The writer is identified as the disciple who leaned on Jesus and the one whom Jesus loved, but not specifically named.
The gospel has unique references :
a. Jn.11 Lazarus. He is not mentioned in the synoptics, this we presume is because Lazarus was alive when the synoptics were written, so thus protecting him, so this implies a late date for John’s gospel.
b. Intimate knowledge of both the trial ( Jn. 18:15) and of the crucifixion (Jn.19:25-27) of Jesus
c. The counting of the fish in Jn.21:11. This implies the writer was a fisherman since this was the common practice of the day..
External sources point clearly to the apostle John. People like Irenaeus (c.180 AD), a disciple of Polycarp, writes that John wrote this fourth gospel, at the end of the first century.
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 believing ye might have life through his name.
John tells us his reason for writing: that we may believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and that we may have eternal life by so doing. The signs (=indication) which John mentions are chosen for that specific purpose.
|1.||Water to Wine||2:11||His disciples believed on Him|
|2.||Nobleman’s son healed||4:484:53||Except ye see miracles ye will not believe he ( the nobleman) believed himself.|
|3.||Man at Bethesda||5:47||If ye don’t believe Moses’s words how shall you believe Jesus’s?|
|4.||5000 fed||6:14||Those who saw the miraclesaid”this…is that prophet….”|
|5.||Jesus walking on Water||6:16-21||The disciples willingly received Him|
|6.||Blind man healed||9:38||The healed man said: ” I believe”|
|7||Lazarus raised from the dead||11:45||many of the jews believed on Jesus|
|8.||Draught of fish||21:12||No one dare ask who it was for they all knew it was the Lord.|
a) The prologue
The prologue is somewhat unique, it acts like the opening of a symphony. The main themes of the book are contained in it and they are developed as John unfolds the word.
|Prologue ref.||Theme||Other example refs. in John|
|1:1-2||a. Christ’s pre-existence and Deity b. Christ’s fellowship with the Father||Jn.8:58Jn.17:5|
|1:4||Christ the Life||Jn.11:25;14:6|
|1:17||The law by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus||Jn.5:45-47|
The above is only a sample, the reader is invited to study this aspect further!
b) Chapter outline
Jesus the Son Of God
|19-51||John the Baptist and the calling of the first disciples|
|2||1-25||Sign 1.Water into Wine|
|3||1-36||Teaching on New Birth|
|4||1-45||The woman at the well, teaching on the water of life.|
|46-54||Sign 2.The Nobleman’s son|
|5||1-15||Sign 3.The man at Bethesda|
|16-47||Teaching on those things that testify of Jesus|
|6||1-15||Sign 4. The feeding of the 5000+|
|16-21||Sign 5. Jesus walks on the water.|
|22-71||Teaching on the bread of life|
|7||1-53||Teaching on the coming of the Spirit|
|8||1-11||The woman caught in adultery|
|12-59||Teaching on the light of the world, the Son making free and Christ’s Deity|
|9||1-41||Sign 6.The man born blind healed|
|10||1-41||Teaching on the Good Shepherd|
|11||1-57||Sign 7.Lazarus raised from the dead, and teaching on the resurrection and the life|
|12||1-50||The entry into Jerusalem and teaching about the corn of wheat.|
|13||1-38||The washing of the disciples’ feet and the last supper|
|14-16||1-31||Teaching. The coming of another comforter, the true vine etc.|
|17||1-26||The ‘high priestly’ prayer of the Lord Jesus|
|18||1-40||Jesus arrested and the interview before Pilate|
|21||1-25||Sign 8.Thedraught of fish, teaching following Jesus|
4. Some themes for study
a) The I am s of Jesus
When Jesus uses ‘I am’ it literally means: I, I am, ie it is emphatic, and when Jesus uses this He is identifying Himself with the God of the burning bush.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Where the same Greek is used in the LXX.
|4:25-26||The confession of Jesus that He is the Messiah|
|5:42||Jesus has come in the Father’s name|
|6:35,41,48,51||Jesus being the bread of Life|
|8:12||Jesus the light of the world|
|8:23||Jesus from above|
|8:28||Jesus is the I,I am He|
|8:58||Before Abraham was Jesus is the I AM|
|10:7,9||Jesus is the door of the sheep|
|10:10||Jesus is come to give Life|
|10:11||Jesus is the good shepherd|
|11:25||Jesus is the resurrection and the life|
|14:6||Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life|
|18:5||Jesus’ confession on being arrested|
|14:10-11||Jesus is in the Father|
There are others, and the reader is encouraged to search them out, but the ones given are the main occurrences.
b) The I will’s of Jesus
Again here is a selection
|2:19||Talking about His own resurrection|
|6:37||He will not cast out any who come to Him|
|6:40,44||He will raise up those that believe on Him|
|6:51||He will give His flesh for the life of the world.|
|14:3||He will come again to receive us|
|14:14||Anything we ask in His name He will do it|
|14:16||He will ask for the Comforter|
|14:18||He will not leave us comfortless|
|15:26||He will send the Comforter|