"...PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO
THAT WHICH IS GOOD..." 1TH 5:21
'CP' denotes 'Compare Passage'
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN -
OUTLINE OF TEACHING AND AUTHOR
John tells the story of Jesus quite differently to Matthew, Mark and Luke. His Gospel is unique inasmuch as it declares the preincarnate Deity of Jesus - that He is the Eternal God of all creation - in the very first verse in Ch 1. Jesus is not the Eternal Son of God as so many Christians in the contemporary Church have been erroneously taught. He became the Son at His incarnation - when He took on human form. This is a significant teaching for Christians today as it reveals Jesus' Eternal co-existence and co-equality with the Father, which also clearly refutes the claim by others in the professing Church that He was merely "a God". John also teaches in Ch 1 that although the Jews were awaiting their Messiah, they rejected Jesus as the One sent from God (CP Jn 1:1-51). See also author's comments on Jn 1 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
In Ch 2, John highlights the first miracle performed by Jesus in His public ministry which attested to His Deity and caused His disciples to believe in Him - He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Ch 2 also records the first of three scourgings in the Temple by Jesus, and how He prophesied His death and Resurrection. In Ch 3 Jesus stresses the importance of the New Birth; of the need to be born again in order to be saved. He illustrates the effect of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Born Again Believers. Jesus also teaches here that His atoning death provides both Spiritual and physical healing for Believers. We also learn here that because they reject Christ, unbelievers condemn themselves to Hell - it is not God who condemns them (CP Jn 2:1-3:36). See also author's comments on Jn 2-3 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein. See also author's studies The Gospel of Salvation - How to Share it with Sinners and be a Soul-Winner for Christ and The Doctrine of Salvation in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 3).
Next, in Ch 4, John records Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well in Sychar. Jesus uses her need for natural water to sustain life as an object lesson for her need for Spiritual transformation. This teaching extends to all New Testament Christians - sinners must be made aware of the fact that they are sinners and then acknowledge their need for a Saviour. That is the only way anyone can be saved. Jesus then uses all the Samaritans who the woman at the well in Sychar sent to Him also as an object lesson to teach His Disciples the urgency of harvesting souls for the Eternal Kingdom, which again extends to every professing Christian. Also, the record of Jesus healing the nobleman's son next in Ch 4, should encourage every professing Christian in their Prayer life - they do not have to personally be present with the one for whom they are Praying or any subject of their Prayers, for God to answer their Prayers. It is simply a matter of exercising faith in God to do it, and He will - providing they qualify for answered Prayer - regardless of whether they are there or not (CP Jn 4:1-54). See also author's comments on Jn 4 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein. See also author's study The Key to Answered Prayer in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 3).
In Ch 5 next, Jesus healed a cripple on the Sabbath and the Jewish religious leaders accused Him of breaking the Old Covenant Law of the Sabbath. They determined to kill Him. Their hearts were so hardened toward Jesus and their eyes so blinded by their hatred of Him, they could never recognise Him as their Saviour - the Messiah of God - who in fact instituted the Sabbath in the first place, as an Old Testament type of which He was Himself the New Testament fulfilment. Jesus was the fulfilment of the Old Testament in its entirety. Jesus again declared His Deity, calling God His Father and comparing His work on the Sabbath to what God is doing, all the time. Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Judge of both the living and the dead, appointed by God. He foretold both the First and the Second Resurrections. Jesus refers to the future Antichrist also in Jn 5 - the Jews will accept him as Messiah, but not Jesus (CP Jn 5:1-47). See also author's comments on Jn 5 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein, and also his study Bible Typology in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 1).
In Ch 6 of John's Gospel Jesus contrasts Himself with the Manna - the bread which the Jews' forefathers ate during their sojourn in the wilderness. It was not the True Bread from Heaven but the Old Testament 'type' of which Jesus was the New Testament fulfilment. He was the True Bread from Heaven- the Bread of Life. This was another public pronouncement by Jesus of His Deity and caused many who followed him to walk away. They could not handle this truth - it offended them. It should be noted here that two erroneous teachings being perpetuated in the professing Church have their roots in Jn 6. One is that God acts Sovereignly in the matter of salvation - it is not a choice of the individual. God predestinates who will and who will not be saved. This system of Theology is called Calvinism in the contemporary Church. The other is that Jesus' reference to eating His Body and drinking His Blood is to be taken literally, not figuratively. The so-called Mass, celebrated in the Catholic Church for centuries is centred around this teaching (CP Jn 6:1-71). See also author's comments on Jn 6 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
After the events of Ch 6 Jesus could no longer preach in Judea because the Jewish religious leaders planned to kill Him. Ch 7 teaches that even Jesus' own family members did not believe He was the Messiah. They only believed that He was when they saw Him after His Resurrection. Jesus eventually went to Judea while the Jews were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles and taught in the Temple. He foretold the infilling of the Holy Spirit for those who had faith to believe in Him and many of those present became Believers which caused dissention among them. Nicodenus was the only Jewish religions leader who believed that Jesus was truly from God. Jesus' invitation for all who thirst to come to Him is a universal call, clearly refuting the claim by some that God predestinates who will, and who will not be saved. In Ch 8 the Jewish religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus to be judged. Their purpose was to trap Jesus so they could bring some charge against Him, but He forestalled their scheme and they had to let the woman go. Jesus was not condoning sin here. He simply stated that the penalty of the Law - stoning the woman to death - had to be carried out, but only by those who were without sin themselves. This teaches that before anyone can judge someone else they must be pure themselves. Jesus again proclaims His Deity, declaring that He existed even before Abraham. The Jews accused Him of being demon possessed. But no one dared to arrest Him; His time had not yet come (CP Jn 7:1-8-59). See also author's comments on Jn 7-8 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
Next, in Ch 9, Jesus heals a blind beggar, enabling him to see for the first time. His blindness was congenital - a birth defect - not the result of any sins he or his parents may have committed. Jesus healed him for God to be glorified in his healing. This is an object lesson in faith for Christians today - they too can heal those with birth defects for God's glory, the same as Jesus did, providing they quality for answered prayers - (See author's study The Key to Answered Prayer in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 3)). Jesus went on then in Ch 10 to show up the Jewish religious leaders and Pharisees as false shepherds of God's people by speaking the Parable of the Good Shepherd He described Himself as the Door. In so doing, He also teaches that Christians can freely fellowship in any New Testament Church and be saved and Spiritually fed, providing they conform to the rules He has laid down for salvation. The life more abundantly He promises Christians refers to both this life and the next. The other Sheep He refers to are Gentiles - Non-Jews. Many more among those who followed Jesus believed on Him because of what He taught in Ch 10 (CP Jn 9:1-10:41). See also author's comments on Jn 9-10 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
John's is the only Gospel, next, in Ch 11, to record the final miracle Jesus performed in His public Ministry - raising up his close friend Lazarus, who had died four days earlier, from the dead. Prior to raising up Lazarus, Jesus again proclaimed His Deity and after Lazarus came out of the grave, many more Jews believed on Him. The Jewish religious leaders were by then even more intent upon killing Him. Ch 11 also teaches how God used one of the religious leaders to prophesy Jesus' Atoning Death. Next, in Ch 12, John gives a more detailed account of Mary, Lazarus' sister, anointing Jesus' feet - the second of three anointings He received from women. This took place six days before He was betrayed. Jesus likened His impending death here to a grain of wheat having to die for it to reproduce of itself, illustrating how His death will bring salvation to so many. This also applies to New Testament Christians having to die to self in order to produce fruit for the Eternal Kingdom. Jesus also teaches in Ch 12 that whoever does not believe in God's Word will be judged by the Word at the Great White Throne Judgement (CP Jn 11:1-12:50). See also author's comments on Jn 11-12 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein. See also author's study Coming Judgements of God in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 1).
In Ch 13, Jesus teaches New Testament Christians a lesson on forbearance and love, by washing the Disciples' feet. He also foretells His betrayal by Judas Iscariot. Jesus also taught here that the badge of true discipleship Christians are to display for the world to see, is not an ornamental cross worn around their neck or on the collars of their shirts or affixed to the lapels of their coats, or any type of distinctive clothing, but to love one another with the same self-sacrificial love with which He loved them. Love is the key that opens every door. Nobody can profess to love God whom they have never seen, if they do not love their Brothers and Sisters in Christ, whom they have seen. After this, next, in Ch 14, Jesus turns His attention to the Rapture of the living Church to Heaven to live with Him eternally. He also promises New Testament Christians that they too can perform the same miracles He did, and more. This extends to every professing Christian totally consecrated to the service of God and completely yielded to the authority of His Word. Next, Jesus foretells the Baptism in the Holy Spirit for New Testament Christians and that His Resurrection is a precursor to their future Resurrection (CP Jn 13:1-14: 31). See also author's comments on Jn 13-14 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
In Jn 15 next, Jesus warns New Testament Christians of the dangers of not bearing fruit for God's Eternal Kingdom. He clearly and unequivocally teaches that it is futile thinking by Christians who bear no fruit for the Kingdom that they will be saved. The plain truth of Jesus' teaching here is that fruitless Christians will forfeit their place in the Eternal Kingdom. Christians are to be God's Witnesses in the world for His Glory to be made manifest in this present evil age. This also refutes the teaching by some in the professing Church that once-saved Christians can never lose their salvation. They teach that once-saved means always-saved. The fact that New Testament Christians are called to be God's Witness in the world means that they are never to erect protective barriers around themselves in order to live sheltered lives apart from the wicked world system. The world still has a place in God's Redemptive Plan for fallen man. Christians are to be Jesus' Witnesses in the world. The Holy Spirit will teach them the truth of who Jesus is. They will receive The Baptism in the Spirit. In Ch 16 Jesus teaches that Christians will also be persecuted for their beliefs, and they are to be prepared for that. Because the world hates Jesus, it hates Christians too. Jesus also promises Christians in Ch16 that they can ask God for anything in Jesus' name and it will be done for them. God will do it to show His love for those who love Jesus (CP Jn 15:1-16: 33). See also author's comments on Jn 15-16 in his book A question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
Next we come to what is known in the professing Church as the High-Priestly Prayer of Jesus, in Jn 17. Jesus made intercession for those God had given Him up until then, and is illustrative of His present ministry in Heaven, where He sits at God's right hand interceding for Christians' failings and shortcomings. The Glory that Jesus refers to here is His pre-incarnate Glory which He shared co-equally with both the Father and the Holy Spirit as a member of the Eternal Godhead. Next in Ch 18, John records Jesus' betrayal by Judas Iscariot, His arrest and ensuing trial during which Peter denied knowing Him three times, fulfilling Jesus' earlier prophecy over him. The Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate believed Jesus was innocent of the charges the Jewish religious leaders brought against Him and wanted to release Him but the Jews insisted that He was guilty and had to die, and in Jn 19, for the sake of political expediency Pilate sentenced Him to death. It should be noted here that although the Romans were guilty of Jesus' death physically, the Jews' sin was greater - Jesus was their Messiah but they rejected Him and instigated His death - they goaded the Romans into crucifying Him. In His assertion from the Cross that it is finished, Jesus was declaring that He had completely fulfilled the Old Testament in its entirety, and it was henceforth abolished. Before He died Jesus charged John with taking care of His mother Mary (CP Jn 17: 1-19: 42). See also author's comments on Jn 17-19 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
John's Gospel next, in Ch 20, centres on Jesus' Resurrection from the dead and His Post-Resurrection appearances. Scriptures record He appeared to the
Disciples and others twelve times during the forty days between His Resurrection and ascension to Heaven. The significance of His Post-Resurrection appearances is that without them His Resurrection could never be proved and Christianity would have ended with His death on the Cross (see author's study The Significance of Jesus Post-Resurrection Appearances Prior to His Ascension to Heaven in his book Advanced Studies in the Christian Faith (Volume 3)). Finally, in Ch 21 of his Gospel, John records the infilling of the Disciples with the Holy Spirit by Jesus, His directions to Peter and response to Peter questioning Him concerning John's future in Jesus' plans (CP Jn 20:1-21: 26). See also author's comments on Jn 20-21 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament, and all related cross-reference Scriptures and studies referred to therein.
Now let us find out what Scriptures teach about John himself, the author of this Gospel. John was a son of Zebedee and brother of James, the Apostle who was put to death by Herod Agrippa (CP Mt 4:18-21; 10: 1-4; Mk 1:16-20; 3:13-19). John often refers to himself in the third person in his Gospel as the Disciple whom Jesus loved (CP Jn 13:23; 19:25-27; 20:1-3; 21:7, 22-24). Together with Peter and his brother James, John enjoyed an especially close relationship with Jesus. He was an eye-witness to the Glory of Jesus' Transfiguration (CP Mt 17:1-9). He accompanied Jesus when He raised up Jairus' daughter from the dead (CP Mk 5:22-24, 35-43). He was present with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane leading up to Jesus' betrayal and arrest (CP Mt 26:36-50). Before He died on the Cross Jesus charged John with the care of His mother, Mary (CP Jn 19:25-27). John also wrote the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Epistles of John as well as The Book of Revelation (CP Rev 1:1, 4-5, 9-19).