The Gospel of John
"Jesus Christ: Behold Your God"
(Isaiah 40:9)

J. Deering,

1.  Introduction 8.  Nine Miracles
2.  Message of the Book 9.  Seven "I AM"s
3.  Omissions 10.  Morgan note
4.  Jesus' Titles 11.  Rugh note
5.  The Writer 12.  Open Bible notes
6.  Jesus' Deity 13.  Harrison notes
7.  John's Seven Witnesses  

These studies in the Gospel of John are being updated through a lengthy series of young adult classes taught beginning in March of 2017. Our overall method was to begin with the Interlinear Bible and work our way through the text while, as laymen, working with Greek tools to develop meaningful translations among the group. We compared class translations at the end of each session with various published translations in an effort to further understand translation techniques and problems.

In our earliest classes we concentrated on prepositions – especially trying to see them as directions and ideas that float in a three-dimensional space. Our aim was to visualize the people and objects in a location or in motion, and thus create a better sense of context for the translation of each verse. We found that the online interlinear was very helpful. also put Strong’s numbers, the Greek, an English transliteration of the Greek, English, and parsing information for each word. offers a downloadable interlinear which, like, has those same helps and also offers insight into words that contain prepositional prefix or suffix. It was very helpful to see possible translations for Greek words like katebh as “he descended,” and “he-Down-Stepped” in John 2:12 as Jesus traveled from the plateau where Cana lay down to the Jordan river basin and Capernaum.

Working so closely with the text required us to “step back” once and a while and review the overall story and discover the purpose for which John was writing – being careful to see the forest and not just the trees. We found that John, the writer, is an excellent story teller and uses graphic words to tell his story.

The commentaries were developed both before and after each class. It was not uncommon to have many insights from the class members that brought a richness to our understanding of The Gospel of John.

Understanding John, John Portrays Jesus Christ, The Son of God by Henrietta C. Mears(*[i])
The author indicates the purpose of his book in the opening eighteen verses, called the Prologue, and states very plainly in John 20:31.

John wrote to prove that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah (for the Jews), and the Son of God (for the Gentiles), and to lead believers into a life of divine friendship with Him.  The Key word is "believe."  We find this word 98 times in this book.

The theme of John's Gospel is the deity of Jesus Christ.  More here than anywhere else His Divine Sonship is set forth.  In this Gospel we are shown that the "Babe of Bethlehem" was none other than the "only begotten of the Father."  There are evidences and proofs given without number.  "Although all things were made by Him ... although in Him was life, ... yet He was made flesh, and dwelt among us."  No man could see God; therefore Christ came to declare Him.

1.   No genealogy of Jesus is recorded -- neither His legal lineage through Joseph (as given by Matthew), nor His personal descent through Mary (as given by Luke).
2.   No account of Jesus’ birth -- because He was "in the beginning."
3.   Nothing about Jesus’ boyhood.
4.   Nothing about Jesus’ temptation.  Jesus rather is presented as Christ the lord, not the One tempted in all points like as we are.
5.   No transfiguration.
6.   No appointing of Jesus’ disciples.
7.   No parables in John.
8.   No account of the ascension.
9.   No Great Commission.

Only her is He called "the Word; The Creator; The only begotten of the Father; The Lamb of God; The revelation of the great `I AM' (See Exodus 3:14)."

The author was John, "son of thunder," "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  His father was Zebedee, a fisherman in good circumstances; his mother was Salome, a devout follower of the Lord, who may have been a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus (Mark 15:40; John 19:25) [also see Unger's Bible Dictionary - Mary, the wife of Clopas, p. 703].  His brother was James.  His position was probably somewhat better than that of the ordinary fisherman.

John may have been about 25 years of age when Jesus called him.  He had been a follower of John the Baptist.  In the reign of Domitian, John the Disciple was banished to Patmos, but afterward he returned to Ephesus and became the pastor of that wonderful church.  He lived in that city to an extreme old age, the last of the twelve apostles.  During this time hi wrote his Gospel concerning the deity of the Christ, co-eternal with the Father.  John wrote nearly a generation after the other evangelists, somewhere between 80 and 100 A.D., at the end of the first century, when all the New Testament was complete except for his own writings.  The life and work of Jesus was well known at this time.  The Gospel had been preached; Paul and Peter had suffered martyrdom, and the apostles had died; Jerusalem had been destroyed by eh Roman legions under Titus, 70 A.D.

All the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, were written before 70 A.D., the fateful year of the overthrow of Jerusalem.  Already false teachers had arisen, denying that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, God in the flesh.  John, therefore, wrote emphasizing those facts, and gave the witnesses and recorded the words and works of Jesus that reveal His divine power and glory.

John is more elevated in tone and more exalted in view that the other Gospels.  In each of the first three Gospels Christ is viewed in human relationship, with an earthly people, but in John we find spiritual relationships with a heavenly people.  Let us look at them again.

In Matthew and Luke, "Son of David" and "Son of Man" link Christ to the earth.  In John, His deity is guarded.  In these days of widespread departure from the truth, the deity of Christ Jesus must be emphasized.

In John, Jesus is shown dwelling with God before ever a creature was formed (John 1:1-2).  He is denominated as "the only begotten of the Father" (1:14).  "This is the Son of God (1:34, etc.).

Thirty-five times He speaks of God as "My Father."
Twenty-five times He says, "Verily, verily" -- speaking with authority.
Beside His own affirmations, 6 different witnesses avow His deity.

1.    In Nathaniel's Confession, "Thou art the Son of God" (49)
2.    In the miracle of Cana, He "manifested forth His glory" (11)
3.    In His word to Nicodemus, He said He was "the only begotten Son" (16)
4.    In His conversation with the woman of Samaria, He stated:  "I that speak unto thee am He" [the Messiah] (26)
5.    To the impotent man, He disclosed that "the voice of the Son of God" would give life (25)
6.    In the "Bread Chapter," He admits that "the Bread of God is He" (33)
7.    In the "Water of Life Chapter," He proclaims, "Let him come unto Me, and drink" (37)
8.    To the unbelieving Jews, He disclosed, "Before Abraham was, I am" (58)
9.    The blind man was told that "He that talketh with thee is the Son of God" (37)
10.    Jesus stated, "I and My Father are one" (30)
11.    Martha's declaration, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of God" (27)
12.    To the Greeks, "If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (32)
13.    At the supper, He said, "Ye call me Master and Lord: ... so I am" (13)
14.    In His statement, "Believe in God, believe also in me" (1)
15.    Likening us to branches on a vine, He says, "Without me ye can do nothing" (5)
16.    In promising the Holy Spirit, He says, I will send Him unto you" (7)
17.    In this "Prayer Chapter," He says, "Glorify thy Son" (1)
18.    In His trial He states, "Thou sayest that I am a king" (37)
19.    In His atonement He had the right to say, "It is finished" (30)
20.    In his confession, Thomas the doubter exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (28)
21.    In demanding obedience, "Follow thou Me" (22)

The book of John was written that men might believe that Jesus Christ was God.  John brings seven witnesses to the stand to prove this fact.
1.    John The Baptist - John 1:34
2.    Nathanial - John 1:49
3.    Peter - John 6:69
4.    Martha - John 11:27
5.    Thomas - John 20:28
6.    John - John 20:31
7.    Jesus Christ - John 10:36

Besides the seven witnesses in John, we find seven signs or miracles, which prove that He is God.  "For no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with Him," were Nicodemus' words (John 3:2).
1.    Turning water into wine - John 2:1-11
2.    Healing the nobleman's son - John 4:46-54
3.    Healing the man at Bethesda - John 5:1-47
4.    Feeding the 5,000 - John 6:1-14
5.    Walking on the water - John 6:15-21
6.    Healing the blind man - John 9:1-41
7.    Raising of Lazarus - John 11:1-57
8.    The Miraculous Catch of Fish - John 21
9.    The Resurrection

There is another proof of His deity running through John.  He reveals His God-nature in the "I AM'S" of this book.
1.    I AM the Bread of Life - John 6:35)
2.    I AM the Light of the World - John 8:12
3.    Before Abraham was, I AM - John 8:58
4.    I AM the Good Shepherd - John 10:11
5.    I AM the Resurrection, and the life - John 11:25
6.    I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life - John 14:6
7.    I AM the True Vine - John 15:1

JOHN - JESUS CHRIST, "THE WORD OF GOD," G. Campbell Morgan (*[ii])
John was a mystic in all the highest senses of the word.  Conscious at once of the things patent, and of that vast realm of the spiritual, of which the material is but a partial and transitory manifestation, he came into fellowship with the profoundest things in the Person of his Lord.  Turning to the gospel according to John, we find ourselves immediately compelled to worship.  The same personality is presented to us as that which we have grown familiar in the earlier stories.  From the beginning, however, we are conscious a new assertion on the part of the writer, and a new quality about the Person.  As we proceed, we find that the change is not that of difference, but an unveiling and explanation. The revelation of this gospel is that of God manifest in flesh.  The central division dealing with this is introduced by a brief but pregnant one, showing how the Word came from the everlasting conditions into those of time and human sense; and is followed by one presenting Him in the new everlasting conditions arising out of His incarnate presence in human history.  The divisions therefore may thus be stated :  From Everlasting (John 1:1-18); God Manifest (John 1:19-19:42); and To Everlasting (John 20-21).

JOHN - "THE SON OF GOD," W. W. Rugh (*[iii])
The Son of God came to us from the bosom of the Father that He might bring us to the place from whence He came (John 1:18; 17:23-24).

To bring us into this blessed place, He laid down His life for us that He might take it again and take us with Him into our Father's presence (John 10:10-18, 27-29).

While here on earth as the "Word made flesh," He revealed the glory of the Father, and all that is in the Father's heart and house for every believer.  He made known the "New Life" (Chapters 3-5), the "New Food" (Chapters 6-7), the "New Light" (Chapters 8-9), the "New Service" (Chapters 10 and 12), the "New Love" (Chapter 13), the "New Peace" (Chapter 14), the "New Fellowship" (Chapter 15), the "New Joy" (Chapter 16), and the "New Glory (Chapter 17).

Because of what the Son of God has done for us, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and the Father has given all that He has to the Son, therefore all is ours (Chapter 16:15).

(the Son and His salvation) TO ALL MEN
John selects seven miracles and the teachings of Jesus to lead men to faith in Him.
Jesus is the eternal, incarnate, saving Son of God.  John presents the Messiah's claims in Jesus' own words:
"I AM Messiah."
"I AM the Bread of Life."
"I AM the Light of the world."
"I AM the Door."
"I AM the Good Shepherd."
"I AM the vine."
"I AM a King." 

In figurative language, Jesus claims to be all that men need in every situation of life.

The Open Bible (Notes) (*[iv])
The deity of Jesus Christ is well established in the New Testament.  Some of the facts are:
1.             He is called God by the Apostle John (John 1:1)
2.             He is called God by the Apostle Thomas (John 20:28)
3.             He is called God by God the Father (Hebrews 1:8)
4.             He claimed to be God in that He was with the Father before creation (John 17:5)
5.             He claimed to be God in that He was before Abraham (John 8:51-59)
6.             He received worship (He did not refuse it), and only God is to be worshipped (Matthew 14:33)
7.             He forgives sin, only God can forgive sin (Mark 2:5-11)
8.             He is creator and maker of all things (Colossians 1:16)
9.             He is sustainer of all things, only God can control the universe (Hebrews 1:3)
10.           He claimed to have "all power in heaven and in earth," only God has all power (Matthew 28:18)
11.           He walked upon the waters of Galilee.  The winds and the waves obeyed His command. He healed the sick and raised the dead.  He gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.  He cast out demons and made the lame to walk.  He turned water into wine, and fed at least five thousand with the lunch of a lad.

The humanity of Jesus Christ is well established in the New Testament.  Some of the facts are:
1.             The humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in His human parentage (Matthew 2:11)
2.             He developed as a normal human being (Luke 2:52)
3.             He was subject to all the sinless infirmities of the human nature:

He hungered (Matthew 4:2)
He was thirsty (John 19:28)
He was weary (John 4:6)
He wept (John 11:35)
He was tempted (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus is man, and yet He is more than man.  He is not God and man, but God-man.  He is God in human flesh.  He two natures are bound together in such a way that the two become one, having a single consciousness and will.

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, Selection from "The Book of John" (*[v])
This Gospel places large emphasis on the national feasts or festivals of the Jews and Jesus' attendance upon them.  Three Passovers are mentioned (2:23; 6:4; 13:1), also the feast of tabernacles (7:2) and dedication (10:22).  In addition there is an unnamed festival (5:1).

Pivotal to the understanding of this Gospel is the place Jesus occupies in relation to Judaism, fulfilling its legitimate hopes and opposing its aberrations.  He is greater than the Torah (1:17), than the temple (2:19-21), than its Shekinah glory (1:14), than the significance and satisfaction of the feasts (7:37-39).  He accepts worship as His rightful due (9:38; 20:28).

Principal Concepts:
1.             The Father-Son relationship.  The Son is sent of the Father to reveal Him and to give life to the world.
2.             A corollary of this is the necessity for faith in the Son as well as in the Father.  Faith is intimately connected with knowledge (8:32; 10:38) and the issue is eternal life (3:15; 17:3).  Correspondingly, unbelief issues in condemnation (3:18).
3.             Believers are made partakers of the divine life, made one with the Father and the Son and with one another.  This new life is best expressed in terms of love, for this is the nature of God.
4.             Eschatology is presented both in a futuristic pattern and as realized.  There is a last day (6:39-40).  Resurrection will lead to life or judgment (5:29).  Christ will return to receive his own (14:3; 21:22) and to judge (5:27; 12:48).  Eternal life has a futuristic emphasis at times (12:25).  On the other hand, an even stronger emphasis falls on the possession of life now (5:24) or of judgment (3:18; 16:11).
5.             While glory is still presented in its post-resurrection context (12:16; 17:24), it is also attached to the death of the Savior (12:23; 13:31).  The Son's obedience unto death, fulfilling the Father's will, is triumph, not tragedy (21:19).  In line with this, the substance of the teaching keeps the death of Christ before the reader more consistently and climactically than in the Synoptic.
6.             The church nowhere appears in name, yet it seems to be presented under various symbols, such as the sheep in relation to the shepherd (ch. 10) and the branches in relation to the vine (ch. 15).
7.             The foil for the unfolding of the blessings to be found through believing in Jesus of Nazareth is the stubbornness and blindness of the nation that refuses to acknowledge him (1:12-13).           


[i]           Mears, Henrietta, "What the Bible is all about," The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Box 779, Minneapolis, Minnesota - 1966
[ii]           Morgan, G. Campbell, The Analyzed Bible, Fleming H. Revell Company - 1964
[iii]          Rugh, W. W., Associate Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - c1900
[iv]         The Open Bible (Notes), Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, Tennessee - 1975
[v]          Introduction to the New Testament, Everett F. Harrison, Senior professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, Eerdmans publishing Company - 1971