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John’s gospel is the “Genesis” of the New Testament. “In the beginning….” are the first words of both Genesis and John. John’s gospel announces a new beginning.
Seven, the number of Hebrew wholeness, dominates each book. In John there are seven “I am” statements of Jesus: I am the bread of life; the light of the world; the gate to the sheepfold; the good shepherd; the resurrection and the life; the way, the truth and the life; the true vine.
These claims are backed up by at least seven signs: the feeding of the 5,000, the healing of the blind and paralysed, the raising of Lazarus, turning water into wine, walking on water. Add to this the testimony of the witnesses like John the Baptist (1:20), Andrew (1:40), Phillip (1:45), Nathaniel (1:49), the woman (4:29), Moses (5:46), John himself (21:24) and God the Father (8:18) and you know that John is building his case.
John writes so that his readers might believe that Jesus is the Christ and by believing have life (20:31), the life of the new creation.
See the signs, hear the witnesses, listen to the claims, so becoming representatives of the new creation, having eternal life, in this crumbling old creation.
Traditionally John’s gospel is symbolized by the eagle, soaring high, giving us the eternal perspective.
JC Ryle said, “The things which are peculiar to this gospel are among the most precious possessions of the church of Christ.”
Words reveal, God reveals himself through his Word. What are we told about the word?
What is emphasized here about John the Baptist?
What words are used to describe Jesus in this chapter?
Look back and look forward.
How does 2:1 – 11 fulfil Isaiah 25:6-9?
And anticipate Revelation 19:9?
In John, Jesus has supernatural knowledge of people. 2:24 – 25.
What examples can you think of about Jesus’ special knowledge in this gospel?
Read John 3
Jesus knew Nicodemus’ greatest need. What was it?
The Spirit is sovereign in the giving of the new birth (v8). We do not co-operate, we are passive. Ezekiel 36:25-36 anticipates the new birth.
What does John 1:12, 13 tell us about the new birth?
What does 3:16 and 3:36 emphasise about the life of the born again believer?
What is said about Jesus in verses 31, 32, 34, 35 which sets him apart from and above all others?
Read John 4
In what ways does Jesus cut across the social boundaries of his day?
Note the developing conviction of this woman (v11, 15, 25, 29, 42).
How is verse 39 a recurring theme in this section?
Read John 5
Here is the third sign. What does Jesus do for and demand from the man (v6, 14)?
What is the Father’s attitude to the Son?
What are the four different testimonies to Jesus (v31-47)? Which is the least important to him?
How can people read the Bible and not find life (v39-40)?
Read John 6
Here is the fourth and fifth sign. The fourth sign, the feeding of the 5,000 is recorded in each of the four gospels.
Verse 14, who do the people think Jesus is (see Deuteronomy 18:15 -19)?
Jesus calls himself the bread of life (v35, 41, 48 – 51). What does that mean?
Why is verse 58 a good summary of this chapter?
Read John 7 – The Feast of the Tabernacles celebrated
God’s presence with his people.
What does Jesus say about himself and his teaching (v16 -17)? What is Jesus’ chief concern (v18)?
The Pharisees oppose, the world is confused, why is v37 – 39 such a wonderful invitation?
Read John 8
Here is another “I am” statement.
Have a look at Ps 27:1, 119:105, Isaiah 49:6
Jesus does not say this alone, who is his other witness (v17 – 18)?
Can you think of ways the Devil displays his true character which Jesus uses of him in verse 44?
Why are they not children of Abraham (v39 – 41)?
Read John 9
Can you trace the way the blind man comes to spiritual sightedness (see v 11, 17, 25, 33, 35-38).?
The Pharisees are entrenched in their spiritual blindness.
Why is v39 – 41 such a good explanation of this spiritual progression and regression?
Read John 10
In verses 1 -10, what are the principles and blessings of those who enter in?
What are the marks of the good shepherd?
Why would people rather be shepherdless than come to Jesus?
Read John 11
What does verses 25-26 mean and how does the raising of Lazarus give integrity to the claim?
Why do you think the same act quickens faith in some and hatred in others (see verses 47 – 48).?
What is our hope (see Philippians 1:21)?
Read John 12
Read verses 24 – 26, think of examples in which you can love your life or hate it.
The principle of germination applies to Jesus (v24) what does it mean to you?
Verses 35 – 36 is Jesus’ last appeal to the nation – what is meant by walking and believing in the light?
Read John 13
The night before his death Jesus spends time with his disciples. John 13 – 17 cover this night.
How does the washing of their feet anticipate Jesus’ death on the cross and provide a pattern for the disciples’ service?
How does the death of Jesus bring glory to God (see John 12:23, 28, 13:31- 32)?
Read John 14
Why are verses 1-4 usually read at funerals?
Two shortsighted questions (v5, 8) bring wonderful answers from Jesus. What do they mean?
Why was verse 26 so precious to the disciples especially those who would write New Testament books?
Read John 15
Verses 1- 8. How is the disciple to relate to Jesus?
Verses 9 – 17. How are we to relate to one another?
Why is this so important a reminder the night before Jesus leaves them?
Verses 18 – 27. How are we to relate to the world?
Read John 16
What will the Holy Spirit do when he comes (v5 – 15)?
Why is this such a comfort to us?
What can we expect from the world (see v2-4, 33)?
How has Jesus overcome the world?
Read John 17
In verses 6 -14 list the things Jesus has done for his disciples.
What does Jesus pray for the disciples (v11, 13, 15, 17)?
What does he pray for us (v20 – 26)?
Read John 18
From verses 4 – 11 and verses 19 – 23 what qualities of our Lord’s character appear in relation to:
a. those who arrest him
b. his disciples
c. his accusers
What features of the character of Pilate and the Jews are evident here?
Read John 19
Jesus really dies, he doesn’t just faint.
How does John show that?
The soldiers seem in control but who really is in control (v36 – 37)?
Why are Jesus’ words in verse 30 so significant?
Nicodemus appears again in verse 39 from John 3:1-15 and John 7:45 -52. Can you trace his growing faith?
Read John 20 – 21
How does John build his case to show that Jesus truly rose, defeating death?
What was so convincing to Thomas and why is his response such a model for our own?
What does the recommissioning of Peter tell you about Jesus and about Peter?
20:31 tells you why John wrote this gospel. What is your response?
Next Month: Isaiah 40-66