Summary of John
Jesus, the Son of God
Gospels, Acts & Revelation
Professor Brandon Evans
March 16, 2017
The Gospel of John is unique in that 90% of it is original from a gospel perspective, not being found in the other three gospels. John focuses on Jesus as the Son of God, come as God incarnate to bring salvation to all who believe in Him. From his first stepping onto the scene of Hebrew revolution in John the Baptist’s proclamations, He is publicly identified as such. His signs and miracles are designed to draw others to Him and inspire their faith in Him as the Messiah and Son of God. Jesus continues in His ministry to oppose the established Jewish leadership of the day, teaching at great lengths to elaborate on the difference between His ministry and theirs. Jesus ministers to the individual (twice) and shows His disciples clearly that those outside the “chosen people” are equally valuable to Him, and that God’s design is to save them also. His death and resurrection are the ultimate sign the disciples and Jewish leaders are looking for, but is lost on them until Jesus returns from the dead. His resurrection is a detailed narrative, showing Jesus continuing to provide signs and miracles to build their faith, and to finally call them into action before He departs.
John details in the first chapter an engagement between the priests and Levites and John the Baptist, where he refers to Jesus as “the Lord” and mentions that he is unworthy to untie his sandals. 29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.””
God tells John the Baptist to go baptize people with water for repentance, and then tells him, “This is my Son. I will send my Spirit down on Him, and He will baptize in the Holy Spirit.” John proclaims in the presence of everyone that He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Immediately, in the Gospel of John, we see Jesus’ deity playing out in the narrative (and of course, in John’s prologue). We also see that, unlike anyone in history, Jesus will baptize people with the Holy Spirit.
Soon after Jesus is called in front of everyone, He’s gathered some disciples, and they are invited to a wedding feast in Cana. His mother goes with Him and plays a key part in bringing about Jesus’ first miracle. Turning hand-washing water into wine, John explains that this was the manifestation of His glory. As a direct result, His disciples believe in Him.
Arriving in Jerusalem for the first of three Passover celebrations, Jesus finds His Father’s house has turned into a marketplace, selling the animals needed for Jews to sacrifice. Jesus takes the time to make a whip of cords, and then single-handedly goes to town on the moneychangers and traders, dumping out their money and flipping tables. After Jesus takes a breather, the Jews question Him, and He makes mention of the temple being torn down and rebuilt in three days. Once again, after His resurrection, His disciples remembered this and believed. More faith is brought out in His disciples because of this sign.
In chapter 11, Jesus is notified that a friend of His is not doing well: 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  Once again, we Jesus preparing to work something for the glory of God, and that the glory that Jesus receives is also really glory to God as well. Later, we see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, and this, too, leads others to believe. John tells us, “45 Many of the Jews, therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, “
In addition to providing evidence for His disciples and others to believe in Him, Jesus also gave some one-on-one time with a couple people. The first of these private conversations was with a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus. Nicodemus snuck out at night to avoid detection, showing why as he came to Jesus, calling Him “Teacher”. Nicodemus was genuinely interested in what it took to be saved, and Jesus took the time to explain.
The second counseling session He gives was far more unorthodox, as Jesus entertained a Samaritan woman. Rabbis were known for avoiding women publicly, and Jews were known for avoiding the area of Samaria. Imagine the shock that would have covered the faces of Pharisees and Sadducees to see Jesus sitting at Jacob’s well in Samaria, chatting with a local woman. After asking for some water, He proceeds to explain to her that He provides “living water” and its drinker would never thirst again. This piques the interest of the Samaritan woman, so she stays and engages Jesus. He proceeds to tell her things about herself that no one outside of Samaria could possibly know, and immediately she believes that He is the Messiah. She runs back to town, driven by her new faith, bringing crowds of people back to Jesus using only her testimony.
This woman has an encounter with the Son of God, returns to her people, tells her story, and brings more back to Jesus. The Samaritan woman acted as a sort of disciple, telling of the power and goodness of Jesus, and bringing others to Him. This was not the only occasion that this happened, however. In Galilee, and official approached Jesus asking for healing in his son. Jesus tells the man that he needs “signs and wonders” to believe, but the man asks again for Jesus to come with him. Jesus tells the man that his son is healed and the official believes immediately and departs. On the way, he finds that his son is indeed healed, and not only is he well, but he was well the same hour that Jesus told him he was. This ignites his faith, and he too, returns home and his whole family believes in Jesus.
Before Jesus completes His ministry by dying on the cross for the sins of the world, He makes sure that it is known throughout Israel that His Kingdom, this new covenant, is not what the religious leaders have been spewing out to the people all these years. He opposes them directly, and even publicly several times, making several key points along the way.
First, Jesus cleanses the temple. This is direct opposition to the Pharisees and Levites, as clearly, they had allowed this trade to occur in the temple for some time. Jesus doesn’t tolerate it for a moment. Next, with Nicodemus, Jesus tells the Pharisee that he must be born again to be saved. This is a stark contrast to what the religious leaders taught the people of Israel. Later, during the Feast of Booths, Jesus calls out the Jews (presumably leaders) as not following the law. This would have been a shock to everyone, including them, as they were sure they followed the law perfectly. He also rebukes their unrighteous judgment. This continues until finally, Jesus tells them that they do the work of their father, the devil. Soon after, when they confront Him for healing a blind man on the Sabbath, He tells them that He came for judgment and declares them all guilty.
After Jesus’ death on the cross, burial, and resurrection, Jesus appears to His disciples again. This in and of itself is enough to bring all their faith to whole new level. He graciously allows Thomas the opportunity to put his finger in the holes in his hands and then proceeds to eat with them a couple times to prove that He was there with them, back from the dead as He promised (three times). He then builds their faith more by performing another miracle as they are fishing, helping them to bring in a massive catch of fish, just by speaking it.
This faith-building was essential, as He would then call Peter to lead in His absence. He tells this to Peter three times in chapter 21: 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of God, calling God His “Father”. He tells His disciples that He and the Father are one; that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. He tells them that if they have seen Him, then they have also seen the Father. The religious leaders accuse Him of making Himself equal with God. He does not dispel this idea. It’s true. John begins his gospel by stating that Jesus is ‘the Word”, and that not only was Jesus there with the Father in creation, but that He is God, and that everything was made through Him. Jesus then spends His ministry making sure that everyone knew that this new Kingdom that He brought, this salvation by faith, was open to everyone… Jews, religious leaders, women, Samaritans… everyone. John says in chapter 3, verse 16: “16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”