This book begins with: "In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."(John
1:1; from King James' Version) God sent John the
Baptist to witness Jesus Christ being the true
"Light," yet among the Jews, He was not accepted.
"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His
Name, He gave the right to become children of God -- children
born not of natural descent (i.e., not a physical birth) ...but
born of God." (John 1:12-13) And, Christ became a human,
living on earth. John the Baptist said, "Look, the Lamb of
God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) John
the Baptist also said, "He Who will baptize with the Holy
Spirit...is the Son of God" (John 1:33-34) and further said,
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on
him." (John 3:36)
Well-known stories of and by Jesus include:
- Miracle at Cana in Galilee (John 2): This was the first public demonstation of Jesus' heaven-sent power. The water in six 20-30 gallon pots was turned into wine -- at a wedding celebration, at the request of His mother Mary.
- Nicodemus' Discussion (John 3): A Pharisee,
Nicodemus, discussed religion with Jesus and was told
"...no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is
born again ." In the further discussion is a
most-quoted portion: John 3:16 -- (from King
James' Version) :
- "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
- Woman at the Well (John 4): A (despised) Samaritan woman at Jacob's well was approached by Jesus, who explained "living water" to her: "...the water I give...will become... a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14) The woman led many to Jesus.
- Bread of Life (John 6:25-59): In Capernaum, Jesus explained, "...I am the Bread of Life." (John 6:35;6:48) And, He explained that the Bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. (John 6:48-51).
- Born Blind (John 9): Asked if a man blind from birth was that way because of his or his parents' sins, Jesus said that it was neither. Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath. The man said, "...I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25) Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind (i.e., the spiritually ignorant) will see and those who see (i.e., those who think they have spiritual knowledge) will become blind (i.e., will not recognize Jesus)." (John 9:39)
- Lazarus Raised from Dead (John 11): Lazarus, dead for four days, was buried in a cave with a heavy stone rolled across its door. Jesus told his sister Martha, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die..." (John 11:25) At the tomb, the heavy stone was rolled aside and Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!" And, Lazarus came. (John 11:43-44)
Jesus had many story-illustrations for people of his time. An example:
- Gate for the Sheep (John 10:1-16): Shepherd, gatekeeper, and sheep were used as an illustration, after which Jesus explained: "...I am the Gate for the sheep...whoever enters through Me will be saved...will go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:7-9) Then Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd...lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11) Further, Jesus said, "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish..." (John 10:27-28)
Jesus performed many healings and miracles, other than those mentioned above -- summarized here:
- Jesus' second miracle in Galilee (first was wine from water in Cana): Royal official's son, near death -- healed (John 4:46-54)
- In Jerusalem, at pool, man sick for 38 years -- healed on Sabbath (John 5:1-15)
- Feeding of 5000 people with five barley loaves and a couple of fish, with 12 baskets of food left over (John 6:1-13)
- Disciples on rough seas -- Jesus walked on the water to the boat and made it arrive safely (John 6:16-21)
Jesus had many other main points, some including:
- "...whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)
- "...the very work that the Father has given Me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent Me." (John 5:36)
- "Whoever believes in Me...streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:38)
- "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life." (John 8:12)
- "...You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be (i.e., the Messiah), you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8:23-24)
- "If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free ." (John 8:31-32)
- "...everyone who sins is a slave to sin...if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34-36)
- "...if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death." (John 8:51)
- "...before Abraham was born, I am! (i.e., was existing)" (John 8:58)
- "...believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38)
- "I have come into the world as a Light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness...There is a judge for the one who rejects Me...that very Word which I spoke will condemn (i.e., doom) him at the last day (i.e., Judgment Day)." (John 12:46;48)
Another disagreement with the Pharisees was told:
- Cast the First Stone:
- Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, saying Moses' law said to kill her by throwing stones at her: what do You say? Jesus answer: "...If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7) And, the woman was not harmed.
Jesus' interactions with his disciples at the Last Supper were described:
- "...I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by Me." (John 14:6, from King James' Version)
- "...Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father...I am in the Father and... the Father is in Me...words I say are not just My own...it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work." (John 14:9-10)
- "And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it." (John 14:13-14)
- "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. I am the Vine; you are the branches..." (John 15:4-5)
- "This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13, from King James' Version)
- "...the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name." (John 15:16)
- "When the Counselor (i.e., the Holy Spirit) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father ...Truth... He will testify about Me." (John 15:26)
- "...in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me..." (John 16:9)
- "...in My Name...Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)
- "Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent." (John 17:3)
With implications for the future yet to come, Jesus talked about the events that would signal the "end of the age" (or the world) and His return:
- "...a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out -- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." (John 5:28-29)
Jesus' Passover (Last) Supper and Capture in Jerusalem (John 13): Jesus individually washed the disciples' feet and said, "...do as I have done for you...no servant is greater than his master..." (John 13: 15-16) Jesus further said, "...whoever accepts Me accepts the One who sent Me." (John 13:20) Jesus told Simon Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster would crow the next morning.
After the supper, at the olive grove, Judas arrived with officials and soldiers. Simon Peter slashed off the ear of a servant of the high priest. Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times, and then the rooster crowed that morning.
Jesus' "Trial" and Crucifixion (John 18,19):
Meeting with Pilate, the Roman governor, Jesus said that He was not an earthly king and that He came to bring "the truth" to the world. Pilate said that he had no basis to charge Jesus and tried to release Jesus but eventually gave Jesus to the Jews to be crucified at Golgotha (meaning the place of the "Skull").
Jesus was crucified with two others, one on each side. A sign was posted over Jesus: "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS" in Aramaic (Hebrew), Latin, and Greek. When Jesus said, "I'm thirsty," a sponge with wine vinegar was lifted to Him. Later a soldier pierced His side with a spear, with blood/water flowing out. Joseph of Arimathea requested Jesus' body and, with Nicodemus, took Jesus' body down and wrapped it in strips of linen with myrrh and aloes as spices. Jesus' body was placed in a new tomb (at a garden at the place where Jesus was crucified) just before the Sabbath (Saturday, Jewish holy day).
The Resurrection of Jesus (John 20):
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene found the stone covering removed from the entrance to the tomb. She ran and told Simon Peter and another disciple. Returning to the tomb, they saw only the strips of linen and the cloth that had been around Jesus' head. Mary returned again to the tomb and saw two angels and also Jesus, who first appeared as a Gardener to her before she recognized Him. Jesus, that evening, appeared to the disciples. The disciple Thomas was not with the others and, when he heard of Jesus' appearance, Thomas said, "...Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." (John 20:25, from King James' Version). A week later, Jesus appeared while Thomas was there and said to Thomas, "...Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:27, from King James' Version). Thomas said, "...My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28) Jesus told Thomas: "...Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29, from King James' Version) Thomas has been labeled ever since as "Doubting Thomas.
Jesus appeared to the disciples on the Sea of Tiberias (or Sea of Galilee) and told them where to cast the nets, allowing them to get a full catch (153 large fish). Then, Jesus instructed Peter (Simon Peter) to "...Take care of My sheep." (John 21:16).