Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of John is a Gospel that contains Narrative History, Sermons, Parables, and a few Prophetic Oracles. It was written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. The key personalities of this book are Jesus Christ, His Twelve Disciples, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Lazarus, his sisters Mary and Martha, Jewish religious leaders, and Pilate.
It was written so that all may believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God who gives eternal life. John’s gospel uses the word “Believe” 98 times and the word “Life” 36 times, in an effort to embed the importance that one must believe in order to live eternally. John is not one of the three synoptic (common view) gospels, but instead was written with a more theological substance, yet equally as inspired and important as the first three gospels.
• Chapter 1 is the preamble of the Messiah’s coming ministry. John gives clear evidence that Jesus is more than just a man, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1). John then describes that the “Word” is Jesus who became a man to “live among us” (1:14). The beginning verses in the first chapter teaches us that Jesus is more than just a man who came into existence but rather, He is infinite God.
• Chapters 2-12 consist of Jesus’ ministry. 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” (3:3). Several times throughout the book, Jesus claims that He Himself is God, “I am the Father are one” (10:30). 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” (11:25), “I am the way the truth and the life” (14:6), “I am the door” (10:9), and “I am the bread of life” (6:35).
• The events in Chapters 13-17 occur less than 24 hours before Jesus’ death. They describe the details of the Last Supper with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus taught many important topics to the Disciples during this time. Some of these were topics about the Kingdom, and about the work of the Holy Spirit that would be sent to them. He also prays for Himself, His disciples, and for all the future believers.
• Chapters 18-21 portray the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In these final chapters, He is on trial and then convicted illegally. After which He is appallingly beaten, humiliated, and then crucified. Jesus resurrected and arose from the tomb and appeared to Mary Magdalene and to His disciples. When John finishes his gospel he writes one of the most amazing truths about Jesus Christ,
“And there are many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (21:25).