John - Master Teacher

  • The writer of this gospel is identified in the book only as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (21:7). However, most Bible scholars agree that it was the Apostle John.
  • John was the son of Zebedee, who was a master fisherman, and Salome, one of the women who ministered to the Lord.
  • He apparently came from a fairly well-to-do home (Mark 15:40-41); just the fact that he had a home of his own in Jerusalem (19:27) was evidence that he was in comfortable circumstances.
  • John wrote his gospel some thirty or forty years after the other gospels had been written; thus, he did not feel it necessary to repeat many of the details that had already been given.
  • The first part of this gospel concentrates on Jesus’ public ministry and the “signs” that reveal who He really is. The second part shifts from the crowds to the disciples and Jesus’ private ministry among them.
  • This gospel contains no parables, but instead it focuses on seven miracles (five of which are not recorded elsewhere) that reveal the Father’s glory in the Son:
  • Its key word is “believe,” which occurs ninety-eight times in this book. Jesus is presented as the one whom we are to believe.
  • John with his brother James obeyed the call of Jesus (Mark 1:20). It would seem that James and John were in partnership with Peter in the fishing business (Luke 5:7-10). He was one of the inner circle of the disciples.
  • This fourth gospel has the clearest purpose statement in the Bible: “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” (20:31).

An outline as suggested by Bruce Wilkinson:

  1. Introduction to Christ (1:1-18).
  2. Revelation of Christ (1:19-4:54).
  3. Rejection of Christ (5:1-12:50).
  4. Revelation from Christ (13:1-17:26).
  5. Crucifixion and Resurrection (18:1-21:25).