John Chapter Summary John Chapter Summary John Chapter Summary John Chapter Summary

The following is taken from the Book of New Testament Summaries

  1. Jesus Christ, the Word from the beginning, who made and illuminates all things. John the Baptist came to give witness of Him. The world rejected Jesus, but those who receive Him are born into the kingdom of God by the will of God. He left heaven, became flesh, and lived a short time with us. This we know for His glory was seen by them. He is the only begotten son of God. John the Baptist's witness to Jesus. John's answer of himself to the messengers of the Jews: he is not the Christ, Elijah, nor another prophet, but the one Isaiah said was crying in the wilderness to make straight the way for Christ to come. He explains his baptism and defers to Jesus, whom they do not recognize among them. In Bethabara, beyond Jordan, John sees and declares again the Lamb. Two of his disciples follow Jesus: Andrew, who returns for his brother Peter; and John (inferred). Jesus declares to Peter His prior knowledge of him and changes his name to Cephas (a stone). The next day in Galilee, Jesus calls Philip, who seeks and returns with his friend Nathanael. After Jesus declares knowledge of him also, Nathanael believes, following at Jesus' word. Observing their amazement, Jesus declares that they shall see greater works than this.
  2. Marriage in Cana of Galilee. Mary (mother), Jesus, and the (6) disciples are present. Water turned into wine: first miracle revealing His glory. The disciples believe. All (mother, brothers, and disciples) leave for Capernaum for a few days. In Jerusalem at Passover, He cleanses the Temple of money changers, causing the Jews to ask for a sign of His authority. Jesus confounds them with His answer, referring to His death and resurrection (Temple destroyed and rebuilt in three days. The disciples will remember this after His resurrection). Jesus performs many miracles which produce many believers, but He does not commit Himself to them; He knows their hearts (not as Nathanael's - 1:47).
  3. Acknowledging Jesus as Master (teacher), Nicodemus (a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews) comes to Jesus at night for discussion of His power to perform those miracles. Nicodemus is unable to understand Jesus' discussion on the rebirth. (The kingdom cannot be perceived by anyone unregenerated.) Because of God's great love for all His creation, the Son of man is sent to be lifted up that all who will may be saved from their current self-imposed condemnation of death unto eternal life. Evil doers love the cover of darkness, but truth lovers will come to the light when it appears to them. Jesus is the Light of the world, therefore, those who love truth will come to Him; those who love evil will reject Him. Jesus and the disciples go to Judea (from Jerusalem baptizing). John is in Aenon baptizing. John's disciples question with the Jews about purifying. Seeing Jesus and His disciples baptizing many also, they question John. He speaks of God's diverse works and gifts: just to see and be a chosen part of God's work, no matter how great or small, brings great joy. John defers again to Jesus' heavenly greatness. God has given His Son all things that the Son might give to all who believe eternal life ( 17:2). Failing to do so leaves one, by their own choice, exposed to God's impending wrath.
  4. Perceiving John's predicament and possible misconception of the Pharisees of conflicting ministries by His being in the same area, Jesus departs Judea for Galilee, taking the detestable (by the Jew) route through Samaria. (Jesus did not personally baptize, only His disciples.) At noon, with the disciples gone into the city of Sychar for food, Jesus encounters a woman at Jacob's well. An incredible experience follows with Jesus, His disciples (being Jew), and the Samaritans (mixed blood). Jesus declares Himself to be the source of all living water that gives eternal life. He does a tremendous work among them for two days. Recognizing Him as the Christ, through both His and the woman's testimony, many believe. Bearing out the saying that a prophet has no honor in His own country ( 2:24-25), He journeys on to Galilee. Having witnessed His miracles in Jerusalem during the previous Passover, the Galileans greatly receive Him. In Cana again, He performs a second miracle, the healing of a noble man's son in absentia, leading to belief by his entire household.
  5. Going up to a feast in Jerusalem, Jesus confronts and heals an impotent man of 38 years by the pool of Bethesda. The man is then confronted by the Jews concerning his breaking the Sabbath by carrying his bed. They ask who so instructed him. Finding him later in the Temple, Jesus cautions him against further sin. Accosted by the Jews concerning this violation of their Sabbath, Jesus defends His actions by simply stating He does only that which He sees His Father do. A clear breach now occurs between them. Angered, the Jews desire to kill Him. Jesus reveals Himself to be the life-giver sent from the Father, foretelling the resurrection and future day of judgment. The Father has placed all judgment under His authority, and He does it in concert with the Father's will. (There are many (7) witnesses to Christ; four are listed here, and three in other locations in John.) Because the self-righteous Jews honor only each other and not God, not even Moses' words, they fail to recognize Jesus as prophesied. They reject Him to their own undoing.
  6. Jesus and His disciples cross Galilee in a ship. A crowd follows by land. Going up into a mountain, He sees the crowd. The hour being late, He wishes to feed them. After testing Philip, He feeds 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes; 12 baskets are left over. Perceiving the crowd would make Him king by force, He resists, sending them away. Putting the disciples to sea, He goes alone into a mountain to pray. Later in the night, Jesus comes to them walking upon the water. He stills a storm. Many follow Jesus from their personal worldly motives (seeking bread), not recognizing Him as the Christ and Eternal Bread of heaven. Jesus' discourse on the Bread of Heaven and the eternal assurance of all who come to Him for eternal life. Without spiritual discernment and unable to accept this teaching, some followers depart, causing Jesus to turn to question the loyalty of those who remain, knowing one would later betray Him. Peter acknowledges for all there is no one else to turn to who has the words of eternal life.
  7. Christ's brothers fail to believe Jesus is the Messiah. They try unsuccessfully to get Him to show His power to the world at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. He sends them on ahead, and much to everyone's amazement, He secretly appears later teaching in the Temple. Because of their fear of the Jewish rulers who are looking to kill Jesus, no one speaks of Him. Jesus confronts them. They deceitfully deny their intent. He rebukes their inconsistency. Some Jews believe, while others do not understand His teaching. Many have differing opinions concerning Christ. Amazed at His teaching, the Court's (Sanhedrin) officers fail to arrest Him, duly disappointing their rulers. Everyone departs for their own home.
  8. After spending the night in Mt. Olivet, Jesus is found teaching in the Temple early the next morning by the Pharisees who bring to Him a woman caught in adultery. He is not fooled by their attempt to discredit Him in Moses' law. (The guilty man is required to be brought also ( Lev.20:10; Deu.22:23-24). After silently slinking away, each convicted of his own sin, Jesus forgives and dismisses the woman. Later, the Pharisees object to Jesus' witness to Himself being the Light of the world. He proceeds to instruct them concerning His relationship with the Father. He condemns their sinful condition. Some believe, but many don't, and Jesus continues in discourse with those. After informing them their father is Satan, they call Him a Samaritan with a devil. Still unbelieving, they stand in stark contrast to Abraham, who rejoiced to see His day. They do not understand, leading Jesus to declare His Eternal existence. Enraged, they take up stones to kill Him. He slips away.
  9. On the Sabbath, Jesus heals a man blind from birth, who then goes to wash in the Pool of Siloam. A great controversy develops over Jesus' legitimacy. Knowing for certain the source of the power and sight he received, the blind man believes. The Pharisees will not accept this miracle as a sufficient sign to His claims. They are spiritually blind, Jesus declares.
  10. Using the parables of the Good Shepherd and the Door, Jesus continues His discourse for further insight for them to His clear identity. He clearly reveals He has full authority and power over His own life. Again a division occurs among them, some calling Him mad, while others defend Him. With the arrival of winter (December), Jesus is in Jerusalem in Solomon's Porch at the Temple (rather than in the open courts) during the Feast of Dedication. The Jews again question Him about His previous works, causing Him to declare His unity with the Father. Intending to stone Him, they accuse Him of blasphemy, but Jesus refutes their charge with Scripture ( Ps.82). He escapes them, and with His disciples, goes beyond Jordan. He is warmly welcomed by the followers of the Baptist (now dead) who are living in the region.
  11. A few months later, while still at Bethabara, a messenger arrives from Bethany informing Him of His friend Lazarus' illness. Jesus delays, finally arriving four days after Lazarus is buried. Martha, Lazarus' sister, meets Him, questioning His delay. Telling her He is the resurrection and the life, He assures her that her brother will live. She returns for Mary, and all (including the Jews from Jerusalem who had come to the funeral) go to the tomb. Jesus is moved by their sorrow. He weeps. He speaks to their faith, and after thanking the Father aloud, for their benefit, calls Lazarus from the dead. They are awestruck by this greatest miracle of Jesus to date. Some believe, but others go to the Pharisees, who now convene the Sanhedrin for His condemnation. Fearing Rome and not wanting to relinquish their long-entrenched power, it is determined He must die to spare their political position and Jewish nation. His public ministry now concluded, He escapes to Ephraim to await the Passover. Later, the Pharisees search for Him among the many pilgrims who have come to Jerusalem for the annual Festival.
  12. Some six days before His final Passover, Jesus arrives at Bethany with His disciples to attend a dinner in His honor, attended also by Lazarus' family. Mary, Lazarus' sister, anoints Jesus in preparation for His passion ( 12:8). Judas objects to this "senseless waste." He is openly rebuked by Jesus. Many Jews are now coming to Jesus upon the witness of Lazarus' resurrection, provoking the chief priests to conspire to seize and put him to death as well. The following day (Palm Sunday), Jesus makes His much heralded and Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, creating much dismay among the Pharisees. The stir created surrounding Jesus has now caused the Greeks (true God-fearing Gentiles who have made the annual pilgrimage) to seek Him out to see if He is the long-awaited One, clearly revealing to Jesus His hour is now come. The world, both Jew and Gentile, is ready to hear and receive the good news. It is now He must go to the cross, and be buried, in order to resurrect while the city is filled with the many Jews and Gentiles who have come from every nation afar. They must be able to take back with them a firsthand account of the Resurrection Story that everyone might hear, no longer just the Jew. So, Jesus instructs them of the impending events. An audible confirmation from heaven is heard. Jesus speaks of His Light and their response. He warns those with spiritual blindness who love the praise of men over that of God.
    In His own words, He summarizes His purpose in coming:

    To believe on Him is to believe in the Father. "I and my Father are one." ( Jn.1:1; 10:31)

    He is the Light of the world, who will lead any one from the darkness where everyone dwells, if they will only believe in Him. ( II Co.4:6-7)

    To reject His word is to bring condemnation upon one's own self. ( 3:17-21,36; 8:11)

    Jesus' words of eternal life can be counted true, for they are the Father's very words, spoken in heaven, repeated on earth by His Son. ( 7:16; 8:26)
  13. In the upper room the evening (Thursday) prior to His crucifixion, after supper (Passover), Judas' heart is set on betrayal. Attempting to break him and purge each's pride, Jesus washes all 12 disciples' feet, teaching them the necessity for humility in service if they are to call Him Lord. Unsuccessful with Judas ( 17:12), He warns them of a traitor among them. After the identifiable sop, Satan now having fully entered Judas, Jesus dispatches him to do what was already in his heart and had set in motion. Following Judas' exit, Jesus addresses his remaining 11 disciples now as "little children," warning them of His imminent departure. He gives them a new commandment: they are to "love one another as He had loved them," for their identification to the world as His disciples. Peter responds to Jesus' farewell words with the commitment of his own death alongside Him. Jesus predicts Peter's own soon betrayal of Him and accompanying sign of the thrice crowing cock.
  14. After the shocking news of the previous discourse, Jesus consoles them with some wonderful prophecies, promises, assurances, and teachings. He is the only way to the heavenly home prepared for any who believe. Jesus' words and works are to be trusted for proof that He came from the Father, and they are one—this stated in response to Thomas' inquiry of the way and Philip's request to see the Father. He prophesies greater works than His by the believer, promising them heavenly power for these gained only in prayer to the Father in His name. This power will be given to them when the Spirit comes to indwell them, who will comfort and teach them in all things. He and the Father will be manifested in the world in the life of the disciple who is obedient to His earlier commandment, and who abides therefore in their love. This disciple will experience a peace that passes all human understanding, resulting in great rejoicing. After warning them of Satan's impending arrival for Him, He leads them from the upper room, out to the garden for prayer in preparation.
  15. While enroute to prayer, He further instructs them in His final hours with them before being separated from them by Satan at Judas' kiss of betrayal. Now about 9 p.m., passing out of the city through the Kidron valley, on the eastern slope of Jerusalem, into Gethsemane at the base of Mt.Olivet, Jesus teaches them of the necessity and condition for abiding in Him, employing the vine as an illustration. Obedience to His new commandment is foundational for this continued relationship that will produce fruit and joy for their overcoming the world, as He overcame, for the Father's glory. Having revealed to them all the teachings from the Father, He now calls them friends, no longer just servants, chosen from the world to bring forth much fruit. He warns them of the world's future hate for them as they are conformed to His image by His Spirit, when He comes to live within them, giving witness of Him. As He was hated, they will likewise be hated, bearing witness of Him by their identification with Him from the very beginning.
  16. After forewarning His disciples of the hatred to come, its effect on their lives ( vs.2), and the reason for it ( vs.3), Jesus turns His attention once again to their dismay of His departure, their lack of rejoicing in His promise of the Comforter, and the Power He will give them. They will come to know this in time; then their joy will not be contained. [Here, our Lord speaks one of the richest passages on the work of the Holy Spirit in all the New Testament. He refers to "Him" twelve times, each in the strictest masculine sense, never neuter, clearly identifying Him as a Person, not an "It," as so many call Him.] Seven times the phrase, "a little while," is used to introduce Jesus' final parable before His hour. Unable to understand, the disciples murmur among themselves. Jesus explains His meaning with the parable of the woman in birth pangs to contrast the shortness of this earthly life of suffering to the eternal joy that awaits them in the presence of both He and the Father. They acknowledge their understanding, but Jesus warns them it is shallow, for in just a few hours all will forsake Him. They are not to fear, but to be of good cheer, for He is in control and has already overcome.
  17. The time now around midnight, Jesus engages in holy communion with the Father for final preparation for His hour that will include many statements of purpose and requests for fulfillment of His work. He has been faithful in fulfilling His ordained mission on earth in imparting eternal life to all those given Him. He prays for His and the Father's glorification through His death and resurrection, and in the lives of His disciples. He asks for His reentry back into His glory once held. Requesting that His disciples remain for now to carry on His mission in His absence, He prays for their protection, sanctification, and unity, that the world may know and believe He was sent from the Father. He has been faithful in all matters of the Father's will.
  18. In the garden, His hour finally upon Him, His pre-crucifixion mission completed, and prepared in prayer, He is ready to meet His enemy. Judas arrives with them: a band of men and officers (from the Jewish Court), chief priests and Pharisees, encountering Christ. After rebuking Peter for his rash violent act, and restoring the severed ear of the high priest's servant, He freely surrenders. He is first led to Annas for a preliminary examination, accompanied by (John?) and followed by Peter. Peter warms himself in anonymity by the courtyard fire. Jesus is questioned by Annas concerning His doctrine and His disciples. His innocent response draws an undeserved blow from the hand of a Council guard, causing Him to ask of His wrong. Bound, He is taken to the High Priest Caiaphas. Peter is finally recognized by a relative of the servant whose ear was severed, and, as predicted, denies Christ. Jesus is taken from Caiaphas to the judgment hall of Pilate for condemnation and sentencing. Pilate tries several unsuccessful attempts to rid himself of this controversy. He interrogates Jesus as to His origin and intent, finding no fault in Him. He attempts to have Him released per their custom during this holiday. Refusing, the convicted malefactor Barabbas is demanded by the Jews instead.
  19. After Pilate ordered the customary pre-crucifixion scourging with whips of bone and lead, himself not actually participating, and Jesus suffering many painful indignities, he again attempts to persuade the crowd to see the disparity between their hostility and Jesus' non-threatening manner. They are determined—He must die! Pilate vacillates from fear between his own conscience and the crowd, finally giving in to them after their cry of allegiance to Caesar. Delivered to them, now condemned as they had desired, they lead Him to Golgotha, where He is crucified as, "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS." After His clothing is parted among the soldiers, He speaks His final words (3rd, 5th, and 6th of His 7 final sayings). He releases His Spirit from His tortured body. His death is attested to by the attending soldier without having to break His legs. He is removed from the cross and buried by a secret disciple, Joseph of Arimathaea, in his own tomb, assisted by his peer, Nicodemus. This all done, for the Sabbath was at hand that would prohibit them from this duty, thus preventing His resurrection on Sunday.
  20. Prevented from coming on the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene comes now on the first day of the week (Sunday) to anoint Him. Discovering He is missing, she reports back to the disciples. Peter and John hurry to see for themselves, finding Him truly absent. Unsuspecting He is risen, they return home. Mary is again found at the sepulcher, mourning at His absence, but this time Jesus appears to her. Clearly recognizing Him, she falls at His feet in worship. Jesus enlightens and commissions her to tell His story. She delightfully obeys. Jesus finally appears in the evening of that day to His disciples who are gathered in secret from fear of the Jews; not all are present. Having been absent, Thomas is informed by the others of this event, and eight days later, Jesus appears again to them. Thomas seeks visible proof for himself. Jesus responds willingly, and without touching Him, Thomas recognizes and believes. Jesus predicts many will believe without seeing Him upon just their personal word spoken and written about Him. It is important for Thomas to be sure for his and John's story to be convincing!
  21. Many days have passed, with Jesus only appearing occasionally. While waiting between appearances, led by Peter, seven of the disciples decide to go fishing on Galilee. After toiling unsuccessfully all night, Jesus appears to them the next morning, instructing them in a large catch. John recognizes Him, and Peter swims to shore to meet Him, while the others come by dinghy. Jesus prepares a breakfast for them; they dine in quiet reverence. After breakfast, Peter is commissioned in service by Jesus and forewarned of his own future death. His curiosity for his friend's future surfaces; Jesus tenderly rebukes him. Each man's destiny is between Christ and himself, and it is to be directly revealed from Him, not another. There were many signs and wonders done by Jesus; but because of their sheer number, all could not be recorded. These written are sufficient for any one who desires to believe.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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