John 1 – 2

John 1:1-18


1.Why is Jesus called here ‘the Word’? What is his relation to God; to the world; to men? See the whole passage.

  1. Who does not, and who does become a child of God? By what means is one brought into this new status?
  2. Note all the allusion to ‘light’ and associated ideas (e.g., ‘glory’) in this passage. How much of the purpose of Jesus’ coming does this explain?


John 1:19-34


  1. What do we learn here about: (a) the character, (b) the work, of John the Baptist? See also verses 6-8 and 3:28-30.
  2. Verses 26-34. What testimony does John the Baptist bear here to Jesus? How much of this did John learn about him through his experience at Christ’s baptism? Do these truths mean something to you?


Note. Verse 29. ‘John saw Jesus coming’: probably after the forty days in the wilderness, when he was tempted by Satan. That Jesus’ baptism had already taken places is showed by verse 32. Cf. Luke 3:21, 22.


John 1:35-51

  1. Describe what it was that brought each of these five men to Jesus. How far did they understand who Jesus was? What account of him can you give to others?
  2. Verses 48, 49. Why did Jesus’ answer elicit the response of Nathanael? See 2:25. What do verses 47-50 reveal of Nathanael’s character?


  1. Verse 42. Cephas = Peter = Rock.
  2. Verses 47, 51. An allusion to the story of Jacob in Gen. 32:24-29 and 28:12, 13.
  3. Verse 51. This word, as shown by the plural ‘you’, was spoken not about Nathanael only, but about all the disciples. Jesus would be revealed to them as the true and final Mediator between God and man.


John 2:1-22


  1. Verses 1-11 present the first of the seven ‘sign’ (see Introduction), which reveal the identity of Jesus and stimulate faith (verse 11). What particular aspect of Jesus’ glory does this miracle display? What change in our life does turning the water into wine represent? Cf. 2Cor. 5:17. What can we learn from Mary’s response to Jesus?
  2. The idea of the ‘temple’ unites verses 13-17 with 18-22. How does Jesus appear in each incident? By what authority does he drive out the traders? Cf. Mal. 3:1-3. What crisis does this incident foreshadow in the mind of Jesus? What did he foresee concerning the cost and character of his mission?


  1. Verse 4. The English, in some translations, makes Jesus’ words seem disrespectful, but in the Greek the form of address is perfectly courteous. Jesus makes it clear that he depends on no human instructions, even from his mother, but only on that which God appoints. He is awaiting his Father’s instructions.
  2. Verses 14-16. See TNTC (p. 61) for discussion whether there were two cleansings of the temple, one at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, as here, and one at the end, as recorded in the synoptics.


John 2:23-3:21


  1. Why was Jesus not satisfied with the faith spoken of in 2:23? Cf. 4:48; 6:26, 30; Matt. 13:14. Is my faith the kind that pleases God?
  2. What was right and what was lacking in Nicodemus’ assessment of Jesus? How did Jesus’ answer correct him? What is involved in being ‘born of the Spirit’, and why is it needed? Cf. Matt. 18:3; John 1:12, 13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:8, 9.
  3. Why was the lifting up of the Son of man necessary? (Note ‘must’ in 3:14.) On what ground are men judged and condemned? Where do you stand in relation to these truths?



Verse 5. ‘Born of water’ probably refers to John’s baptism.

  1. Verse 8. As with the wind, so with the movement of the Spirit, the effect is real and recognizable, although the process is hidden.
  2. Verse 12, 13. The gospel speaks of heavenly things, of which Christ is the sole revealer. Cf. 3:31; Matt. 11:27. 1

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