The Gospel of John: A Summary

Chapter One:

Jesus is the Word of Life. John the Baptist is introduced, as are the first disciples. Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael.

Chapter Two:

Jesus performs his first miracle: water into wine. He goes to the Temple and drives out the money changers. He speaks of the Temple being torn down—his body. He knows human nature.

Chapter Three:

Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night. John the Baptist sees Jesus as most important—he comes from heaven.

Chapter Four:

The Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus heals an official’s son—his second miracle.

Chapter Five:

The healing at the pool involves a man who couldn’t get to pool in time—I guess he had to get there first. Jesus heals him on the Sabbath and upsets the Jewish leaders to the extent that they want to kill him. Jesus counters with an astounding argument that includes the statement: “ a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live” (25). His witness is what the Scriptures say about him.

Chapter Six:

Jesus feeds the five thousand, then walks on water. The people  find Jesus and he tells them he is the Bread of Life and has the words of eternal life: “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life” (63).

Chapter Seven:

Jesus goes to the Festival of Shelters secretly. He teaches in the Temple with such authority that religious leaders question his authority. Some people wonder if he is the Messiah. Guards are sent to arrest him but cannot. He speaks of life-giving water and it causes division among the crowd. The Jewish authorities do not believe.

Chapter Eight:

Jesus is the light of the world. A woman is caught in adultery and says that “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and never walk in darkness” (12). Jesus tells them that they are of their father the devil and are not free. They claim Abraham is their father and he tells them “Before Abraham was born, I am” (59).

Chapter Nine:

Jesus heals a man born blind. The Pharisees investigate the healing and question the man and his parents. He reminds the Parisees that they are spiritually blind.

Chapter Ten:

Jesus is the good shepherd. He gives a parable about the sheep knowing the voice of their master and that the Father has sent him to give up his life. He is rejected as the Son of God.

Chapter Eleven:

Jesus is the resurrection and the life and he proves this by raising Lazarus from the dead. But from then on the Jewish authorities make up their minds to kill Jesus.

Chapter Twelve:

Jesus is anointed by Mary. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some  Greeks seek for Jesus and go to Philip to ask where Jesus is. Jesus then speaks about his death but the people do not believe, despite his miracles. God had closed their eyes.

Chapter Thirteen:

Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. His example of humility confounds Peter. Jesus predicts his betrayal and Peter’s denial. He gives a new commandment: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (34).

Chapter Fourteen:

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He gives the promise of the Holy Spirit: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (26).

Chapter Fifteen:

Jesus is the real vine and the Father is the gardener: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (5). The world hated him so it will hate us too.

Chapter Sixteen:

Jesus tells about the work of the Holy Spirit: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (13). There will be sadness because Jesus is leaving the disciples but thre will be gladness when they see him again, “the kind of gladness that no one can take away from you” (22b). Despite hardship, there will be victory over the world.

Chapter Seventeen:

Jesus prays for the disciples, that they will be kept safe from the evil one. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (20).

Chapter Eighteen:

Jesus is arrested, betrayed by Judas. He appears before the High Priest Annas; Peter denies him. The High Priest questions Jesus; Peter denies Jesus again; Jesus is taken to Pilate and sentenced to death.

Chapter Nineteen:

Pilate has Jesus whipped and then tries to find a way to free him, but the Chief priests and Temple guards, as well as the crowd, want him crucified. He is crucified and dies. His side is pierced and then Joseph of Arimathea takes the body of Jesus and, with the aid of Nicodemus, buries him.

Chapter Twenty

Jesus is resurrected and appears to Mary Magdalene and then his disciples. He singles out doubting Thomas to examine him. The purpose of the book: “But these [stories of miracles] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (31).

Chapter Twenty-one:

Jesus appears to seven disciples who are fishing. Jesus dialogues with Peter about his love for him. Peter is concerned about John but Jesus tells him “If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you? Follow me” (22). The conclusion: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (25).