1-2: "The Word" refers to Jesus (John 1:14). He always existed as the 2nd member of the trinity. He was both with God (Father and Holy Spirit) and was always God, as part of the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
3: Jesus created absolutely everything in both spiritual and physical realities. That’s why God says in Genesis 1, "let us make man in our image", referring to the Father and Son.
4-5: Jesus is the source of both physical and eternal life (1 John 1:2). His message of redemption (the Gospel) is like a light in a dark place. We should display this light as his ambassadors, confirming it with good works (Matthew 5:14-16).
6-9: Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ arrival (Isaiah 40:3-5). He preached repentance and used the symbol of baptism to help people understand the Gospel and why Jesus came. John the Baptist wasn’t the messiah or God’s source of salvation and knowledge ("the light"), he was just a messenger. The author mentioned this because some people thought John the Baptist might be the Christ (Luke 3:15).
10-13: Although Jesus created the entire physical world, he was largely rejected by his own creation. However, those who received him became born again children of God. Verse 13 emphasizes that spiritual birth is a gift from God and can’t be obtained through physical birth or through the will of man. Our will is sinful and causes us to reject God unless he intervenes by convicting us through the Holy Spirit.
14-16: The Word (Greek: logos) is an ancient concept that the stoics described as a divine, animating principle of the universe. This idea was prevalent among John’s readers, so he used it to communicate the power and authority of Jesus. The miracle of the incarnation is that the divine creator (logos) became part of his creation to graciously die in our place, absorbing the wrath of God.
17-18: The Mosaic law was a temporary solution to guide moral behavior and show us our need for a savior. It appropriately condemned mankind for breaking it, but we receive unmerited forgiveness through Jesus.
19-28: After John the Baptist was gained a significant following, the Pharisees sent messengers to see if he was either the Messiah or Elijah. They assumed he was Elijah since Malachi spoke of a messenger "preparing the way" and they assumed Elijah would be sent again before the day of the Lord (Malachi 3:1, 4:5). John denied that he was the fulfillment of either either and quoted Isaiah 40:3 to identify himself. However, he didn’t realize he was the fulfillment of both. The prophecy wasn’t wasn’t a literal return of Elijah, but referred to someone to come in the "spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:16, Matthew 11:13-14).
29: Jesus is called the Lamb of God because he came to completely fulfill the sacrificial system. Just as lambs were sacrificed in the Old Covenant temple, Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice to atone for the sins of his followers (Isaiah 53:7).
30-31: John’s water baptism was a symbol to help us understand the concept of Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. Israel’s temple system became obsolete when Jesus’ archetypical sacrifice bridged the gap between a righteous God and his sinful people. The Holy Spirit now dwells in us rather than manmade temples. The temple was always intended to be a temporary provision until Messiah came (Jeremiah 31:31-32).
32-34: God previously revealed to John the Baptist that the Messiah would be identified with a visual representation of the Holy Spirit, descending in the form of a dove. Although Jesus was John’s cousin, John didn’t know he was the Messiah until the Holy Spirit confirmed it through this sign.
35-42: When John the Baptist confirmed publicly that Jesus was the Messiah, Andrew and another disciple immediately followed Jesus. They were likely disciples of John who already accepted his teaching. Andrew introduced Jesus to his brother Peter, who Jesus called to follow him.
43-50: In Galilee, Jesus called Philip to be a disciple. Philip told his brother Nathaniel about Jesus, but Nathaniel was skeptical. Nazareth was a corrupt place and he couldn’t imagine Israel’s messiah coming from there. Nathaniel was an upright, devout Jew. His skepticism about Jesus was squashed when Jesus revealed his supernatural knowledge of things only Nathaniel would’ve known. We don’t know the significance of Nathaniel under the fig tree, but it was likely a supernatural experience he had alone with God.
51: Some have tried saying this is a failed prophecy of Jesus’ second coming in Nathaniel’s lifetime. However, there’s nothing in the text that indicates a promise to come again in Nathaniel’s lifetime, nor is it clear that this is referring to the second coming of Christ. There are several alternative explanations of Jesus’ words. It could have been a spiritual vision unique to Nathaniel and no one else similar to that of Jacob’s (Genesis 28:10-9), or it could be referring to Nathaniel witnessing Jesus’ second coming the way all souls will at the end of the age (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Another possibility is that he’s referring to Jesus’ resurrection in Acts 1. Angels descended to tell the disciples about the second coming, and angels may have ascended with him in the cloud.
1-12: Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine. Jesus’ miracles were called signs because they were used to demonstrate his deity. The "hour" Jesus referred to that had "not yet come" is mentioned in John 7:30,8:20, and 13:. John 13:1 reveals that it’s his "hour to depart from the world". During Jesus’ 3 year ministry, he walked a fine line between revealing and concealing his glory in order not to be crucified before the appointed time. Had he been more aggressive with declaring his identity, the Jewish leaders may have crucified him earlier. He respected his mother’s request and avoided publicity for the miracle by turning water into wine discretely. He had the servants bring the wine so only they and his disciples knew. The sign strengthened the faith of his disciples.
13-17: Jesus cleansed the temple for the first time at the beginning of his public ministry (John 2:13-17). The other Gospels record his second temple cleansing at the end of his ministry (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46). He did this because the money changers were exploiting the worshipers and God’s sacrificial system. The Passover was a busy time in the temple, so opportunists came to profit from selling sacrificial animals. They distorted the entire purpose of the temple and Passover, both of which pointed to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.
18-22: The Jews questioned Jesus’ authority for driving people out of "his father’s house", and asked for a miraculous sign to confirm his authority. He would eventually give them, and the world, the sign of his resurrection. Jesus said this in a somewhat cryptic way as he often did with parables when speaking to unbelievers. This accomplished three things in his sovereign plan: the truth about Jesus was concealed from hard hearted Jewish leaders, it was a prophecy that would later confirm Jesus’ ministry to the disciples, and it gave false witnesses incriminating evidence against him so he could die for our sins. The reason it was a good thing to conceal truth from the Jewish leaders was that they would reject God and be judged on the information they had. The more truth they had, the greater their judgment would be. The incriminating evidence against Jesus was misquoted him, implying he would destroy the Jewish temple.
23-25: Jesus probably healed people after his encounter with the Jewish religious leaders at the temple. This caused many to believe, but verse 25 indicates that their belief was misguided or superficial. They were drawn to the spectacle and benefits of miracles, but not Jesus himself. Therefore, Jesus didn’t disciple or lead them; they weren’t true converts. Jesus knows better than anyone that man is sinful by nature.
1-2: Nicodemus probably went to Jesus at night to conceal his identity. He was a high ranking religious leader who wanted to investigate Jesus’ claims, and most of his fellow Pharisees rejected Jesus. However, he knew Jesus was sent from God because of the signs he performed at the Passover.
3-4: After Nicodemus’ statement, Jesus directed the conversation to the topic of salvation. Being "born again" is a spiritual birth as indicated in verse 6. We all have a physical birth, but the second birth is spiritual regeneration through Jesus’ atonement. Nicodemus didn’t understand the concept of a second birth, thinking it was another literal, physical birth.
5-6: Since Jesus was speaking to a teacher of Judaism, he helped him understand by referencing Ezekiel 36:25. Being "born of water" is a cleansing of sin (Titus 3:5, Hebrews 10:21-22) and "born of the Spirit" is the Holy Spirit regenerating and dwelling in us.
7-8: The wind is used as an analogy for the Holy Spirit at work. We may not be able to understand or see it, but we can see it’s effects. People "born of the spirit" have changed lives that are centered on Christ.
9-13: Jesus lamented Nicodemus’ lack of understanding since he was a high ranking religious teacher in Israel. If Nicodemus didn’t understand earthly analogies, it seemed hopeless that he would understand heavenly things. He, along with much of Israel rejected the message of the Gospel— that Jesus died for our sins so we could have spiritual life.
14-15: In Numbers 21:6-9, God judged Israel by sending serpents to attack them. When they confessed their sins and repented, God graciously provided a way for them to be saved. God commanded Moses to make a bronze serpent so the bitten people could look at it and live. Jesus said this is a picture of the Gospel. Just as the Israelites were condemned to die when bitten by the serpents, we were condemned to die when we sinned. They looked at the serpent by faith to escape judgment, and we look to Jesus by faith to escape judgement.
16-18: Even though we’re guilty and have sinned against God, he loved us so much that He sent the second person of the trinity (Jesus) to die on the cross as atonement for our sins. Verse 17 makes it clear that this grace only applies to those who believe in him. It’s a universal offer, but not everyone will respond. Jesus is the only possible way to be reconciled with God.
19-21: Jesus came into the world as light: revelation from God and a solution to the problem of sin. However, wicked people still choose the darkness of a sinful life instead of submitting to Jesus and have their sins exposed.
22-30: John the Baptist’s disciples were concerned that Jesus and the apostles were baptizing more people than John was. John reminded them that the point of his ministry was to bear witness to Jesus. He rejoiced that Jesus was gaining more followers than himself because it meant that his service to God was successful.
31-35: John contrasted himself with Jesus, who is the highest authority in the universe. John was from the earth and used earthly symbols such as baptism, but Jesus is from heaven and baptizes is in the Holy Spirit. Jesus shared spiritual/heavenly truths, but no one receives his testimony on their own. In other words, "no one seeks God" because we are all sinful (Romans 3:23). However, the Holy Spirit graciously convicts us and opens our eyes to the truth. That’s why the very next verse mentions people who do receive his testimony. "Setting our seal" is a way of saying we permanently belong to God (John 6:27, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13).
36: Our eternal destiny is determined based on how we respond to Jesus. Since we’re all guilty of sin, we await judgement by default. If we believe in Jesus (trust in his sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins), then we’ll have eternal life with him. But if we reject him, we suffer the "second death’ and face the wrath of God. "Not obeying the Son" here, is presented as the opposite of believing in him as in the first half of the sentence.
1-6: Jesus continued the balancing act of making himself known without being crucified before the appointed time. When the Pharisees heard of his popularity, he left Judea for Galilee. During his 70 mile journey, he stopped in Samaria for a drink at Jacob’s well.
7-9: The woman at the well was puzzled that Jesus would ask her for a drink because there was so much hostility between Jews and Samaritans. He reached out to her in love with an offer of eternal life even though she was an outcast.
10-15: Jesus used an earthly metaphor to communicate a spiritual reality as he did with Nicodemus. Like Nicodemus, the woman was confused and took his metaphor literally. "Living water" is a reference to the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39), which "wells up to eternal life" (John 4:14). When we put our trust in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit and eternal life.
16-19: Jesus switched the conversation to the sin in her life. He did this because acknowledging that we are sinners who deserve God’s wrath must be understood before we can receive Christ. His supernatural knowledge of her sinful past made her realize he was from God.
20-24 When she realized he was a prophet, she switched the conversation in hopes to resolve the controversial spiritual debate of the day: "Did the Jews or Samaritans worship in the correct place?". Jesus’ answer was that worship no longer required a temple since he came. We now worship in "Spirit and truth "; as long as we have the Holy Spirit and true theology from scripture, we can worship him wherever we are. He also pointed out that Jewish theology was grounded in knowledge of the true God, while Samaritans worshipped in ignorance.
25-26: Jesus boldly claimed to be the messiah that she and Israel were looking for.
27-30: At first glance, this passage may seem like the disciples were marveling that he would talk to someone of the opposite sex. However, that wouldn’t make sense because Jesus regularly spoke with his female disciples and other women. I think they marveled for the same reason she did; that he talked to a Samaritan woman when there was racial and cultural hostility between Jews and Samaritans. Had he been talking to a man, they text would’ve said "they marveled because he was talking to a man".
31-34: Jesus continued his theme of using physical realities to illustrate spiritual truths. He used food as a metaphor for spiritual sustenance. Accomplishing God’s work was more important to Jesus than food.
35-38: Jesus used the analogy of harvesting a field to illustrate evangelizing the lost and doing God’s work. The fields represent the lost and the sowers are those who share the Gospel or point them to Christ by planting a seed of truth. Jesus had just sowed a seed in Samaria with the woman at the well and it was relayed to her neighbors. Because of this, these Samaritans were ready to receive Christ. The reapers are those who finish the work that the sowers started by sharing the Gospel and leading them to Christ. Without the foundation of the sower, the unbeliever wouldn’t be ready for the Gospel when the reaper comes along.
39-42: Jesus played the role of reaper as well when the Samaritan seekers came to him by faith. He stayed with them two days, probably teaching them the entire time. This caused many to believe. They no longer relied on partial, second hand information from the woman at the well, but heard from Jesus himself. They referred to him as "savior of the world" because his sacrifice allows us to be saved from God’s wrath on judgment day.
43-44: This is probably referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:57. Prophets don’t have honor in their hometown because a significant part of prophecy was pointing out the collective sins of people in their geographical region.
45: The Galileans saw Jesus perform miracles in Jerusalem and welcomed him in hopes that they could benefit from them as well.
46-54: The man knew of Jesus’ previous miracle in Galilee, so he believed Jesus could heal his son. Jesus pointed out that this man required seeing miracles in order to believe in Jesus for salvation (believing that Jesus died for his sins). He believed Jesus could perform miracles, but didn’t take this next step. When Jesus healed his son, the man and all of his household put their faith in Jesus.
1-9: Like many in his day, the crippled man believed that the pool of Bethesda could heal him. However, he felt that his situation was hopeless because he was an outcast and didn’t have a single friend to help him get into the pool to be healed. At Jesus’ command he was completely healed and could walk. This fulfilled a messianic prophecy in Isaiah 35:5-6 (Matthew 11:5). Jesus loved and helped even the outcasts of society.
10-18: The Jewish religious leaders scolded the man for breaking their sabbath rule of not laboring by carrying his mat. The primary reasons they persecuted Jesus was that he broke their manmade sabbath laws and claimed to be equal with God (John 5:18). Jesus’ conversation with the man makes it clear that the man’s disability was the result of sin. Perhaps he was sinning when it happened. Not all sickness and disabilities are a result of sin, but it was in this case. Jesus commanded repentance and warned of a worse fate if he didn’t repent. He was probably trying to say that God’s judgment is a worse fate than any physical punishment.
19-21: This section of scripture confirms the doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus can do nothing apart from the Father since they’re the same being. If the Father does something, that means the Son does as well. Jesus has complete knowledge of everything the Father does.
22-23: The world was created through Jesus and will be judged through Jesus. Since Jesus is fully God, it’s right that he receives the same honor as the Father. In fact, if we reject Jesus, we reject God altogether. Jesus is the only way to God.
24: When we hear the Gospel ("my word") and believe that Jesus was sent by God to die for our sins, then we have eternal life; we will no longer face condemnation for our sins.
25-27: The "dead" spoken of here is both the sinner who is dead in sin (as the previous verse uses the term) and those who will be raised to eternal life at the resurrection (John 5:28-29). Jesus is the giver of life and executes judgment on those dead in sin.
28-29: This passages is referring fo the final resurrection. Since God is just, anyone who does good will have eternal life and anyone who does evil will face judgment. The problem is that we have all done evil (Romans 3:23). While it’s true in principle that good people will have eternal life, no one will be raised for being Good. As John has already established, we have to deal with our sin problem though belief in Jesus. He died so we could be forgiven and avoid judgment (John 3:16, 5:24). The other Gospels and epistles confirm this.
30: Jesus is one with God the father so his will is in perfect alignment with his (John10:30).
31-38: Jesus pointed out that it’s not enough for someone to simply claim they’re the Messiah. If that’s all he did, no one should believe him. However, he had other ways of confirming his identity as Messiah. John the Baptist proclaimed he would come, God himself declared Jesus was his Son, and Jesus’ own miraculous works confirmed who he was. Many have claimed to be messiah, but Jesus was the only person who could confirm it.
39-40: Jesus highlighted the irony of those who rightly search the scriptures for eternal life, yet rejected him. He’s the obvious source of salvation and fulfillment spoken of in the Old Testament (Isaiah 53:5-6), yet they stubbornly rejected him.
41-44: His audience received glory from one another through appearing religious and holy. However, Jesus didn’t receive this kind of glory from them—his glory came from God the father because he lived a truly righteous life. In verse 42, "the love of God" was not in them because they rejected Jesus. This means they rejected the God that they claimed to worship. The phrase "The love of God" refers to God’s love flowing through us by the Holy Spirt, and having a loving relationship with God through Jesus. Since they rejected him and stood condemned in God’s eyes.
45-47: They thought their glory came from obeying the laws of Moses, but these are the very laws that will convict them on judgment day. Not only that, but Moses foretold Jesus’ coming (Deuteronomy 18:15). Jesus saw their case as hopeless since they rejected the content of Moses’ writings, which they claimed to respect.
1-14: Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5,000 accomplished 3 purposes. First, it was a sign to validate his identity as the son of God and fulfillment of prophecy (John 6:14, 4:48, 2:11). Secondly, he used it as a lesson to teach his disciples. When Jesus asked Philip where to get the bread, the correct answer was to ask for a miracle by faith. He followed Jesus around as he performed many miracles and should’ve known it would be no problem for Jesus to feed them (John 6:2). Thirdly, Jesus had a deep love and compassion for the people and even cared for their most basic needs.
15: During Jesus’ public ministry, he walked a fine line of concealing himself and making himself known in order to choreograph his divine purpose of being sacrificed at the right time. When speaking to the authorities he had to avoid being crucified early, and when revealing his divine identity to his followers he had to avoid being forced into an earthly king role. Jesus would both die and rule as king, but not until the sovereignty appointed time was right.
16-21: Jesus walking on water seems like an odd, random miracle, but it served the primary purpose of his signs, which was to confirm his divinity. This convinced his disciples that he truly was the son of God more than any other miracle (Matthew 14:32-33). We know from the other accounts in Mark and Matthew that Jesus told them not to be afraid because they thought he was a ghost. We also know they were struggling against the waves for hours, not getting anywhere from dusk (John 6:16-17) until the fourth watch between 3-6am (Matthew 14:25). Jesus also calmed the storm. It’s not clear wether verse 21 was a miracle in which the boat made it to land quicker, or it was hyperbole to say they no longer had wave resistance and it hardly took any time to get to shore.
22-26: After the crowd searched for Jesus and couldn’t find him, they took boats to where they saw the disciples go to find him. When they found Jesus, he pointed out that their true motive in finding him wasn’t to become his disciples, it was to get more free food.
27-29: As usual, Jesus used the physical as a metaphor for the spiritual. Physical food has temporary value, but the spiritual food he spoke of endures forever. They worked hard to find Jesus so they could get perishable food, but he told them to work for the food that leads to eternal life. The "works of God" as they framed it, is simply to believe in Jesus, the one he sent. As fleshed out in John 6:2, this means to trust that Jesus’ atoning work on the cross paid for our sins.
30-33: Even though Jesus miraculously fed them the day before, they wanted more food and a greater sign. To get more bread, they cited their ancestors miraculously receiving manna in the wilderness. Jesus pointed out that the miracle bread they ate wasn’t from Moses but from the God the Father.
32-35: Again, Jesus used bread as a metaphor. Just as bread sustains physical life, He claimed to be be the bread from heaven that gives true fulfillment and everlasting life.
36-37: All believers are predestined to come to Christ and can rest securely in their salvation since it’s based on Jesus’ atonement. If we come to Christ we know we were predestined. Although we’re making a genuine decision, God created us and orchestrates the events of the world in a way that leads us to receive him.
38: Jesus didn’t come to accomplish his own will apart from the Father’s. His will cannot be separate from the Father’s since they’re the same being.
39-40: It’s God’s will that we put our faith in Christ so He can raise us up on the last day and we can have eternal life.
41-51: The Jews challenged Jesus, starting with his origin. Their question assumed that Jesus just appeared from heaven rather than being incarnated. The incarnation was necessary so God could represent man in his payment for our sins. Jesus reinforced his bread analogy again: that no one can come to the father unless predestined, and that he’s the source of eternal life to all who believe.
52-59: Although it was clear that Jesus was using metaphors, the Jews treated his statement as if he literally wanted people to eat him. The metaphor of eating and drinking represents believing and abiding in him (John 6:56). When we are linked to Christ in this way, we live forever (John 6:57-58).
60-63: He’s talking about the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature (the flesh). Salvation is completely from God and our efforts to earn salvation do nothing to to gain us merit. The reason is that we don’t have a way to clear our sinful record apart from Jesus. It would be like a murderer trying to save himself from prison by suddenly obeying the law. Obedience cannot override guilt.
64-66: Many of the disciples were intrigued by Jesus and followed him, but didn’t fully believe Jesus had "the words of eternal life". When they turned away from him, Jesus pointed out that we can’t turn to God by our own volition.
67-70: Peter spoke for the 12 apostles, who all believed Jesus was the source of eternal life sent by God. The only exception was Judas, who would betray Jesus.
1-6: Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe that he was Messiah and mockingly challenged him to go to the feast and work miracles to become known. The brother’s tone can be detected in verse 4.
7-13: Given Jesus’ foreknowledge, he was strategic in his appearance at the feast. He didn’t go publicly the way his brothers wanted him to because he knew he would be arrested and it would end his ministry early. Instead, he spoke later at the temple where he knew no one would arrest him (John 7:30). Some manuscripts quote Jesus as saying he wasn’t going to the feast "yet", which would resolve the apparent lie about not going to the feast. However, even if Jesus did say he wasn’t going, it seems he simply meant he wasn’t participating in the feast but going secretly the way he did. Instead, he spoke at the temple. This would make sense considering the context of his brothers’ challenge to him.
14-15: The Jews were amazed at the accuracy and depth of Jesus’ theological teaching because they knew he never trained under a rabbi.
16: Jesus was appealing to his divine nature, since he is one with the father. He was explaining that this was the teaching of the entire trinity, and he wasn’t teaching anything independent from the Father. It would be impossible for Jesus to teach something apart from the God the Father since they are the same being.
17: People who truly want to do God’s will inevitably know that Jesus’ teaching is in alignment with God the Father’s. Since Jesus is God, his teaching holds the same authority.
18: If a religious leader bases their teaching on their own authority rather than God’s, they’re glorifying themselves. But if they seek to glorify God, who sent Jesus, they will find truth.
19-20: Jesus called out the Jewish religious leaders for hypocritically breaking the law of Moses and trying to kill him. They also accused him of being demon possessed.
21-24: They judged Jesus for healing a lame man on the sabbath, accusing him of breaking Mosaic law (John 5:5-9). However, Jesus pointed out that doing good works on the sabbath was permissible. They were judging by appearances and not right judgement. We too should be careful not to judge others based on appearances.
25-27: Some people were skeptical of Jesus being the Christ based on the unbiblical idea that no one would know where the Christ would come from.
28-29: Jesus didn’t deny his earthly origins, but pointed out that he was sent by God. There is nothing contradictory about the Christ being born of a woman but sent by God. It was a false dichotomy set up by his detractors.
30-31: The crowds were divided— Some believed in him and some wanted to arrest him for blasphemy. But those who wanted to arrest him didn’t because it didn’t fit in God’s sovereign plan.
32-36: Jesus spoke of his death and resurrection but they didn’t understand.
37-39: He used water as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, which gives us eternal life. If we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised again, we receive the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.
40-44: Again, the people were divided and had theological debates about Jesus’ identity.
45-49: The officers were starting to be convinced by Jesus so they didn’t arrest him. The Pharisees appealed to their own theological clout, claiming that Jesus was deceiving them.
50-53: Nicodemus may have believed in Jesus after his encounter with him in chapter 3, but wasn’t ready to commit or tell the Pharisees. He seemed to have at least respected Jesus because he defended him from judgment without trial. The Pharisees seemed irritated based on their non-sequitur response.
1-11: This section of scripture isn’t in the earliest manuscripts we have so it may not be part of the cannon of scripture. Some scholars believe it’s based on an actual event and a scribe added it. It seems to fit Jesus’ character and how he dealt with the Pharisees. Even if this isn’t a part of Scripture, no major doctrine or important teaching is lost. The story shows Jesus’ loving grace toward the woman caught in adultery, while pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. We don’t know what he wrote in the sand, but it was probably the sins of her accusers to show he knew. Jesus protected the woman from the judgment she deserved under Jewish civil law and commanded her to repent of her sins.
12: Jesus’ metaphor of light and darkness teaches that without him we don’t have the truth about reality. We may know facts about how the physical world works, but won’t understand the ultimate meaning of our existence.
13-18: The Pharisees challenged him based on the Mosaic law that required at least two witnesses when someone made their legal case. Their point was that they didn’t trust Jesus because he didn’t have a second witness to back up his claims about being the Light of the world. He responded with the doctrine of the Trinity, which is that He and God the Father are the same being. His claim is evident in John 8:16, which says that if he judges someone, it’s the same as the Father judging them; the two are in perfect alignment. When Jesus said he judges no one, he was talking about during his time on earth in human form. He was sent to represent humanity and die for our sins. Only in the final judgment will he judge us, and those who put their trust in him will have eternal life (John 7:38, 8:24).
19-20: The only way to know God the Father is through Jesus, since he is one with the Father and provided atonement for our sins.
21-22: Jesus was again speaking of the resurrection. The Pharisees didn’t understand and thought he was talking about suicide.
23-24: Jesus plainly declared that he came from heaven and that their origin was earthly. Jesus came in human form so he could represent us, sacrificing himself on the cross and absorb the wrath of God on our behalf. He fulfilled the entire sacrificial system and Mosaic law. We have all sinned so if we reject Jesus we will die in our sins and be judged (Romans 3:23).
25-27: They didn’t seem to understand at this point who Jesus was or that he was talking about God the father. Jesus declared God’s word to us, sharing all that he wanted us to know.
28-30: They would know that Jesus was the Son of God and representative of man after he was crucified. It would be clear by the miraculous, symbolic sign of the temple curtain being torn in two, the fulfilled prophecies, and confirmation of what he said would happen.
31-32: We can know if we are truly Jesus’ disciples if we abide in his word. This means that we live repentant lives and trust in Jesus to be justified on judgment day. If we trust in our own good works to save us we’ll be condemned on the basis of our sins. The true believer may fall into sin, but they always come back to God. The freedom he speaks of is freedom from sin and judgment (John 8:34).
33-47: The Pharisees spoke of human slavery but Jesus spoke of spiritual slavery. Just as a slave temporarily served a master, slaves to sin have temporary life on this earth. Jesus has eternal life, so those who break free from the bondage of sin through his sacrifice will share in this eternal life (John 8:36). He acknowledged their claim that they are physical descendants of Abraham, but pointed out that they contradict God by obeying their father, the Devil (John 8:44). If God was truly their father they wouldn’t have rejected His son, Jesus.
48-52: He responded to their accusation of demon possession by pointing out that God is his father and seeks his glory. He again pointed out that his message is the key to eternal life.
53-56: Next, they challenged Jesus’ implication that he was greater than the patriarch Abraham. Jesus again pointed out that he received glory from God himself. He glorified Jesus by speaking at his baptism and eventually raised him from the dead. Although they tried using Abraham against him, Abraham himself looked forward to the Christ’s arrival.
57-59: Jesus claimed to be God by referring to himself as the most sacred name for God in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14-15). Since claiming to be God is obviously blasphemous, they tried carrying out the old covenant penalty of stoning for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16).
1-5: The disciples had the same false idea that Job’s friends had. They thought bad things only happen to us as punishment for sins. The man’s disability wasn’t the result of anyone’s sin, but he was born that way so the work of God could be displayed in him. Jesus’ miracle of healing him was another sign to show Jesus’ divinity and power. Since we were created to bring God glory, this man had the highest honor of being a vessel for God’s mercy and glory (Romans 9:22-23).
6-15: The man faithfully followed Jesus’ instructions and was healed from his blindness. The reason the Pharisees opposed him so strongly is because they knew the theological implications of this miracle. Healing the blind was one of the signs that Messiah had come (Isaiah 35:5).
16-28: The Pharisees tried to discredit Jesus by attacking his character and accusing him of working on the sabbath. Their argument was that if Jesus was a sinner who broke the sabbath, then it wasn’t possible that he was the Messiah who could heal the blind.
29-33: The healed man defended Jesus by arguing that the miracle itself was evidence that Jesus was from God. If Jesus were a sinner, then he wouldn’t be able to perform signs that only God can.
34: The Pharisees responded by appealing to their authority as theologians and attacking the healed man’s character.
35-38: Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah, and the healed man put his faith in Him. The man realized Jesus was God in flesh and worshipped him. As the second member of the trinity, Jesus rightfully accepted his worship.
39-41: Jesus came into this world to be judged by God on our behalf. His ministry involved revealing the Gospel to the unsaved (those who don’t see) and concealing it from those who know the truth but reject him. The reason he wanted "those who see to become blind" was to make their judgement in the afterlife less severe. He knew they were going to die in their sins and that we are judged according to what has been revealed to us (Romans 1:18-20, 2:12-16). This is main reason why Jesus used parables. It was gracious of him to conceal the truth from them. However, the Pharisees already had a deep understanding of the scriptures, saw Jesus’ works, and still rejected him.
1-10: Jesus’ parable of the sheep gate was meant to teach that he is the only way to God the Father. The sheep are people, He is the door, the pasture is fellowship with God, and the thieves and robbers are the religious leaders that lead Israel astray.
11-16: Sticking with the theme of shepherding sheep, Jesus told the parable of the good shepherd. Jesus described his relationship with the church as that between a sheep and shepherd who owns the sheep—they have an intimate knowledge of each other and can detect imposters. As the good shepherd, Jesus was willing to die for his sheep. This is in contrast to the "hired hand" of a false religious teacher.
17-18: When Jesus died on the cross as atonement for our sins, he did so completely on his own terms. Though the Jews and Romans crucified him, it was a divinely choreographed event that Jesus could have stopped at any moment (Matthew 21:53-54). He went through with the crucifixion out of love and not as a helpless victim.
19-21: Jesus’ claims were often divisive, causing his listeners to debate his identity.
22-33: Jesus answered the Jews who challenged him by once again claiming to be God. In verse 30, he told them that he and God the Father are the same being. But first, he prefaced his answer by condemning his critics. he already told them (John 8:57-59), but they were vessels of wrath and not children of God (Romans 9:22). The Jews wanted to stone him for claiming to be God.
34-39: Jesus argued that they didn’t have a legal case to stone him. If God’s word referred to their sinful selves as sons of God the way Psalms 82:6 did, then it would be absurd to say it’s blasphemous to call Jesus the Son of God when the Father himself consecrated and sent Jesus. He challenged them to judge his works to confirm his status as the son of God. Some have tried saying this passage shows Jesus didn’t claim to be anything more than a general "son of God", but this view contradicts itself and misses Jesus’ point. If Jesus were simply saying he was a child of God the way Psalms did, he wouldn’t have said God "consecrated him", or claimed to be "one with the father", or say "I and the father are one". Furthermore, his listeners clearly still understood what he said as blasphemy since they wanted to stone and arrest him.
40-42: Jesus escaped to where John the Baptist first began baptizing people. He gained more followers because they saw that John’s prophecies about him came true.
1-27: God allowed Lazarus to get sick and die so he could be glorified by raising him up, and cause those watching to fully put their trust in him (John 11:27, 40-42, 14-15). John 11:6 indicates that Jesus let him die. However, the illness didn’t lead to death in the ultimate sense because he he would be raised (John 11:4). When Jesus raised him he declared and demonstrated that he is the path to eternal life. He blessed everyone watching with a miracle that showed them the path to eternal life.
28-37: When Jesus met with Mary and the Jews he wept because he saw the pain they were long though from losing Lazarus. The Jews thought he was crying because of Lazarus’ death, but it wasn’t since he knew he would raise him soon and verse 33 tells use he was moved by the tears of Mary and the Jews. The Jews also criticized him for not being there to heal Lazarus.
38-44: Jesus reiterated why this had to happen—it was for God’s glory and that his followers would believe. Lazarus’s resurrection gives us a glimpses into the final resurrection. This event gave his followers confidence that he would raise them at the final resurrection.
45-53: When some of the Jews told the Pharisees what Jesus did, they were afraid he would gain a larger following as Messiah, and the Romans would take away Jewish rule and freedom for trying to establish their own political leader. Ciaphas’s ill-intended words were preordained by God to have a double meaning, that Jesus would literally die for the sins of his people.
54-57: Jesus hid from the Jews because it wasn’t his time to be crucified, and the Jews wanted to kill him.
1-8: Mary’s seemingly wasteful act of anointing Jesus feet with perfume meant a lot to Jesus because it was an act of worship and humility. It was also anointed him for burial. Jesus always advocated helping the poor, but this was a rare moment in history, and glorifying God is even a greater good. Jesus rebuked Judas who was fueled by greed and self-interest.
9-11: The Jewish leaders were so paranoid about losing their freedom and power under Roman rule that they wanted to get rid of Lazarus too. Lazarus’s resurrection only added to the rumors that a rising Messiah was going liberate them from Rome soon.
12-15: Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 by riding on a donkey. Recently, some have argued that the Gospels contradict each other on this story, but they actually compliment each other.
16: The disciples realized much of Jesus’ fulfilled prophecy in hindsight because they had different, unbiblical expectations of what the Messiah would do when he came.
17-19: The people who saw Jesus raise Lazarus were telling everyone what happened. The crowd that gathered on Palm Sunday came because they heard from these eyewitnesses about Lazarus. The Pharisees lamented at the site of many Jews following Jesus.
20-23: Though the Greeks weren’t part of God’s chosen people (the Jews), some still went up to the feast to worship. The Old Testament made provisions for non-Jews to become part of God’s people, though they were restricted in some aspects by ceremonial laws (Exodus 12:48). When the apostles told Jesus that the Greeks wanted to see him, he responded with theological discourse. Jesus’ "hour" was his preordained crucifixion as payment for our sins.
24: Just as a grain of wheat must die in order to be fruitful and cause a harvest, Jesus had to die in order to bring salvation.
25-26: Receiving Christ requires that we "die to self" and fully embrace him as our savior. People who love earthly things more than Jesus reject him and don’t have eternal life. If we hate our sin and worldly things when compared to Christ, then we’ll happily embrace him and receive eternal life. When we follow Christ in his teaching and example, God will honor us after death.
27: Jesus’ was troubled at the thought of being separated from the father and bearing our sins as he died on the cross. However, this didn’t stop him from going through with it; his sacrifice was the purpose of the incarnation.
28-30: God spoke from heaven to confirm Jesus’ words for the crowd. Some who heard tried dismissing it as thunder or an angel.
31-33: The hour had come for God’s judgement of the human race to be poured out on Jesus. He payed the penalty that we deserve. If we repent and believe this sacrifice was sufficient payment for our sins, we will be forgiven. We can then stand before God on judgement day with the confidence that we will be judged as if we lived Jesus’ sinless life and his righteousness is "credited to our account". Jesus draws all people to himself by inviting them to "repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).
34: His Jewish critics pointed to Old Testament references of Christ’s kingdom lasting forever and claimed they were at odds with the Christ being "lifted up" (crucified) (Psalm 89:4, Isaiah 9:7). They didn’t realize Jesus’ death was temporary and that he would rise from the dead and rule forever.
35-37: Rather than answer their challenge directly, Jesus pleaded with them to repent from darkness and believe in him (the light). He didn’t answer their challenge because he knew that whatever he said wouldn’t convince them. They still didn’t believe even after seeing the signs (miracles) he had done. The more pressing issue was their condemned souls.
38-41: John cited Isiah 6:10 to explain the situation of why they wouldn’t believe in him. God knows our thoughts and whether or not we’ll reject him and face judgment (Psalm 139:1-4). Jesus blinds those who will ultimately reject him by speaking in parables (Matthew 13:14-15). One of the primary reasons he did this was to lessen their punishment on judgment day, since we’ll be judged based on the amount of light we were given in this life. We know from the example of Pharaoh that people who already have hard hearts will be hardened further at the sight of God’s miraculous signs (Mark 6:52). All God did to harden Pharaoh’s heart was perform miraculous signs and Pharaoh doubled down on his hostility. He became immune to the miraculous and nothing could make him humble myself and believe at that point. That said, if they were to turn to God, he would heal them of their unbelief and sin.
42-43: Fear of the Pharisees kept many people in positions of authority, like Nicodemus, from publicly admitting they believed in Christ. They were afraid of persecution and the public shame of being banned from worshiping in the temple. It’s tempting to seek the glory that comes from man since we see and interact with mankind everyday, but the glory that comes from God is far greater. We must resist the temptation to fear people and hide our faith. We may get made fun of, persecuted, or lose honor among peers. However, this pain is temporary and can’t compare to the glory we will share in Christ for eternity.
44-45: Since Jesus and the Father are the same God, then believing in Jesus is the same as believing in the Father who sent him. Jesus even claimed that seeing him is the same as seeing the father; in both cases we have seen God. These verses confirm that Jesus is equal to God in the Trinity.
46: The metaphor of Jesus being the light refers back to John 1:4-13. The light and darkness metaphor refers to giving eternal life to sinners lost in darkness (John 1:4-5,12,12:35-36).
47-48: The point of Jesus’ incarnation was to save people from the judgment at the end of the age, not during his time on earth (John 3:17). However, this doesn’t mean no one will be judged. On judgement day, Jesus’ claims and teachings will convict those who rejected him.
49-50: These verses don’t mean Jesus’ authority is less that the Father’s or that he needed to be told what to say due to lack of knowledge. The point he was making is that his teachings were backed with the authority of the God his opponents claimed to believe in. While on earth, Jesus obeyed the commandments of God required of us. This allowed him to be our perfect representative and transfer his record of obedience to those who trust in him (John 15:10, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
1: Although Jesus knew the horrors of the cross he would endure, he followed through to the end because he loves us.
2-3: As the second person of the trinity, Jesus came from God the father and would return to him. "All things given into his hands" refers to all of creation, including the elect he will represent on judgement day.
4-17: Jesus engaged in the humble act of washing his disciples’ feet to model humility in serving to others, and to illustrate that he would cleanse them of their sins (John 13:14). The significance of this act only made sense to them with the hindsight of his atonement on the cross (John 13:7). John 13:10 illustrates that once we’re cleansed through Jesus’ atonement, we don’t need to be cleansed again in order to be saved. However, the exception of "washing your feet" illustrates that it’s necessary to continually repent and turn to Christ since we are sinful people living in a fallen world.
18-19: Jesus foretold Judas’ betrayal of him so when it happened it would confirm to his followers that Jesus had divine insight.
20: People who receive the Gospel receive not only the messenger but the source of the message: Christ.
21-30: Jesus revealed to John that Judas would betray him. Jesus had divine insight, knowing exactly what Judas would do.
31-32: Both Jesus and God the Father are glorified through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. Jesus will be praised for all of eternity for this loving act that redeemed so many people.
33-36: Jesus would depart in his resurrection body to a place where we can’t go until after death. He left them with the command to love one another, which is a mark of Jesus’ true disciples.
37-38: Jesus pointed out that Peter’s zeal would quickly turn into denial. Jesus’ ability to foretell events shows that he didn’t go to the cross blindly or by accident. It was preplanned from eternity past, and he went through with it because of his love for us.
1-7: Jesus promised to "prepare a place" for his followers so we can be with him for eternity. As he told Thomas, Jesus himself is the way to get there. Unless we put our trust in Christ, we’ll eternal separation from God after death. He is our sinless representative who makes it possible for us to survive the final judgment.
7-11: Jesus claimed that seeing him is the same as seeing the father. He spoke of the Father as a different "person" (John 14:12), while claiming to be the same "being" (John 14:9). This is another affirmation of the Trinity.
12: The "greater work" Jesus referred to is probably sharing the Gospel with others to save them from judgment. This is greater in the sense of importance, not power. Giving a blind person sight is a great work, but showing them the way to eternal life is even greater.
13-14: Asking for something in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean we simply add the phrase "in Jesus’ name" to the end of our prayer. It means aligning our will with his, acknowledging that what we asked for might not be in his will. But according to verse 14, everything we ask for that aligns with God’s ultimate will comes to pass. For example, if I were diagnosed with cancer and asked for healing, I must acknowledge that my request may not fit into God’s overarching plan. However, if it did, I would be healed for asking in his name.
15: Our love for God can be measured by our obedience to him. If our actions habitually oppose his commands, it’s evidence that we don’t really love him.
16-17: Jesus promised that when he left, the Holy Spirit would come to dwell in his followers.
18-20: Jesus promised to return someday and reconcile his people with the Father.
21-24: Again, Jesus pointed out that our love is measured by obedience to his commands, and that he is the mediator between God and man.
25-26: Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come after him and help the disciples remember all that Jesus said to them. This ensured that the scripture they wrote was accurate and that their theology was sound.
27: Jesus offers a supernatural peace between sinful people and a holy God.
28: Though Jesus is equal with the father (John 10:30), the Father was greater than Jesus when he "took the form of a servant" in the "likeness of men" (Philippians 6:5-7). Jesus did not cease to be God, but laid aside his privileges of being God to represent mankind on the cross.
29-31: Jesus’ time was short because the "ruler of this world" (Satan) indwelled Judas and he was coming to assist in Jesus’ arrest.
1-6: The metaphor of a vine is a great illustration of how Christ is the source of life. Abiding in Christ means to trust and obey him, which results in bearing spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). False converts who don’t bear fruit are broken off since they were never truly connected to the vine (Jesus) and will be judged. God prunes the believer by striping things from their life that distract them from God. It may cause difficulty in our lives, but the end result is bearing more fruit, which has eternal significance.
7-8: When we abide in Christ, we ask for things in alignment with his will and our prayers are answered. God is glorified when we live for Christ.
9-10: We abide in Jesus’ love by obeying his commandments. Jesus’ perfect obedience is our example.
11-15: Jesus’ commandment is to selflessly and sacrificially love one another. He gives the example of someone laying down their life for their friends, which obviously foreshadowed Jesus’ atoning death on the cross.
16-17: God preordained us to be saved from eternity past. This means he chose us. We would’ve never chose to follow him on our own.
18-21: People hate and persecute Christians because they follow the teachings of the one they hate: Jesus. Jesus never promised us lives of happiness, health, and wealth. He promised we would be hatred and persecuted to some degree.
22-25: We are also judged by how much light we had in knowing the truth. They saw Jesus’ works and teachings, yet still rejected him. This is why it was gracious of Jesus to speak in parables around people he knew would go to their graves rejecting him. Had they understood the parables, it would only stack more judgment on them.
26-27: Jesus would send the Holy Spirit after the resurrection to convict and bear witness about Jesus, along with the apostles and Christians throughout the ages. We are God’s mouthpiece to share the good news of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20).
1-6: Jesus was about to leave his disciples and wanted to prepare them for the persecution that was about to come. They, along with Christians throughout the centuries have died at the hands of people who thought they were doing a service to God.
7-11: The Holy Spirit would come after Jesus ascended to the Father and the new covenant was sealed. The reason Jesus’ absence and the Holy Spirit’s presence was to their advantage was that the Holy Spirit would convict unbelievers of their sin, leading them to receive righteousness through Jesus’ sacrifice.
12-15: The Holy Spirit would guide the apostles to truth so they could write the inspired books of the New Testament, which were Jesus’ final communication to the Church. Part of their writings declared "the things that are to come" (John 16:13).
16-22: The disciples were confused because they didn’t understand that Jesus was about to sacrifice himself for humanity’s sins. Jesus cryptically foretold his death and resurrection. He compared it to childbirth since they would feel intense pain at his crucifixion, followed by great joy when he rose again.
23-24: Asking something in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean to simply ending your prayer by saying the words. It means to put your will in alignment with Jesus’. Everything we truly asked in Jesus’ name will be given to us. If a prayer request is never granted our entire life, it wasn’t in Jesus’ will.
25-26: After Jesus died, rose again, and the spirit indwelled the disciples, his figures of speech would become clear. He would speak plainly to them about the father after his resurrection and through the Holy Spirit.
27-28: As our perfect high priest, Jesus mediates between us and the Father.
29-33: Jesus knew that the disciples would scatter out of fear during his trial and crucifixion. However, Jesus still had the company of the Father until he faced God’s wrath on the cross. No matter what tribulations we face while on earth, we can know Jesus overcame the fallen world that we might have eternal fellowship with him.
1-5: This is referred to as Jesus’ high priestly prayer because he mediated for his people through prayer. We learn from this prayer that the primary reason Jesus came was to bring God glory (both Father and Son) by dying on the cross and giving us eternal life. The phrase "to all whom you have given him" shows that we were predestined to receive Christ. We receive eternal life by knowing God through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He paid the penalty of our sins by dying on the cross. When we confess our sins and trust that his death was a sufficient sacrifice on our behalf, we receive the Holy Spirit and have eternal life. Verse 5 tells us that Jesus existed before the world and shared Glory with the Father from eternity past. That’s why Genesis 1:26 says "let us make man in our image".
6-14: Jesus emphasized that his followers were given to him from the Father and that He is glorified in them.
15-19: The reason God doesn’t take believers out of the world is because we’re sanctified through God’s word as we navigate through this fallen world. Furthermore, we’re sent by Jesus to preach the Gospel to others, just as He was sent into the world (Matthew 28:19–20).
20: Jesus prayed for all people who would believe throughout history; not just for the disciples.
21-24: Jesus desired unity between him, the Father, and those he saved. The "glory" Jesus gave us is probably referring to our future glorified state in heaven. Jesus earned it for us by applying his righteousness to us.
25-26: Jesus mediates for us; we didn’t know the father, but Jesus made him known and provided a way to know him. He did this that we might partake in the love of God.
1-12: The three other Gospel accounts fill in more details of what was said and how the betrayal happened. Judas brought a band of soldiers to Jesus and his disciples in the garden. As Judas drew near, Jesus said, "would you betray the son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48), then told him to "do what he came to do" (Matthew 26:49-50). Judas was likely silent out of fear and shame, so Jesus came forward and spoke to the mob saying, "whom do you seek?" (John 18:4). After that, the rest of John’s account played out, along with Luke’s account of the disciples asking if they should strike with the sword. While they asked, Peter followed through with it (Luke 22:49-50). Jesus healed the man’s ear and was arrested.
13-18: When Jesus was taken to be questioned, Peter watched from a distance by a charcoal fire, where he denied Jesus the first time. He was scared that he would be arrested if he associated with Jesus.
19-21: When questioned about the content of his teaching, Jesus pointed out that he taught openly and didn’t hide anything. Since they’ve heard his teaching, they should’ve known it without having to question him about it.
22-24: When Jesus was struck, he sternly, yet respectfully rebuked the officer.
25-27: Peter denied Jesus two more times and a rooster crowed, fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy.
28-32: The Jews wanted to put Jesus to death, but they were under Roman rule and didn’t have the authority to do so. They went to Pilate hoping he would execute Jesus for breaking their blasphemy laws.
33-40: During Pilate’s cross examination of Jesus, he didn’t find anything that broke Roman law. However, he let the Jews choose between Jesus and Barabbas because of political pressure to please the Jews. In his conversation with Jesus, Pilate was trying to figure out if his claim to be king was a threat to Roman rule, but found that it wasn’t since Jesus claimed to be king of "another world". Pilate’s questioning of "truth" was likely cynical since he used it to end the conversation. He was so cynical that truth was knowable that he threw it out as a rhetorical question to silence Jesus.
1-3: The soldiers paced the robe and crown of thorns on Jesus, mocking his claim to be a king.
4-16: The Jews forcefully insisted in crucifying Jesus because he claimed to be the son of God, which they saw as blasphemy since they didn’t think he was. This made Pilate nervous because he may have began to suspect there was more to Jesus’ claims than he initially thought. However, he just wanted the problem off of his hands so he sent him to be crucified. Jesus also pointed out in verse 11 that God is completely sovereign over Pilate, even though Pilate wielded earthly power.
17-24: John’s note about the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ clothes fulfilling psalm 22 lets us know that this psalm was specifically about Jesus.
25-27: Jesus lovingly used some of his last words on the cross to make sure his mother was cared for by John, his closest disciple. "The disciple whom Jesus loved" was John’s way of referring to himself in this book.
28-30: Jesus’ death on the cross was the single most important event in human history. God the Son became a man to absorb the wrath of the Father in our place. After Jesus completely paid the penalty for our sins, he said "it is finished" ("It" being the atonement).
31-37: John attested to more prophecies being fulfilled. None of Jesus’ bones were broken (Psalm 34) and his side was pierced.
38-42: Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus in a tomb that he owned. Myrrh was a significant spice in Jewish burial, and was given to Jesus as a gift by the Maji.
1-10: The disciples went to the empty tomb and were puzzled, but they could tell something unusual happened. They didn’t have a full understanding from scripture of what Jesus came to accomplish. Old Testament passages about the resurrection are somewhat cryptic, probably for the same reason Jesus spoke in parables. The scripture John was probably referring to about Jesus’ resurrection was Psalm 16:10.
11-16: There are several possible reasons Mary didn’t recognize Jesus. In her grief, she may have glanced at him without taking a good look, assuming he was the gardener. She thought he was dead and would never had guessed it would be him. Only when she heard him say her name did she recognized his familiar vice. Another possibility is that his resurrection body had changed enough from his earthly appearance, making it difficult to recognize him at first glance.
17-18: Jesus had yet to ascend to God the Father. He referred to him as "my father/God and your father/God". He was emphasizing that we are no longer under God’s wrath, but can call him both our God and Father.
19-23: Jesus appeared to the disciples, proved he was himself by showing his wounds, then commissioned them as his apostles (John 20:21). When Jesus blew on them, they didn’t receive the Holy Spirt. This was simply a dramatic way to tell them to receive the Holy Spirit when it came. It gave them context to better understand what would happen at Pentecost. We know John wasn’t saying this is when the Holy Spirit came because he records Jesus saying the Spirit wouldn’t come until he returned to the Father (John 16:7).
24-29: Jesus lovingly proved to a skeptical Thomas that he was the resurrected Christ.
30-31: John clearly stated his evangelistic purpose for writing this book. He provided eye witness testimony, declaring that Jesus is the Christ and that we can have eternal life by trusting in Him.
1-14: Jesus performed the miracle of the disciples catching 153 fish to prove his identity. It also provided more than enough for them to have this important breakfast together.
15-19: Just as Peter denied Jesus 3 times at the charcoal fire during Jesus’ trial, he affirmed Jesus 3 times at this charcoal fire during breakfast. Jesus was very deliberate in setting this up, giving Peter the chance to repent of his previous denials of Christ. He also foreshadowed that Peter would be captured and martyred at an old age. "Stretching out his hands" is a reference to being crucified. We know from the early church father’s writings that he was crucified upside down (Origen of Alexandria).
20-23: John cleared up confusion about a rumor that started. The disciples misinterpreted Jesus’ words as saying John wouldn’t die, which is an exaggeration of the quote. Jesus never said he would return in John’s lifetime, but was simply making a point that Peter shouldn’t concern himself with his plans for John. In essence he said, "Even if I returned during John’s lifetime, it shouldn’t bother you."
24-25: John indirectly identified himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved", and made it clear that this is his eyewitness testimony of the things Jesus had done.