Summary of John

Summary of John

 

John is the last of the four Gospel books in the New Testament, it contains a narrative history, parables and prophetic messages. John tells stories about Jesus Christ, the Twelve Apostles, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Lazarus and the sisters of Mary and Martha as well as Jewish religious leaders and Pontius Pilate.

One of the main reasons the book exists, is to provide everyone with the knowledge of their Savior, Jesus Christ. We know that God gave His Only Begotten Son for us, so that we could have the ability to return to live with our Father in Heaven.

•    Chapter 1: Explains of the Messiah’s coming ministry. John gives clear evidence that Jesus is more than just a man, He is the Son of God “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus is Jehovah, Jehovah is the word and is the God of the Old Testament.

•    Chapters 2-12:  Explain the ministry of Jesus. He meets with a religious leader named Nicodemus and teaches him that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless they have are personally “…born again…” (John 3:3). Obviously this referring to Baptism and the Covenants you make with God to change your life and become like one of His disciples. Several times throughout the book, Jesus claims that He Himself is the God of the Old Testament (The Son of God the Eternal Father), “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), which of course refers to their unity as one in Purpose.  Jesus also repeats and applies to Himself, the Jehovaic statement, “I AM” as found in Exodus 3:14, for example, when Jesus declares, “…I am the resurrection, and the life…” (John 11:25), “…I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6), “I am the door…” (John 10:9), and “…I am the bread of life…” (6:35).

•     Chapters 13-17: Describes the details of the Last Supper with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus taught many important topics to His Apostles during this time. Some of these were topics about the Kingdom, and about how the Holy Ghost  would be sent to them. He also prays for Himself, His Apostle, and for all the future believers.

• Chapters 18-21: Portrays the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is put on trial and then convicted illegally. He is beaten, humiliated, and then crucified. Jesus resurrected and arose from the tomb and appeared to Mary Magdalene and to His disciples. Upon closing the writing of the Gospel of John, John himself testifies of the great work of Jesus and how the Bible does not contain all of His word:

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books, that should be written, Amen.” (John 10:25)

John 21

John 21: Feed My Sheep

Peter, Thomas and Nathanael go fishing and while they are fishing in the sea of Tiberias, they see a man on the shore. The man calls out to them and asks; “…Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.” (John 21:5) So the man on the shore tells them to cast their net on the right hand side of the ship in order to get fish. So the Apostles do this and find that there are more fish caught in the net then possible to pull into the ship. This is when the Apostles knew that the man was in fact Jesus, and this was the third time He had shown Himself to the Apostles since His resurrection.

When the Apostles come back to land, they find on the shore a fire of coals with fish and bread. Jesus sits down with them to eat and asks each one of them; “…lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15,16,17) Jesus asks the question three separate times and each time the answer from the Apostles is the same; “…Lord; thou knowest that I love thee…” (John 21:15, 16, 17) and Jesus responds the same three times; “…Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15, 16, 17) Why does Jesus repeat this three times? Because it is important! Jesus want His Apostles and anyone who is following Him to feed His lambs, physically in the sense of helping one another and helping those less fortunate, but also in a Spiritual sense. If we have been given the opportunity to find Faith in Jesus Christ, we should share that with others and help others come to Him.

Jesus foretells the Martyrdom of Peter; “…thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he [Jesus], signifying by what death he should glorify God….”  (John 21:18) So what death would Peter face? According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under the Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally believed that Peter was crucified upside down at his own request, because he felt unworthy to die the same way Jesus did.

The chapter and the Gospel according to John ends with a Testimony that the things written are true and that many things did Jesus do, that are not recorded in this book or the Bible. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) We see that there are definitely more books than the Bible, to believe that the Bible is the only word of God would be to not believe on the Spirit of Revelation and the Power that God can give to man to enable him to speak with God, like prophets of old.

 

John 20

John 20: The Risen Christ

Early in the morning, when it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the Sepulchre where Jesus was laid to rest. When she arrived she found that the tomb had been opened and immediately ran to Peter to tell him what had happened. Peter and the other Apostles ran to see for their own eyes. It is interesting that it specifically mentions; “…the other disciple did outrun Peter…” (John 20:4) I don’t know why this was important; perhaps the other Apostle had a stronger desire to know for himself? Maybe Peter was out of shape?

The Apostles leave and Mary stays behind weeping, she takes a look in the tomb and finds two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had been laid to rest and they ask her; “…Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:13) and she responds; “…Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:13) Mary turns back around and sees a man [Jesus] (who she assumed was the gardener), Jesus asks her the same question and she asks the gardener to help her find the body of Jesus. But in that same instant; Jesus called out to her; “…Mary…” (John 20:16) and she immediately recognized His voice and she said; “…Rabboni [which means Master]…” (John 20:16) Mary must have been really excited and most likely reached out to Him as she called Him, because Jesus responded; “…Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) We learn from this scripture that Jesus Christ is separate from the Father, or else why would He ascend unto Himself? Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and God the Father is His Father and OUR Father. What does that make Jesus to us? He is our brother! But we need to look at Him with respect, because He is our eldest brother, and He has become like our Father being a god.

Mary Magdalene went to the other Apostles and told them about her interaction with Jesus. That same night the Apostles were gathered behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus had found a way to get in without anyone noticing and stood in the midst of them and said; “…Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19) Jesus invites all gathered to feel and see His hands and feet to see where the nails had left prints from the Crucifixion. Jesus also gives them the Holy Ghost. Thomas was the only one not present at the time. The next time the Apostles saw Thomas they told Him that had seen Jesus and felt His prints. Thomas was a difficult one to persuade and said; “…Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Eight days pass and they gather again, this time Thomas is present and Jesus comes to him and says; “…Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27) After hearing these words, Thomas said to Jesus; “…My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) It took seeing Jesus for Thomas to believe, however Jesus does not attack him for this, but instead gives everyone else a great reminder; “…Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) Anyone who follows Jesus, follows with Faith, for only the Prophets and Apostles of old and new have seen God or Jesus Christ.

We learn that Jesus performed; “…many other signs… 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 20:30-31) I like how this chapter ends by saying that Jesus performed many more miracles and signs in their presence, but that they are not written in this book. Many things are not included in the scriptures, but some would be revealed later and some are revealed through modern day prophets. For this reason we cannot go with the Bible alone, we need Power, Authority, we need GOD’s Church on earth. The Bible is great and any God fearing Christian should love and cherish the Bible, but to remember that it isn’t conclusive. For God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… He will continue to call prophets and instruct His children. The good news is that He didn’t just leave us with the Bible, He has also given us the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

John 19

John 19: Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Pilate took Jesus and made Him to be punished and the soldiers took him and put a crown of thorns on His head and put on Him a purple robe. The soldiers, while hitting Jesus said; “…Hail, King of the Jews!” (John 19:3) After this was done, Pilate took Jesus out before the people and said; “…I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in this man… Behold the man!” (John 19:4-5) But it wasn’t enough to convince the Jews of their wrongs and they immediately cried out; “…crucify him, crucify him…” (John 19:6), Pilate responded to their pleas and said; “…Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.” (John 19:6) The Jews screamed back; “…We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” (John 19:7)

Upon hearing this Pilate was afraid (perhaps because he knew that Jesus was the Son of God?) and he immediately went back into the Judgment Hall and asked Jesus; “…Whence art thou?” (John 19:9), but Jesus gave no answer. So Pilate screamed; “…Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” (John 19:10) Jesus answers; “…Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto you hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11) It is unclear who that other person was, if Jesus was speaking of Judas, or perhaps all of the people involved in the plot to kill Jesus. Either way, Jesus was telling Pilate that he had a choice, but if he chose to have the people decide and He was crucified as a result, Pilate would not share much if any of the sin associated with it. Nevertheless, Pilate desired to release Jesus, but the people began to threaten him, and say that he was betraying Caesar. For they claimed; “…If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19:12) At this point Pilate had his hands tied, but still could have made a decision to let Jesus go. Whether or not Pilate shares a sin in the crucifixion of Jesus, we know not. What we do know, is that Pilate did not agree and tried to convince the people otherwise.

Jesus was sent off to Golgotha, which is the place of the skull, there Jesus would be crucified with two thieves, one on both sides. Now, Pilate most likely feeling remorseful of what had happened, made a sign to go above the cross of Jesus that read: “…JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (John 19:19) This sign was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, for the whole world to see and read. The soldiers there cast lots for the raiment of Jesus. In other words, think of straws, they literally fought over the few belongings that Jesus had. Many loved ones of Jesus came to see the crucifixion, and in time, Jesus gave up the ghost and died on the cross.

The Sabbath day was approaching and Pilate, as it was custom to break the legs of those who had not yet died, so they did not leave them on the cross during the Sabbath. But when they came to Jesus they saw that He had already died and did not break His legs, instead they took a spear and stabbed His side. This fulfilled two scriptures that they should not break His bones, but shall stab Him in the side (see: Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 and Psalms 34:20)

Joseph of Arimathaea sought for the body of Jesus and went to Pilate for fear that his request would be denied by the Jews. Pilate agrees for Him to dress the body, so they bring the body of Jesus to a new sepulcher and they prepare His body for rest.

John 18

John 18: Jesus is arrested

After Jesus had prayed to the Father, He and His Apostles went to the Brook of Cedron, which was near the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Judas knew he could find Jesus and brought with him an army of men to come and arrest Jesus. A sort of stand off first occurs between the Apostles of Jesus and the men of Judas, they ask for Jesus and Jesus immediately says; “…I am he…” (John 18:5&8) They ask Him twice, and He responds twice that He is the one they are seeking, and asks the rest to be let go. Peter, who was with Jesus drew his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the men with Judas, named Malchus. Jesus immediately tells Peter to put his sword away; “…put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hat given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) Again, Peter was too anxious to protect Jesus, without realizing what must come forth for Jesus.

Jesus is taken to see Caiaphas before a council, which was basically an illegal trial of death. Peter follows Jesus to this trial and is asked if he was one of the disciples of Jesus, and he denied Jesus and said he was not one of His Apostles.

The High Priest then asked Jesus of His disciples/Apostles and His doctrine. Jesus answers simply; “…I spake openly to the world; I never taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret I have said nothing. Why askest thou me? As them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.” (John 18:20-21) This answer must have made some angry, because immediately one of the officers which stood by Jesus struck Him with the palm of his hand saying; “…Answerest thou the high priest so?” (John 18:22) Jesus was upset, but kept His cool and said; “…If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? (John 18:23) This so called “trial” was a mockery of even ancient law.

Peter was still nearby when he was asked again, twice if he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ and he denied Jesus two more times. On the third time, the cock crew and he remembered what Jesus had said, that the he would deny him thrice before the cock crew. From here Jesus is taken to the Judgment Hall and brought before Pilate, where he asks Him; “…Art thou the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33) Jesus responds; “…Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? “(John 18:34) Pilate responds that His own nation brought Him to be judged; Pilate asks Jesus what he had done. Jesus responds; “…My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Pilate, out of curiosity and an attempt to understand the situation asks; “…Art thou a king then?” (John 18:37)

Jesus then answers and proclaims His divine mission as the Son of God; “…Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth, Every one that is of the truth heareth me voice.” (John 18:37)

Pilate then went out on the balcony and said to the group gathered below; “…I find not fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:38-39)  The crowd did not listen to reason and instead demanded that Barabbas, who was a thief, to be released. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, but did nothing. He let I happen, and let the people decide. What kind of trial was that? It certainly breaks laws today and certainly broke laws during the time of Jesus.

John 17

John 17: The Great Intercessory Prayer

Jesus offers the Great Intercessory Prayer;

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou has given him power of all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3) Jesus was sent on a divine mission from His Father to save all of God’s children, and that during this life we might learn and know of our Father in Heaven, this is what life is all about!

Jesus goes on; “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:4-5) In this address to Father, Jesus Christ explained that He was with God the Father before the world was, and that He had been given a task before that creation of the world, to be the savior of that world. Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father and He did complete the work the Father gave to Him.

Jesus continues; “…I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:9-11) Jesus prays for those who are following Him, but will not be able to leave the world as He is about to. We learn that everything the Father has, is shared with the Son. We are one as followers in Christ, as Jesus and His Father are one. Meaning, ONE in Purpose.

Jesus asks the Father to look out for those who are not of the world, for those who have given themselves over to following the Lord. Jesus continues to address the Father; “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16) Jesus knows that those who have followed His word, are not of the world. Jesus asks the Father to make living in the world easier, by removing the evil from them, but He specifically says not to remove them from the world. This means that even when the hardships of the world come forth, we must lift our head up and overcome the world, just as Jesus overcame the world.

The Bible: God’s Only Word?

                Jesus then says; “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) This is a famous scripture, and is used often to claim that there can only be the Bible and no more of God’s word. So the question is, does all the truth of God come from His words, and His words only? If we read further in the New Testament we read; “For the kingdom of God is not in the world, but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) Does this devalue the word of God? Absolutely not, the word of God is that, it comes from God! But without the proper power and authority from God, nothing besides knowledge can come from those words. In order to participate in all of God’s life saving ordinances, we must have the Power and Authority given to us. The word of God is also not in the confines of the Old and New Testament. If this were true, I can only imagine those of old, who only had the Old Testament and then found out that there was a New Testament. Well, we already know that outcome… the Scribes and Pharisees believed only in the Old Testament, and when a new Prophet came forth (who happened to be Jesus Christ) they did not believe on Him and instead murdered Him. Any Christian would say that of course the Old and New Testaments are the word of God. So the question is, can God call a new prophet and given them Another Testament? Yes, and it happened. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Having more than the Bible does not devalue it. In fact, having the Bible and the Book of Mormon only makes ones heart grow fonder of both.

Jesus continues His prayer and confirms once again that Jesus and His Father are one in purpose and not one in flesh or spirit; “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:20-21) We are one in purpose, just as the Son and Father are one in purpose. With that, we are all ONE in purpose, all of God’s children, Jesus Christ and the Father.

John 16

John 16: The Mission of the Holy Ghost

Jesus continues His address from the last chapter, He explains that there will come a time when those who believe on Christ will be forced out of the Synagogues and “…that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2) This act was seen in ancient times and in modern times. Shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Apostles He had called were also killed, and done in the name of doing ‘service to God’, just like bombings that occur in our modern society in the ‘service or name of God’.

The Apostles were upset by all of what Jesus had told them, but He assured them that all this must come to pass, but that after He leaves the world, the Comforter or Holy Ghost will guide them. “…he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

Jesus then tells them; “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” (John 16:16) The Apostles all thought to themselves, how is this possible? They were confused by His statement, and Jesus perceived this in their hearts and asked them; “…Do ye enquire among youselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?” (John 16:19) Jesus knew that they wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask, so He explains; “…ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world…. Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:20-22)

The Apostles did not ask to receive this answer, but Jesus tells them in the future they will need to ask, but that if they ask they shall receive. Jesus explains that He will no longer have to use Parables to explain, and will instead show them plainly; “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:28) Jesus asks them if they now believe, seeing that He speaks plainly. The Apostles say they do believe.

Jesus reminds His Apostles and Followers, that; “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We need to remember that when we are sad, lonely, angry, upset, etc. that Jesus Christ overcame the world for us, and gave His life that we could be forgiven of our sins, if we use our agency to repent and longer commit those sins. Jesus Christ enabled us to return to live with the Father. Jesus Christ overcame the world, and we too can overcome the world.