Lesson 2 of5
In Progress

Outline of John

1. Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 1:1-12:50)

Jesus, the Word of God become flesh, manifests God’s glory as he calls disciples, performs signs, heals, and teaches.

A. Prologue (John 1:1-18)

The Word of God, which brought all things into being, becomes flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.

B. Call of the First Disciples (John 1:19-51)

John the Baptist bears witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God, prompting his own followers to go to Jesus. These early disciples soon introduce others to Jesus.

C. Wedding at Cana and Cleansing the Temple (John 2:1-25)

Jesus performs his first miracle or “sign” at a wedding at Cana in Galilee, revealing divine glory, then drives out the merchants in the Jerusalem temple, indicating that in the future his crucified and risen body will be the center for worship.

D. Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)

Nicodemus, a Jewish teacher and ruler, goes to Jesus by night and becomes confused when Jesus speaks about being born anew.

E. John the Baptist and Jesus (John 3:22-36)

John the Baptist calls Jesus the bridegroom, that is, the one who brings people into true relationship with God, whereas John the Baptist is simply an assistant, like the best man at a wedding.

F. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (John 4:1-42)

Jesus meets a Samaritan woman by a well and tells her about the gift of living water, which brings people into true life with God.

G. Healing the Official’s Son (John 4:43-54)

An official travels to ask Jesus to heal his son and upon returning home finds that his son was made well at the time Jesus spoke.

H. Healing the Lame Man at Bethesda (John 5:1-47)

Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath, then explains that he is giving life on the Sabbath just as God gave life each day of the week.

I. Feeding the Five Thousand and Walking on the Sea (John 6:1-21)

Jesus feeds five thousand with bread and fish, then flees when they want to force him to become king. When his disciples set out on the sea in a boat, he comes to them, assuring them of his presence with the words “I am” (rendered “It is I” in the NRSV), which echo the name of God.

J. Bread of Life Discourse (John 6:22-71)

After the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus identifies himself as the true bread, which God gives to the world to bring eternal life.

K. Debates about Jesus’ Identity (John 7:1-52)

Jesus goes to the temple in Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths and announces that he is a true teacher, because he teaches what he has received from God, and that he is the giver of living water.

L. The Woman Caught in Adultery (John 7:53-8:11)

This story does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel, but is printed in most Bibles. A woman is caught in adultery and brought to Jesus for judgment, yet he asks that the one without sin cast the first stone at her–alluding to the fact that all had sinned by singling her out for condemnation while letting the adulterous man go free, which was unjust.

M. The Light of the World (John 8:12-59)

By identifying himself as the light of the world, Jesus points to his identity as Messiah and as God, since God was commonly associated with light. The debates that follow include sharp challenges to Jesus, and in the end the crowds try to stone him because they think his claims are blasphemous.

N. Healing the Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)

By healing a man who was blind from birth, Jesus shows that he is the light of the world, and the man steadily becomes enlightened about Jesus’ true identity.

O. The Good Shepherd Discourse (John 10:1-42)

Jesus identifies himself as the gate or door through which people find life with God and the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.

P. Jesus the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:1-57)

When his friend Lazarus dies, Jesus tells Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life,” then shows his power by calling Lazarus back to life. Yet, the Jewish authorities become alarmed by his popularity and determine to put the life-giver to death.

Q. Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet (John 12:1-8)

Mary, the sister of Lazarus, pours expensive ointment on Jesus’ feet, prompting Judas to object that the ointment has been wasted, but Jesus indicates that it foreshadows his coming death and burial.

R. Approaching Jerusalem (John 12:9-26)

As Jesus approaches Jerusalem, crowds wave palm branches and acclaim him king, but Jesus indicates that his glory will be that of a seed falling into the earth and dying before it bears fruit.

S. The End of Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 12:27-50)

Jesus tells the crowd on Palm Sunday of his being “lifted up,” which looks ahead to his crucifixion, yet the crowd cannot comprehend this, so Jesus departs and hides from them.

2. The Last Supper (John 13:1-17:26)

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet to show his love and to foreshadow his death, speaks about his return to the Father and the coming of the Holy Spirit, then prays for his followers and those who will believe because of their witness.

A. Washing the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:1-17)

At his last meal with the disciples Jesus assumes the role of a slave and washes the feet of his disciples to show his love for them, giving them the command to serve others in the same way.

B. The Departure of the Betrayer (13:18-38)

Jesus announces that one of the disciples will betray him, giving Judas a piece of bread to identify him. Judas then departs into the night.

C. Jesus’ Departure and Return (John 14:1-14)

At the Last Supper the disciples are troubled by Jesus’ announcement of his return to the Father, and he reassures them by telling them that he will prepare a place for them in the many rooms in his Father’s house.

D. The Coming of the Spirit (John 14:15-31)

Jesus tells his disciples that he will not abandon them but will send them the Spirit, or Advocate, who will be with them forever, enabling them to comprehend the full meaning of what Jesus has given them.

E. The Vine and Branches (John 15:1-27)

Jesus is the true vine, in whom the disciples find life, and it is by abiding in him that they are able to bear the fruits of love, despite opposition from the world.

F. The Work of the Spirit (John 16:1-33)

After Jesus’ return to the Father, the Spirit will continue to confront the world’s unbelief, while guiding the disciples in the truth, thereby glorifying Jesus.

G. Jesus’ Prayer at the Last Supper (John 17:1-26)

At the conclusion of the Last Supper, Jesus prays that God will glorify him, that God will preserve Jesus’ followers as they are sent into the world as witnesses, and that God will bind the believing community together as one.

3. Passion and Resurrection (John 18:1-21:25)

Jesus is arrested, questioned by Jewish leaders and Pilate the Roman governor, then crucified and placed in a tomb. Rising from the dead, he appears to Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and other disciples in Jerusalem and by the Sea of Galilee.

A. Jesus’ Arrest (John 18:1-11)

Jesus goes to a garden, where Jewish and Roman soldiers seek to arrest him, but Jesus does not go with them until he has secured the release of his disciples.

B. Hearings before the Jewish Authorities (John 18:12-27)

Jesus is taken to Annas, a high priest, where he is questioned about his teachings, and, as Jesus denies nothing, Peter stands outside and repeatedly denies that he is a disciple of Jesus.

C. Hearings before Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-19:16)

Pilate, the Roman governor, questions Jesus about kingship and power, and even though he recognizes that Jesus is innocent, he hands Jesus over for crucifixion, showing that Pilate himself is powerless to follow the truth.

D. The Crucifixion (John 19:17-42)

As Jesus is crucified, he entrusts his mother to his beloved disciple, then drinks sour wine and declares that his work is complete, so that he dies as the Passover lamb, taking away the world’s sin.

E. At the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-18)

Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb and concludes that someone stole Jesus’ body, but comes to recognize the risen Jesus when he calls her by name.

F. Appearances to the Disciples (John 20:19-31)

The risen Jesus appears to the disciples, giving them the Spirit, and a week later appears to Thomas, pronouncing a blessing on those who believe without seeing.

G. The Great Catch of Fish (John 21:1-14)

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples beside the Sea of Galilee, empowering them to bring in a great catch of fish as a sign that their witness will bring many to Christ.

H. Peter and the Beloved Disciple (John 21:15-25)

Peter had denied Jesus, but now confesses three times that he loves Jesus, and Jesus directs him to feed the flock of believers, even as the beloved disciple will serve as a special witness whose testimony is preserved in the Gospel of John.