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John 1

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-18 - This famous passage is commonly referred to as John's Prologue. Rather than explain the details of Jesus' birth as Matthew and Luke do, or just jumping into the beginning of Jesus' ministry as Mark does, John introduces Jesus poetically, tying in many Old Testament themes:

    • JESUS IS THE WORD (v1-3)

      • John's gospel (like Mark's) begins with the same phrase as the Old Testament starts with: In the beginning.

      • Jesus is introduced as the Word, which was the means by which God created all things ("and God said, 'Let there be...'").

        • The word 'Word' has a bigger sense, which is reflected in the Greek. Jesus is the Logos, which was the transcendent power that Greek philosophers recognized was holding all things together. We get the English word "logic" from this.

        • Jesus is the all powerful, ever existing divine logic that created all things. The Logos

          • has always been with God

          • and is God.

    • JESUS IS THE LIGHT (v4-13)

      • He is the source of light and life in all people.

      • This world has been plunged into darkness by sin, but Jesus is the one true light that overcomes that darkness.

        • John the Baptist came to testify to the light that was coming.

        • Even though Jesus, the Logos, spoke the world into existence, His creation did not recognize Him when He came, and like bugs that scurry away when a rock is lifted up, the sinful world scurried away rejecting the true light.

      • It doesn't take long for John to present the gospel message, which comes in v12:

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

    • The tabernacle and temple were so significant in the Old Testament because the Israelites could see that God's presence lived among them.

      • When Jesus came, John writes that He dwelled (literally: tabernacled) among us.

      • As you read John, be on the lookout for how Jesus speaks about and interacts with the Temple, showing that He supersedes it.

    • Jesus is a new grace, replacing the grace the Mosaic sacrificial system could only symbolize.

    • Jesus is the fullest revelation of God. He literally is the Word of God.

  • v19-34 - Kings are always preceded by heralds, preparing the people to acknowledge the coming royalty before the King rode into town. John the Baptist was the herald preparing the way for Jesus.

    • Not only is Jesus the King the people must make their sacrifices to, He is the sacrificial lamb.

    • Jesus - the Word, the light and the King - is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

  • v35-51 - Jesus begins calling His disciples, who immediately recognize that He is the Messiah and follow Him.

OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: There are so many Old Testament passages referred to or fulfilled by this chapter, but focus on Genesis 22:1-19 where Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his only son, only to have God provide a ram at the last minute to take Isaac's place.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What was the name of the future disciple who asked in verse 46 if anything good could come from Nazareth?

  2. How does John's prologue help you understand who Jesus is?

Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (v1)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will make what you want the same as what He wants (v38)



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