Welcome to our 12-week Bible study, Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John, covering the life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. “Come and See” how the Gospel of John reveals the depth of God’s love and grace, and how it can transform your life.
Through this study, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and how to respond to him in faith, obedience, and love. You’ll also learn about his role as the Son of God and what his life and death mean for us today.
Each week, we’ll explore a different theme from the Gospel of John, including love, grace, and forgiveness. We’ll also take time to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Christ and how we can apply these teachings to our lives.
If you haven’t registered, no problem at all. Register now (yes, right now!) for this in-person Bible study and experience a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, and the joy of growing in your faith as you share the Gospel of Jesus with others.
Week 2: Overview
Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in week two using Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) as our weekly discussion guide:
- The theological importance in the parallel openings of Gospel of John and Genesis.
- How and why the Gospel of John opens differently than the Synoptic Gospels.
- The implications of Jesus being the incarnate Word — His divinity, humanity, and involvement in creation.
- John’s personification and symbolization of Jesus as the Word, life, and light.
- How one becomes a child of God saved by grace through faith.
- Jesus in comparison to other Biblical characters who were sent from God to bring deliverance to God’s people.
- The unique achievement Jesus accomplished for fallen humanity that no other person, place, or thing could ever replicate.
What is unique about the opening of John’s Gospel in comparison to Genesis?
Compared to Genesis, John’s Gospel introduction differs in several ways. Instead of describing the creation of the world and humanity, John emphasizes Jesus’ divinity and role in creation through the pre-existing “Word” (Logos). The opening is more abstract and philosophical than Genesis’ narrative style.
What do we learn about Jesus in the opening five verses of John’s Gospel?
In the opening five verses of John’s Gospel, we learn that Jesus is the Word (Logos) that existed before the creation of the world, and was with God and was God. We also learn that through Jesus all things were made, and without him, nothing was made that has been made.
The Triune God-Head (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit also known as Trinitarian God-Head) is also established in the opening of John, and Jesus is personified and symbolized as the Word, life, and light.
How does John’s Gospel differ in how it opens in comparison to the Synoptic Gospels?
John’s Gospel differs in how it opens in comparison to the Synoptic Gospels in several ways. While the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) begin with the birth or baptism of Jesus and the start of his public ministry, John’s Gospel starts with a philosophical and theological prologue that emphasizes Jesus’ divine nature and his role in creation.
What do we learn in John’s Gospel about the life and light we receive in Jesus?
According to John’s Gospel, Jesus is the source of both life and light, and through him, we receive eternal life and become children of God. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
In John 8:12, Jesus declares himself as the light of the world, and those who follow him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. Similarly, in John 10:10, Jesus says that he came so that people may have life and have it abundantly.
These verses reveal that Jesus offers a life of purpose and meaning and a path that leads to eternal life, illuminating the way for those who follow him and giving them hope and guidance in a world full of darkness and confusion.
What does the Apostle John state is John the Baptist’s role and ambition as a man sent from God?
The Apostle John states that John the Baptist’s role was to bear witness to the light so that through him all might believe. John the Baptist’s ambition was to point people to the one who was coming after him, who was greater than he was.
John 1:11 states that Jesus came “to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” In the entirety of the Bible, what are a few other instances in scripture where God’s people reject God?
Throughout the Bible, there are several instances where God’s people rejected Him.
One such instance is found in the book of Exodus, where the Israelites repeatedly turned away from God and worshipped idols even after witnessing His miraculous works.
In the book of Judges, we see a recurring pattern of the Israelites turning away from God and engaging in sinful behavior. This pattern is characterized by cycles of apostasy, where the people become enslaved by their sin and cry out to God for deliverance. God then sends a deliverer, such as a judge, prophet, or king, to rescue them and restore their relationship with Him.
The prophet Jeremiah also lamented the people of Israel’s rejection of God and warned of impending judgment.
In the New Testament, the religious leaders of Jesus’ time rejected Him despite His teachings and miracles (A prophet without honor: Matthew 13:53-58, Luke 4:14-28, Mark 1:1-6).
Furthermore, Paul spoke to the congregations in Thessalonica, Ephesus, Corinth, and Galatia regarding their abandonment of God for false teachers.
Prior to Jesus, who were some of the other Biblical characters who were sent from God to bring deliverance to God’s people?
There were several characters who were sent by God to bring deliverance to His people. Some examples include:
Moses: Sent by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and to receive the Ten Commandments.
Joshua: Chosen by God to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses died.
Samuel: A prophet and judge who anointed Saul and later David as kings of Israel.
David: Anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel and considered a man after God’s own heart. He defeated Goliath and established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Elijah: A prophet who confronted the prophets of Baal and challenged King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.
Elisha: A prophet who succeeded Elijah and performed many miracles, including raising the dead.
Jonah: A prophet who was sent by God to warn the people of Nineveh to repent, and was later swallowed by a great fish.
In the book of Judges, God sent judges such as Deborah, Gideon, and Samson to deliver Israel from their enemies when they cried out to Him.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus and to call people to repentance.
These are just a few examples of people in the Bible who were sent by God to bring deliverance to His people.
How does the Gospel of John state that one becomes a child of God? Where do you see God’s grace in these verses?
The Gospel of John states that one becomes a child of God by believing in Jesus Christ. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” This belief involves accepting Jesus as the Son of God, recognizing his sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, and committing to follow him.
God’s grace is evident in these verses as it is not by any works or merit of our own that we become children of God, but by simply believing in Jesus. This gift of adoption, also commonly referred to as sonship, is freely offered to ALL who believe, regardless of their background or past mistakes. It is a result of God’s unmerited favor and love towards humanity, expressed through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus, dying on the cross as substitutionary atonement.
Why is imperative that Jesus be both fully God and fully man?
It is imperative that Jesus be both fully God and fully man because this is what enables him to serve as the mediator between God and humanity. As fully God, he possesses the divine nature necessary to represent God to humanity and offer a perfect sacrifice for sin. As fully man, he can represent humanity to God and serve as a sympathetic high priest who understands our weaknesses and struggles.
If Jesus were only fully God and not fully man, he would not be able to truly represent humanity and understand our human experience. Conversely, if he were only fully man and not fully God, he would not have the divine nature necessary to offer a perfect sacrifice and mediate between God and humanity. Therefore, it is essential that Jesus be both fully God and fully man in order to fulfill his role as Savior and Mediator.
The following is cited/referenced from The Tony Evans Bible Commentary:
“…Conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary (see Matthew 1:20), the divine Son of God became a man. He is thus the God-Man — not half man and half God, but one person with a fully divine nature and a fully human nature. He is deity poured into humanity. He is fully human so he cried as an infant, but he fully divine and gage life to his mother! He is fully human so he had to sleep, but he is fully divine and can raise the dead back to life. Our God fully experienced what it is to be human — yet without sinning (Hebrews 4:15). He faced hunger, pain, temptation, grief, hardship, and rejection. You face no category that your Savior has not endured.”
What is John communicating with his words, “we have seen his glory” in John 1:14?
In John 1:14, the author is communicating that he and the other disciples have witnessed the glory of Jesus through his life, teachings, and miracles. By using the term “glory,” John is referring to the divine nature and attributes of Jesus, which he has seen and experienced firsthand.
John 1:14 is a testimony to the deity of Christ and his divine mission on earth. John is essentially stating that Jesus is not merely a human being, but the Word of God made flesh, and as such, he possesses a divine glory that is beyond human comprehension.
How do the ministries of Jesus and Moses differ? What did Jesus accomplish that Moses did not — could not — accomplish?
The ministries of Jesus and Moses differ in several significant ways. Moses was a great leader who was called by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to receive the Law at Mount Sinai, and to guide the Israelites during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. In contrast, Jesus’ ministry was focused on proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God, performing miracles, and ultimately offering salvation to all people through his death and resurrection.
One major difference between Jesus and Moses is the scope of their ministries. Moses was primarily concerned with the nation of Israel, while Jesus’ ministry was for all people. Jesus’ message of salvation was not limited to a specific group or ethnicity, but was intended for all who would believe in him.
Another difference is the nature of their miracles. Moses performed miracles such as parting the Red Sea, bringing water from a rock, and bringing down plagues on Egypt. These miracles were primarily intended to demonstrate God’s power and to confirm Moses’ authority as God’s representative. In contrast, Jesus’ miracles were primarily intended to demonstrate his power as the Son of God and to bring healing and wholeness to people.
Finally, Jesus accomplished what Moses could not — namely, the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of a right relationship between God and humanity. The Law given through Moses could not ultimately bring about salvation, as it was unable to remove the guilt and power of sin. However, Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for sin and made it possible for all who believe in him to be reconciled to God. As John 1:17 states, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Don’t forget to read through the three sections in Week 2 of Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) on Gospel Glimpses, Whole-Bible Connections, and Theological Soundings. Then take time to reflect on the Personal Implications these sections are likely to have on your walk and relationship with Lord Christ Jesus and his people.
Take a moment now to ask for the Lord’s blessing and help as you engage in this study of John. And take a moment also to look back through this unit of study, to reflect on a few key things that the Lord may be teaching you — and perhaps to highlight or underline these to review again in the future.
We hope these notes have been helpful in catching up on what we’ve covered so far. We’re excited to continue our study of John together next week in week three!
In the meantime, explore a very engaging animation video from the Bible Project team that explains the first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John. Additionally, you can read Mark L. Strauss’ article “John: The Gospel of the Eternal Son Who Reveals the Father.”
Alvin Brown, the Lead Pastor of Mosaic Church Fort Worth, brings over a decade of pastoral ministry experience and more than 20 years of operational and technical leadership expertise. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Mallary, and their three children and contributing as a writer to various media outlets.