. Because of the Greek sentence structure, the correct translation IS and will remain: “And the Word was God.” You may notice that there is no article before the word “God”, and many have tried to use this as a reason to diminish Jesus to some god-like qualities, but there are NO grammatical reasons or any other reasons that would diminish Jesus’ FULLY Divine Nature in this clause: He was always continually with God; He is and will always be WITH Him because THE WORD is God in the fullest sense, exactly as He is described. AND the WORD always existed as God. There are also at least ten other places in the New Testament directly identifying Jesus as God.
In His Gospel, John will carefully reveal the many ways in which Jesus PROVES He is Eternal God and He is Savior God, not merely “godlike”. The word “theos” denotes the very being and essence of God evident in Jesus, and John’s eyewitness account communicates with God-breathed, inspired words, that the works which Jesus performs, could ONLY be accomplished by THE God.
John reveals that Jesus doesn’t give us “A word” but He is THE WORD. He not only gives us truth, He IS truth. He not only gives us a way, He IS the way; He not only gives bread; He IS the bread; He not only gives us drink; He IS drink; He not only gives us light; He IS the light; He not only rises from the dead; He IS the resurrection; He not only gives life; He IS life; He not only come to reveal God, He IS God!
In the same way, the second verse succinctly emphasizes what the first verse has already clearly stated John 1:2 “He was in the beginning with God.” The actual translation would be “THIS was in Beginning with (the) God.” But the word for “this” (houtos), translated “HE”, means “this one and no other.” Normally, the sentence would not even call for the word “he”; that would be understood within the verb, but since “houtos” is added, it is emphatically stating that THIS ONE, this person, THE LOGOS, was in beginning with God. The Word continually existed in the beginning and was ALWAYS continually in intimate relationship with God, and so BOTH God and the WORD belong to eternity.
Chapter 1: John 1
Our Gift to You
Have you ever wished that someone had painted some pictures of Jesus when He was with us here on earth? Well, someone did. His name was John, one of Jesus’ own disciples. John painted with words, not with brush and canvas. Someone has described John’s Gospel as a picture gallery of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The House of the Nazarene courses are intended to help you know the Bible and learn more about Jesus. This study in John will help you do both. In it you will learn about the ministry of Jesus from the one whom Jesus called His most beloved disciple. From John’s heart and pen you will come to know Jesus in a new and personal way.
May God bless you as you explore John’s picture gallery of our Lord.
Pastor Bill DeDual
Exploring John’s Gospel
This course is about a person who was born almost 2,000 years ago. Why should you study it? How can it affect your life? How can these lessons help you? Whatever your religion may be, you owe it to yourself to know something about Jesus – His life, His teachings and His claims.
Are you looking for a source of new power and happiness in your life? You can find it in these lessons. The Good News written so long ago has the best solutions available for twentieth century problems. Do you want to find reality in your spiritual life? Or strengthen your faith. Or know God better?
You will find what you are looking for as you follow the instructions in this study guide. A modern method of teaching yourself helps you to learn the principles easily and put them into practice immediately.
|THE MIRACLES OF JESUS CHRIST|
|Healing the possessed man in Capernaum||1:21-28||4:31-37|
|Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law||8:14-15||1:29-31||4:38-39|
|Cleansing of a Leper||8:1-4||1:40-45||5:12-16|
|Turning Water into Wine at Cana||2:1-11|
|The Miraculous Catch of Fish||5:1-11|
|Healing of a Paralytic||9:1-8||2:1-12||5:18-26|
|Cure of the Man with a Withered Hand||12:9-14||3:1-6||6:6-10|
|Healing of Official’s Son in Capernaum||4:43-54|
|Healing of Centurion’s Servant||8:5-13||7:2-10|
|Raising of Widow’s Son at Nain||7:11-17|
|Calming of the Storm at Sea||8:23-27||4:35-41||8:22-25|
|Cure of the Gerasene Demoniac||8:28-34||5:1-20||8:26-39|
|Healing of a Paralytic in Jerusalem||5:1-18|
|Cure of Woman afflicted with Hemorrhage||9:20-22||5:25-34||8:43-48|
|Raising of Jairus’ daughter||9:23-26||5:35-43||8:49-56|
|Healing Two Blind Men in Nazareth||9:27-31|
|Healing A Possessed Mute||9:32-34|
|Feeding the 5000||14:13-21||6:34-44||9:10-17||6:1-14|
|Walking on Water||14:22-33||6:44-52||6:16-21|
|Healings at Gennesaret||14:34-36||6:53-56|
|Cure of Syro-Phoenician’s Daughter||15:21-28||7:24-30|
|Healing of Deaf-Mute||7:31-37|
|Feeding the 4000||15:32-39||8:1-9|
|Restores Sight to the Blind Man of Bethsaida||8:22-26|
|Healing of a Man Born Blind in Jerusalem||9:1-41|
|Casting Out of a Dumb Demon||17:14-21||9:14-29||9:37-43|
|Healing a Possessed Crippled Woman||13:11-17|
|Healing of A Man with Dropsy||14:1-6|
|Cleansing of Ten Lepers||17:11-19|
|Healing the Blind at Jericho||20:29-34||10:46-52||18:35-43|
|Healing of Servant’s Ear during Arrest||22:50-51|
|The Raising of Lazarus||11:1-44|
|The Lord’s Supper||26:26-30||14:22-26||22:19-20|
Good News by a Man Named John
John Learns the Good News
Almost 2,000 years ago a young fisherman named John left his boats and nets in order to follow a teacher called Jesus. For three and a half years he and eleven other men went with Jesus from town to town in the country of Israel. They were His disciples or students.
John and the other disciples learned very well the lessons Jesus taught about God and His love for all people. John knew Jesus very well. He was His closest friend.
John and the other disciples learned from Jesus the good news that we call the gospel. Gospel means good news. They learned that Jesus was the Son of God.
Jesus had come to earth to save men, women, boys, and girls from their sins and to give them eternal life. Before Jesus went back to heaven He told the disciples to share this good news with everyone on earth.
Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them remember all the things that He had taught them. The Holy Spirit would help them share the good news with others.
John Shares the Good News
John spent his whole life telling people the good news that he had learned from Jesus. When he was an old man, God told him to write the good news. Copies would be made of it for people all over the world. God wanted John to share the good news with us as well as with the people who lived then.
God let John know just exactly what he should write. The Holy Spirit brought to his memory the very words that Jesus had said. He wrote down the important truths that Jesus had taught him so carefully. John recorded these truths in the New Testament book that is called by his name. We know it as the Gospel of John.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit inspired John to write four other books. Three of them were letters. One was a revelation of what would happen in the future. We have these five books, along with other inspired writings, in the Bible.
John wrote his book in a language that the people would understand: Greek. Since we don’t understand Greek, the Bible has been translated into our language: English. There are many translations of the Bible into English. The one which is suggested for the study of this course is the King James Version, and Strong’s Concordance.
The Word of Life
Read John 1:1-18.
These verses are very important because they tell us who Jesus really is and why He came to this earth. They are the introduction that John wrote for his book. All the rest of John’s gospel explains the truths that we have in these first verses.
The Eternal Word
Read John 1:1-3 again.
We let people know what we think by our words. God has let us know what He thinks in two ways: through His written Word, the Bible, and through His Son Jesus who came to earth to tell us about God. Jesus is God’s living Word. In all these verses John is writing about Jesus, the living Word. Verse 14 says that the Word became a human being. Jesus is called the Word because God speaks to us through Him.
God… in these last days… has spoken to us through his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2).
From John 1:1-3 we learn that Jesus was with God from the beginning. Jesus is God. This does not mean that there are two Gods. There is only one God but He is a trinity, three persons in one. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the three has a special work to do. They have always worked together.
God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always been. They are eternal, without beginning or ending. Jesus was born on earth and is called the Son of God, but he had always lived in heaven before that.
Verse 3 says that all things were made by Him, that is by Jesus. We read about this in another part of the Bible.
For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus Christ gave life to all things we see in the world. Also, Jesus gives eternal life to those who repent of their sins and believe in Him as their personal savior.
Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12).
Light and Life
Read John 1:4-13 again.
Verse 4 tells us that the life of Jesus brought light to men. Just as the light lets us see where we are to walk, Jesus shows us how to live. He shows you the way to heaven.
Many people do not want to accept Jesus. They would rather walk in the darkness of their own ways. But those who do receive Jesus as their personal Savior are given the right to become God’s children.
Although we were all created by God, this did not make us His children. We have all done wrong and are sinners by nature. Ours sins separate us from God. But when we accept Jesus as our Savior, He takes away our sin and gives us a new nature. He changes us so that we will not keep on doing wrong. We call this great change our new birth. Through it God becomes our Father and we become His children.
We become the children of God, not through anything that we do for ourselves but through being born of God. We are not the sons of God by natural birth. You might say, “I was born a Christian. My father and mother were Christians.” Your parents being Christians does not make you a Christian. You are a Christian only when you are born of God.
The Word Becomes a Man
Read John 1:14-18 again.
This is the greatest thing that ever happened in the history of the world: God became a man. He loved us so much that He came to take our punishment, to die for our sins.
But as God, Jesus could not die. He had to have a human body in order to die for us. So Jesus was born as a baby in Bethlehem. The Son of God became a man so that He could make men the sons of God.
God gave the law through Moses to let us know what He wants us to do. We couldn’t keep the laws of God. They let us see that we needed a Savior. That Savior is Jesus. In Him, we receive God’s grace: God’s pardon for our sins and a wonderful new life full of blessing as His children.
John the Baptist’s Message
Read John 1:19-28.
Read again verses 6-10 and verse 15. These verses all tell us about John the Baptist, God’s messenger. This is not the John who was a disciple of Jesus.
Great crowds went to hear John preach. Some people though that he might be the Messiah or Christ, the Savior that God had promised to send. John let them know that he was only God’s messenger, sent to tell them to get ready to receive the Messiah. He told them to repent and turn away from sin. When they did, he baptized them.
When a great king traveled in Bible times, he sent a messenger ahead of him to let all the people know that he was coming. This is what John did for Jesus.
The Lamb of God
Read John 1:29-34
John the Baptist had known Jesus since they were small boys. Their mothers were cousins. Yet John didn’t know who Jesus really was until God revealed it to him. God showed John that Jesus was the Messiah: the sacrifice for sinners, the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit, the Son of God.
Many people, as did John, think of Jesus as just a good man. We all need to meet Him personally and know Him better. These lessons will help you know Jesus better.
Jesus was called the Lamb of God because lambs were a sacrifice for sin. Those who had sinned and deserved to die could ask God to accept the death of a lamb in their place. Jesus is the Lamb that God sent to die in our place to take away our sin.
The First Disciples of Jesus
Read John 1:35-42.
Two of those who were disciples (followers) of John went with Jesus. One was Andrew; the other is not named. He may have been John, the writer of the gospel you are studying.
Andrew went to get his brother Simon who is called Peter also. Andrew said that he believed Jesus was the Messiah. Messiah means “Christ” or the “Anointed One.”
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
Read John 1:43-51.
Philip is a good example for us. He told Nathanael about Jesus. At first Nathanael would not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Some people don’t believe at first what we tell them about Jesus. Philip said, “Come and see.”
When Nathanael went to see for himself, he was convinced that Jesus was the Son of God. Anyone who goes to Jesus in prayer with a sincere heart can know the truth about who Jesus is. Jesus will reveal Himself.
In verse 51 Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man. This name is used thirteen times in John’s gospel. It reminds us that the Son of God left His throne in heaven and became a man. He had a body just like ours. He understands our problems. He too was tempted but He did not sin. He always did the will of God. As Son of Man, Jesus showed us what perfect manhood can be by the help of God. And as Son of Man, He represented all mankind before God as a second Adam. He died as a substitute for all mankind.
John begins his Good News by telling us who Jesus is. In this first chapter he presents these names of Jesus: the Word, Jesus, Lamb of God, Messiah, Christ, Teacher, Son of God, King of Israel, and Son of Man.
In the following exercises, please check the correct answer.
1. Who was John, the follower of Jesus?
a. John the Baptist
b. A fisherman who became Jesus’ closest friend
c. A carpenter from Galilee
2. How long did he stay with Jesus and hear His teaching?
a. Three and a half weeks
b. Three and a half months
c. Three and a half years
3. What does gospel mean?
a. Good news
b. Message about God
c. Life of Christ
4. Where did John learn the good news that he was to share with everyone?
a. From Jesus
b. From the newspapers
c. From his parents
5. When did John write his book about the life of Jesus?
a. When he was a young man traveling with Jesus
b. When he was an old man, after he had taught many people about Jesus.
c. When he was a fisherman, before he knew Jesus.
6. How did John know what to write in his five books that we have in the New Testament?
a. The Holy Spirit of God put in his mind what he was to write.
b. He was inspired by reading other books about Jesus.
c. A committee planned it.
7. Jesus is called “the Word” because
a. God speaks to us through Him.
b. He preached the gospel.
c. We read about Him in a book.
8. When did Jesus’ life begin?
a. When He was born as a baby in Bethlehem.
b. His life never had a beginning; He is eternal.
c. He was created by God when God created the earth.
9. What kind of life does Jesus give?
a. He gives life only to things in the world; all things were created by Him.
b. He gives eternal life only to those who trust in Him.
c. He gives both natural life and eternal life; He made the world and saves those who believe in Him.
10. Jesus is called “the Light” because
a. He carried a lamp to show us where to walk on the path.
b. He teaches us how to live and shows us the way to heaven.
11. Who have the right to be called the children of God?
a. Only those you receive Jesus as their personal Savior.
b. All men because all me are created by God.
12. How do we become children of God?
a. By being born of Christian parents who are serving God.
b. By being born in a Christian nation where there are many churches.
c. By being born of God when we receive Jesus as our Savior.
13. Why did Jesus become a man?
a. So that He could die to save us from our sins.
b. So that He could teach us.
c. So that He could know us.
14. What did John the Baptist do?
a. He wrote the Good News.
b. He told the people that the Messiah was coming.
c. He said He was the Messiah.
15. In what way was Jesus the Lamb of God?
a. He was as gentle as a lamb.
b. He was a sacrifice for sin.
16. Name Jesus’ first disciples.
a. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
b. Mary, Joseph, Nathanael
c. Andrew, Peter, and probably John