Part Two


From John 11: 45 to 21: 25




The Life Application Bible, preferably the New King James Version (NKJV), as also available in the following Bible translations: NLT, NIV and the KJV. The Life Application Bible is a unique Study Bible with over 10.000 Life application Notes challenging the student to apply the truths of Scripture to everyday life. It includes Book introductions, in text maps and charts, personality profiles, topical index, and other features bringing additional clarity to the Holy Scriptures.


How to proceed:


(a)   Read the portion through, and jot down rough notes on the main subject or subjects with which it deals. When a clear grasp of the general contents of the passage has been obtained, then write out the answers to the questions, leaving a brief time at the end for practical application.

(b)   Look at the questions first and deal with them during the first reading of the passage, jotting down rough notes on them. Maybe, there will be time for a second reading.

(c)    Whatever the actual system may be used, it is essential to realise that answering questions is simply a means to an end. However, at some stage, time should be given to such prayerful meditation as will lead to personal appropriation of the spiritual message, and if desired, the recording of spiritual impressions.

(d)   Share your results with others. Mutual discussion is the most effective and profitable method of checking our own individual ideas; as it also deepens our mutual fellowship in the things of Christ, and it provides a fresh stimulus to proceed in the study of the Word of God, that we may become:


“… Those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern….” (Hebrews 5: 14)


(B) Chapters 12 to 17


Harmony of the life of Christ





XII. The Passion Week










The Triumphal Entry

21: 01-09

11: 01-10

19: 29-40

12: 12-19

Jesus’ view of the City

21: 10-11


19: 41-44







Cursing of the Fig Tree

21: 18-19

11: 12-14



Cleansing of the Temple

21: 12-13

11: 15-19

19: 45-48


Healings in the Temple

21: 14-17









The Withered Fig Tree

21: 19-22

11: 20-25




21: 23–22: 46

11: 27-12:37

20: 01-44


Condemnation of Scribes and Pharisees


23: 01-39

12: 38-40

20: 45-47


Jesus’ Observation of the Widow




12: 41-44


21: 01-04


The Visit of the Greeks




12: 20-36

Jewish Rejection of Jesus





12: 37-50

The Apocalyptic Discourse

Ch. 24-25

13: 01-37

21: 05-38


Harmony of the Life of Christ





Prediction of the Cross

26: 01-05

14: 01-02

22: 01-02


Anointing by Mary

26: 06-13

14: 03-09


12: 02-08

The Betrayal

26: 14-16

14: 10-11

22: 03-06


Wednesday (no record)










The Passover Meal

26: 17-29

14: 12-25

22: 07-30

13: 01-38

Farewell Discourse




14: 01-31

Discourse on Way to Gethsemane





Ch. 15-16

The High-Priestly Prayer





Ch. 17


At the last Passover (chapters 12-17). The note of time suggesting this sub-division of our course in John’s Gospel is found at the close of chapter 11: 55-57. The last named indicates the state of feeling towards Jesus prevailing at this time among the leaders of the people, and explains the conditions which made this the last Passover He ever attended. Where do we find Jesus at the beginning of chapter 12? What is the incident emphasised on that occasion (verses 03-08)? What events on the day following hurried the plot of His enemies (verses 12-19)? The succeeding recorded is that of the visit of the Greeks, which some regard as the second great temptation in Jesus’ life. The considerations justifying such a view are found in the effect which the request of these Greeks to see Him made upon Jesus Himself: “Now is my soul troubled,” “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die,” “Father, save me from this hour.” Also in the heavenly testimony to His Sonship which was again afforded Him.


We should not pass to the consideration of the next major topic without observing in passing, the additionally strong testimony John bears as his manner is to the deity of Jesus. See, for example, the argument to be drawn from his words in verses 37-41, especially the last-named. Look up the quotation in Isaiah 6, and ask yourself the question whether John’s testimony must not be utterly dishonoured unless Jesus is to be regarded as God incarnate. How corroborative of this are Jesus’ own words, moreover, in verses 44, 45.


Following the visit of the Greeks the next leading event is how described in chapter 13? What is the ostensible lesson taught in this transaction (verses 12-16)? And yet is there not more than a lesson in humility here? What of the deep and mysterious teaching in verses 8, 9? Many scholars think we have here a symbolic representation of Christ’s intercessory work for His people. They are already “clean” as far as their salvation is concerned, because of their faith in Him, and on the ground of His finished work on the cross; but passing through the world brings daily defilement which requires daily cleansing, for which provision is made by His all-prevailing intercession as our high priest. Compare 1 John 1: 09.


What singular omission is found in this Gospel with reference to the events of this last Passover night as compared with the synoptics? What additional details of the betrayal are given here (verses 18-30)?


The washing of the disciples’ feet and the departure of Judas on his wicked task, are followed by what is frequently designated as the “farewell discourse,” covering chapters 13-16, and which, like almost the whole of this Gospel, is quite unique in comparison with the others. These chapters can be described as “The Central Teaching of Jesus Christ,” and it can also be called the heart of the heart of the Gospel. Observe the themes treated of: The preparation for the second coming (14: 01-03); the identity of the Father and the Son (verses 06-11); the office of the Holy Spirit in the church (verses 15-31); the source and the responsibility of fruit-bearing (15: 01-17); the attitude of the world to the church (15: 18-16: 4); the office of the Holy Spirit toward the world (verses 05-15); the personal comfort of the disciples (verses 16-33). Perhaps there is nothing in the whole of this precious and magnificent discourse of more practical value to us than what it teaches the disciple about prayer. See 14: 13, 14; 15: 16; 16: 23-27. To ask the Father in Christ’s name is something in advance of asking for his sake even. To ask in His name is the same as though He asked Himself with all the assurance of answer which such a fact implies. This is the privilege of the true believer who is thus a member of Christ’s body, and it is a revelation of truth which Christ had at no time made known to His followers until now, doubtless, because they were not prepared to receive it.


This wonderful discourse is followed in turn by the equally wonderful prayer in chapter 17, its scope including His own glory and work (verses 01-05), His disciples (verses 06-19), and believers generally (verses 20-26). It seems almost incredible to hurry over these so solemn and loving words, but we have time only to call attention to the four petitions offered on our behalf, (1) our preservation (verse 11); (2) our sanctification (verse 17); (3) our unification (verse 21); and (4) our glorification (verse 24).


John 11: 45 – 12: 19


(1)   Observe the varied effects of the miracle. See especially John 11: 45, 46, 47-53, and 54; John 12: 10, 11, 17-19, and compare with Luke 16: 31. How is it that the same act quickens faith in some people, while hatred in others? Compare John 11: 47, 48; 12: 11, 19 with Matthew 27: 18.

(2)   How does the story of John 12: 01-08 show that Jesus values highly the devotion of a loving heart, even if expressed in unconventional ways?

(3)   What twofold illustrations have we in this passage that God overrules men’s purposes and actions for the fulfilling of His own designs? See especially John 11: 47-53, and 12: 12-16.


John 12: 20 - 36


(1)    What is the difference between a grain in the granary, and a grain sown? How does this illustrate the differences between two ways of spending our life? Which did Jesus choose, and what does He promise to all who will follow Him in this choice?

(2)    What threefold consequence is stated in verses 31, 32 as issuing from the Lord’s choice? Has this threefold result taken place in your life?

(3)    Verses 35, 36 give Jesus’ last appeal to the nation.  What may we learn from it as to our own immediate duty?  Compare John 7: 12; Ephesians 5: 07-14; and, 1 Thessalonians 5: 04-06.


John 12: 37 - 50


(1)   Verses 37 – 43. The problem is stated in verse 37, and the answer is given in verses 38-40. What twofold explanation of Jewish unbelief does John give? What other hindrance also entered in to prevent those who had begun to believe from making open confession?

(2)   The ‘seriousness’ of rejecting Jesus is the subject of verses 44-50, in which John summarises the teaching of Jesus on this matter. Why is it so serious to reject Jesus? See especially verses 45, 46, 50 and compare Proverbs 1: 20-33.


John 13: 01-20


(1)     How do statements in verses 01-03 improve the grace and wonder of Jesus’ action in washing the feet of His disciples at this time?

(2)     What important lesson did Jesus teach in response to Peter’s interruptions? See verses 08 and 10. Read also Titus 3: 5 and 1 John 1: 07.

(3)     What further application did Jesus make of His action as an example to His followers? Compare Luke 22: 22-27; 1 Peter 5: 05.  Are we giving sufficient attention to this matter? See verse 17.


John 13: 21-32


(1)   What evidence do you find that the eleven had not so far suspected Judas in any way, and what light does this throw upon Judas, as to this outward behaviour? As to what he really was in heart, see John 6: 70; 12: 06; 13: 2, 27, comparing with  Samuel 16: 07 and Proverbs 4: 23.

(2)   The giving of a sop, or morsel of bread dipped in gravy, was a mark of friendship. Ponder the depth of Jesus’ love in acting like this towards Judas at this time. What was the effect of this last appeal? See verse 27.

(3)   In verses 31, 32, two gloryfyings of the Son of Man are spoken of, one present, the other future, and the second is said to depend upon the first. What are these two glorifyings? For the first see John 1: 14; 11: 04; 12: 23, and 17: 04; and, for the second John 17: 01, 05.


The institution[1] of the Lord’s Supper, recorded by the other Gospels, probably took place between verses 32 and 33. The Lord Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on the eve of His crucifixion, commanding that His followers continue to observe it until His return (Matthew 26: 26-29; Mark 14; 22-25; Luke 22: 14-23). This was a new covenant or testament in contrast with the old Mosaic covenant. To enact the covenant, death was necessary because death provided forgiveness of sins. The apostle Paul also rehearsed the ordinance for the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 11: 23-32). Of course, the issue at hand is, what is the meaning of the Lord’s Supper? There have been four distinct views in Christianity concerning its meaning.




Christ and the Elements



(Roman Catholic)

Bread and wine literally change to body and blood of Christ.

Believer partakes of Christ, who is being sacrificed in the Mass to atone for sins.



Bread and wine contain the body and blood of Christ but do not literally change. Christ is actually present “in, with, and under” the elements.

Believer receives forgiveness of sins and confirmation of one’s faith through partaking on the elements, but they must be received through faith.





Christ is not literally present in the elements but there is a spiritual presence of Christ.

Believer receives grace through partaking of the elements.


(Baptist, Mennonite)

Christ is not present physically or spiritually.

Believer commemorates the death of Christ.


The Reformed view is also called the Calvinist view because its adherents are from the Reformed churches (and others) who follow Calvin’s teaching on the subject. Adherents to this view reject the notion of the literal presence of Christ in any sense and in this are similar to adherents of the memorial view. This view, however, does emphasise the “present spiritual work of Christ.” John Calvin taught that Christ is “present and enjoyed in His entire person, both body and blood.” He emphasises the mystical communion of believers with the entire person of the Redeemer … the body and blood of Christ, though absent and locally present only in heaven, communicate a life-giving influence to the believer. Because of the mystical presence of Jesus Christ in the elements, grace is communicated to the participant in the elements; moreover, it is a grace that is similar to that received through the Word of God and in fact, it adds to the effectiveness of the Sacred Word.


John 13: 33 – 14: 14


(1)   How do verses 37 and 38 enforce Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10: 12? However, John 14: 01-03 are an expansion of the last words of verse 36. The separation, though necessary, is not final, but rather full of a bright hope.

(2)   What claims does Jesus make for Himself in verses 04-11:

(a)   In regard to man’s approach to God;

(b)   In regard to man’s knowledge of God; and

(c)    In regard to the source and origin of His own words and works?

(3)   What prospect does He set before His disciples as a consequence of His return to the Father? See verses 12-14. Do you know anything of this in your experience?


John 14: 15-24


(1)   When the Spirit comes, what threefold relationship will He have to the disciples? See the three prepositions in verses 16, 17.  In verse 17, “for he dwells with you”, the preposition here is not the same in the original Greek as that of verse 16. The ‘with’ of verse 16 expresses companionship, that of verse 17, the idea of a standby.

(2)   When the Spirit comes, what five marvellous things will happen in the experience of the disciples? See (a) verse 18, (b) verse 19, (c) verse 20, (d) verse 21, (2) verse 23.

(3)   On the disciples’ side what is the necessary condition on which these things can be known?


John 14: 25 – 15: 8


(1)   Jesus had said He was going away, and the disciples’ hearts were troubled (compare John 16: 06). He had just spoken also of the importance of keeping His words (verses 15, 21, 23), but if He were going away, His teaching would cease, and much of what He had said had slipped away from their memory (compare Mark 8: 18). How does Jesus in verses 25-29 answer these fears? Do you know in experience the reality of what is promised in verses 26-27?

(2)   What do we learn in verses 30 and 31 about (a) the Father, (b) Christ, (c) Satan, (d) the world?

(3)   What does the parable of the vine teach about (a) the purpose for which the branches exist, (b) the husbandman’s dealing with the branches, (c) the dependence of the branches upon the vine? How does Jesus apply these things to His disciples?  With verses 03 and 07 compare John 14: 15, 21, 23; see also John 8: 31, 32; and Hebrews 4: 12.


The secret of true fruit-bearing (the manifestation of the new nature in our life) is abiding in Christ and Christ in us. “He that says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk as He (Jesus) walked.” The vine reproduces itself in the branch. And abiding in Christ means to walk in communion with Him and in utter dependence on Himself.


Where Man meets God. The apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2: 20) Again he said, “Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.” (2 Corinthians 4: 10-12) There is no other way for the Christian to have life. He must die daily if Christ’s life is to be daily manifested in him and through him. And, no partial yielding is of any avail; all that the Christian is must be “crucified with Christ”.

But just what does this involve? What did the Cross mean to Christ and what does the Cross mean to the believer? It is necessary that every believer know this. It is God’s will that the Cross of Christ in its deepest and fullest significance should be understood by every one who is born of the Spirit, and we can be assured that to every humble seeker the hidden treasure will be revealed in all its richness and beauty.

The Cross of Christ – not the cross of wood but the truth of the Cross – is the mountain peak of God’s acts; it is the supreme revelation of His love. It is the vehicle of all God’s intercourse with man and man’s intercourse with God. On the Cross, perfect Love meets man and man meets Perfect Love; and only there can God and man meet. But more vital still is the fact that they can meet only through mutual participation in it. Perfect love must bear the Cross for man and man’s self-love must die at the Cross.

Man must take his place where Christ was condemned, reviled, mocked, thrust without the gate; where the Lord Jesus hung on the Cross; in the tomb where He was laid; in His resurrection from the dead; in His seated triumph in the Heavenlies. In Christ, at the Cross, he participates and has fellowship in all that was wrought by God through the Cross. There he must die and there he enters into life.

All God’s Word to man and all God’s will for man centre in the Cross of Christ and flow from it. All doctrine, all truth, all power, all spiritual life spring from it and are inseparable bound up with it. They are so dependent upon it that they cannot be known or received or experienced apart from it.


John 15: 09-25


The Lord Jesus is going away, while the disciples will be left in the world. In John 15: 09-25 Jesus speaks (a) about their life among themselves (verses 09-17); and (b) about their life in the world (verses 18-25).


(1)   What five privileges does Jesus say will be the portion of His people (see verse 09, 11, 15 and 16), and what are the essential conditions for the enjoyment of them (see verses 10, 11, 12, 14, and 17)?

(2)   What seven reasons does Jesus give in verses 18-25 why His disciples may expect to meet hatred in the world?

(3)   Putting verses 09 and 12 together consider:

(a)   How the Father loved His Son, that is, in what ways His love for Jesus Christ was manifested (compare John 3: 35; 5: 20; but, also Matthew 26: 39),

(b)   How the Lord Jesus has loved us, and

(c)    How we ought to love one another. Compare Ephesians 5: 01, 02; also, 1 John 3: 16-18.


John 15: 26 – 16: 15 [2]


(1)   What evidence do you find in John 16: 01-07 that the disciples were cast down by Jesus’ words? Why did He say that He had not spoken of these things before, and why did He speak of them now? Notice, however, that He did not lighten in any way the dark picture He had drawn, but rather shaded it more deeply (John 16: 02).

(2)   What new force, however, would be brought to bear upon the world (see John 15: 16, 27) and what threefold result will follow (John 16: 08-11)? How would this make Jesus’ departure an advantage rather than a loss?

(3)   What further will the Spirit of truth do for the disciples, to their great gain? (See verses 12-15)


John 16: 16-33


(1)   To Jesus, the events that would happen between the present moment and the coming of the Spirit were clear, but to the disciples all was dark. On what points does Jesus lay emphasis as He tries to prepare them for what they must pass through? See verses 16, 20, 21.

(2)   In verses 22-27 Jesus looked beyond ‘the little while’ of events immediately ahead to the time when the Spirit has come. What blessings and privileges does He say the disciples will then enjoy? He mentions at least four in these verses. What in particular does He say about prayer, and what light do His words throw upon the meaning of ‘in my Name’? Compare John 14: 13, 14; also, 15: 16.

(3)   In verse 33 Jesus sums up the situation. In what two opposing spheres would the disciples live? What would be their experience in the one and in the other? What was to be the ground of their courage and confidence?


The coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of God, is one more announced by the Lord Jesus. He could not come unless the Lord Jesus departed. He is to be sent to His own and when He comes He will make a great demonstration to the world. The word ‘demonstrate[3]’ (‘expose’ or ‘show’) seems to be the nearest in the context to the original word in Greek than the word “convict” (or ‘reprove’) in verse 8. “And when He has come, he will bring demonstration to the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment.” (John 16: 08) The presence of the Holy Spirit in the believers is the proof to the world that the whole world is guilty of the death of Jesus Christ; the whole is under sin and therefore not on probation but under condemnation. The Holy Spirit is also the demonstration to the world of righteousness. This does not mean that He brings righteousness to the world, or makes the world righteous, as so many erroneously believe. The Lord Jesus adds: “Of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more.” (Verse 10) The Holy One was rejected by the world, cast out as an unrighteous One. But He, Who owned and satisfied God’s righteousness in dying as the alternative of sinners, is now exalted to the right hand of God; there He is the witness of righteousness. The presence of the Holy Spirit on earth demonstrates this fact. God raised His Son Jesus from the dead and gave Him glory; the world sees Him no longer as a Saviour in flesh and bones on earth; but they will see Him again as Judge, when He comes to judge the world in righteousness. Righteousness is fully displayed in the glory, where He is. “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Galatians 5: 05) The Holy Spirit also brings “demonstration” to the world of judgment “because the ruler of this world is judged.” Sentence of judgment is pronounced against Satan, but not yet executed. He is the god of this age, but he was judged on the Cross on Golgotha. Judgment must come upon the world and its prince. The Holy Spirit now present upon the earth in the believers demonstrates this fact.


John Chapter 17


(1)     Taking the chapter as a whole, what seven things does our Lord say He has done during His earthly ministry? Two of the seven are each mentioned twice. Are we availing ourselves as we should of the results of this sevenfold ministry of our Lord? For example, are the latter portions of verses 8 and 11 true to us?

(2)     The prayer falls into three divisions:

(a)   Verses 01-5, for Himself,

(b)   Verses 06-19, for the immediate circle of disciples,

(c)    Verses 20-26, for the great company who should afterwards believe. Throughout the prayer, how is God addressed?

(3)     Looking more closely at the first part of the prayer (verses 01-05), we notice that Jesus manifests His consciousness that His earthly ministry is ended (verse 04). There is, however, a further work opening before Him (verse 02, to compare with John 10: 28), and for this further work He needs new and larger powers. What, therefore, does He ask for Himself. See verses 01 and 05.

(4)     In the second division of the prayer (verses 06-19) what does Jesus say have been the results of His ministry thus far in the lives of His disciples? See verses 6 (last clause), 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16. What does He pray concerning them?

(5)     In the third division of the prayer (verses 20-26) what two longings of the Saviour’s heart find repeated expression, one concerning His own, and one concerning the world? How is the fulfilment of the second made dependent upon the realisation of the first?

(6)     What evidence of our Lord’s deep love for us is given by His appeals, especially in verses 22-26? If these things are His desire for us, should it not also be our desire to know them to the uttermost? Compare, and memorise Philippians 3: 12.


All the Lord Jesus taught concerning Himself and eternal life, what believers are and have in Him, He mentions in His prayer. All the great redemption truths more fully revealed in the New Testament Epistles may be traced in this high-priestly prayer of our Lord. We mention seven of these great truths as made known by Him in addressing the Father.


1. Salvation. He has power to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him. “I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. (John 17: 04)” He glorified the Father in His life and He finished the work He came to do on the cross. There alone is redemption and salvation.

2. Manifestation. “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were yours. You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word (John 17: 06).” The Name of God, He, the Son, has made known to those who believe on Him is His name as “Father”. Such a name and relationship of the believer to God was not known in the Old Testament. The Son of God had to come from heaven’s glory and declare the Father. After He gave His life and rose from the dead He spoke of “My Father and your Father.” The Spirit of Sonship was given by Whom we cry: “Abba-Father.”

3. Representation. He is our Priest and Advocate. He appears in the presence of God for us. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. (Verse 09)” Like the High priest He carries only the names of His people upon His shoulders and upon His heart. He prays now for His church, His body, for every member. When the Church is complete and the body is united to Himself in glory, He will pray for the world. “Ask of Me,” the Father has told Him, “and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance” (Psalm 2: 08). When He asks this, He will receive the kingdoms of this world. What comfort it should be to all His people to know He prays for us individually! His love and His power are for us.

4. Identification. We are one with him, and all His saints are one. The Church is His body, an organism and not an organisation. He did not pray for a unity in organisation, but for a spiritual unity, which exists. “That they also may be one in Us” is not an unanswered petition. The Spirit Who has come unites believers to Him and baptises them into one body. “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17: 23)” This looks on towards the blessed consummation, when the saints will appear with Christ in glory; then the world will know.

5. Preservation. He prayed for the keeping of His own. He commits them unto His Father’s care. The believers’ keeping for eternal life and glory rests not in their own hands but in His hands and loving care. Judas is mentioned as the son of perdition; he was never born again.

6. Sanctification. (Read verses 17-19.) The Lord Jesus is our sanctification. In Him we are sanctified by the truth, and by walking in obedience. Believers are constituted saints in Christ, and are called to walk in separation. The separating power is the Word and the Spirit.

7. Glorification. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.( John 17: 22)” – “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be where I am, that they may behold My glory  which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17: 24)” This is His unanswered prayer. One day it will be answered prayer and all His saints will be with Him and share His glory.

May His own Spirit lead us deeper and fill our hearts with unspeakable joy and full of glory.


(C) Chapters 18 to 21


Harmony of the Life of Christ





In the Garden

26: 30, 36-46

14: 26, 32-42

22: 39-46

18: 01

Betrayal and Arrest

26: 47-56

14: 43-52

22: 47-53

18: 02-12

Trial Before Annas




18: 12-14

18: 19-23

Trial Before Caiaphas

26: 57, 59-68

14: 53, 55-65

22: 54, 63-65

18: 24

The Denial of Peter

26: 58, 69-75

14:54, 66-72

22: 54-62

18: 15-18, 25-27

Trial Before the Sanhedrin


27: 01


15: 01


22: 66-71


Death of Judas

27: 03-10









Trial Before Pilate

27; 02, 11-14

15: 01-05

23: 01-05

18: 28-38

Before Herod



23: 06-12


Return to Pilate

27: 15-26

15: 06-15

23: 13-25

18: 39-19: 16

Mockery By Soldiers

27: 27-30

15: 16-19



The Way to Calvary

27: 31-34

15: 20-23

23: 26-32

19: 16-17

The Crucifixion

27: 35-36

15: 24-41

23: 33-49

19: 18-30

The Burial

27: 57-60

15: 42-46

23: 50-54

19: 31-42






The Women at the Tomb

27: 61

15: 47

23: 55-56


The Guard

27: 62-66




XIII. The Resurrection










The Women’s Visit

28: 01-08

16: 01-08

24: 01-12

20: 01-10

The Appearances of Jesus





Mary Magdalene


16: 09-11


20: 11-18

Other Women

28: 09-10




Report of the Guard

28: 11-15




The Two Disciples


16: 12-13

24: 13-32





24: 33-35


The Ten Apostles


16: 14

24: 36-43

20: 19-25

The Eleven Apostles




20: 26-31

By Sea of Galilee




21: 01-14

Conversation with Peter




21: 15-25

Disciples in Galilee

28: 16-20

16: 15-18



Eleven at Olivet



24: 44-49


The Great Commission and Ascension


28: 18-20


16: 19-20


24: 50-53



At man’s judgment seat (18: 01-19: 16. It would be interesting and suggestive to read this chapter in comparison with the corresponding ones in the synoptics, in order to notice particularly what John omits and what he emphasises. What illustration of Jesus’ dignity and power is here mentioned in connection with the arrest (John 18: 04-07)? What illustration of Jesus’ tenderness and consideration for His disciples (verses 8 and 9)? What additional information is given by John in the story of Peter’s recklessness (verse 10)? Who presumably was that “another disciple” mentioned in verse 15? What is original with John in the report of Jesus’ trial before Pilate (verses 28-40)


John 18: 01 - 19: 16


(1)     What qualities stand out in our Lord’s character, as seen in this portion? Consider especially His submission to arrest (verse 4), and the reason for it (verse 11), His successful intervention to prevent the arrest of His disciples (verse 8), the effect of His presence and words upon those who came to take Him captive (verses 5 and 6), and His bearing before the high priest (verses 19-24).

(2)     How did Peter’s own actions contribute to his fall? The first denial was quite uncalled for (verse 17), and must have struck a chill to the heart of John. Was it not a result of Peter’s fear that he would be recognised as the man who had attacked the high priest’s servant? One denial led to another, and so to another.

(3)     The story is broken up into a number of scenes, some without the Praetorium, and some within. Those without the building are John 18: 28-32, 38-40, John 19: 04-07, 12-16, and those within the building are 18: 33-37, and 19: 01-03, 08-11. It is worth while to take time to grasp the exact course of the trial.

(4)     What light is thrown upon the Jewish leaders, as to their character and purpose, and what upon Pilate? Pilate’s action in scourging Jesus after pronouncing Him innocent, and finally handing Him over to the Jews to be crucified, may horrify us most. But, who did Jesus say had the greater sin?

(5)     Over against these men contemplate the figure of the Lord Jesus; note His calmness, His confidence, and the inexhaustible depth of His words. What claims did He make for Himself, and what does He declare to be the purpose of His coming into the world?


Notes on John 18: 01 – 19: 16


The arrest of Jesus

John 18: 01-11


John omits the name Gethsemane and the salutation of Judas to Jesus. He makes Jesus give Himself up willingly (verses 05 and 08).  He mentions a legion of soldiers (verse 3) and the names of Peter and Malchus (verses 10-11). The soldiers were not necessarily Roman ones; they may have been the Jewish police.


The Jewish trial of Jesus

John 18: 12-27


Jesus here appears before Annas, the High Priest who had been deposed by the Romans, and then before Caiaphas, his son-in-law. No definite charge is made against him here and no statement of his actual condemnation.

Another disciple is introduced (verse 15), who may be the same as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. Many suggestions have been made as to his identity – that he was Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathaea, Mark, Lazarus, John the apostle or even Judas Iscariot. Known to the High Priest does not necessarily mean kinship or relationship; it may be translated ‘an acquaintance’ or ‘a familiar friend’. The unnamed disciple was evidently an important person in Jerusalem.


The trial before Pilate

John 18: 28 – 19: 16


The accusation made against Jesus here is the vague one that He must have been an evildoer (verse 30), but Pilate asks Jesus the same question as in the Synoptic accounts (verse 33). In the interview between Pilate and Jesus (verses 33-38) some leading ideas of this Gospel are brought out and discussed: the world, truth, and witness.

Pilate’s discharge of Jesus is emphasised in John 19: 01-06 (as in Luke 23). Verse 7 has a religious meaning, but there may be a suggestion of political offence as well. The Emperor was called a son of God (divi filius) as one of his titles, so a charge of treason may be hinted at here. Pilate’s fear may have been due to that or may have been superstition … John emphasises again that this all took place before the Passover (John 18: 28 and 19: 14).






“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”


Luke 23: 34


“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”


Luke 23: 43


Speaking to John and Mary, “Woman, behold your son! … Behold your mother!”



John 19: 26, 27


“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27: 46

Mark 15: 34


“I thirst!”

John 19: 28


It is finished!”

John 19: 30


“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”


Luke 23: 46





On the cross (19: 17-37). While the different evangelists give different translations or versions of the three-fold inscription on the cross, in what particular expression are they a unit? How do the malevolent Jews seek to avoid the bearing of this expression (Verse 21)? What is original with John as to the events occuring while Jesus was upon the Cross (verses 23-37)? How many distinct Old Testament prophecies does he refer to as fulfilled thereby?


John 19: 17-37


(1)   The story of the crucifixion is narrated in seven incidents, namely as found in verses 17-18, 19-22, 23-24, 25-27, 28-29, 30, 31-37. How does each incident manifest some fresh aspect of the glory of the suffering Saviour?

(2)   What Scriptures are quoted in this portion as having found fulfilment in this hour? How does their fulfilment confirm that Jesus is the Christ?


John adds to the Synoptic accounts and sometimes conflicts with them, e.g. in the statement that Jesus carried his own cross (verse 17, comparing with Mark 15: 21). The title over the cross (verse 19) seems to be a conflation of the Synoptic versions. The references to the three languages (verse 20), the seamless robe (verses 23-24), and the water and blood (verses 34) are plainly symbolic. The ‘beloved disciple’ here has his home in Jerusalem (verse 26). Some think he represents here an ideal figure, rather than an actual person. Only John mentions the spear-thrust in Jesus’ side (verse 31-34). It was the practice of the Romans to break the legs of a crucified criminal with a small mallet, if they wished to hasten death. Verse 35 is as awkward in the Greek as in the English. He that has seen and borne witness is probably not the author, but the ‘witness’ behind his account. Then who is he, who knows that he says is true? It has been held that he is: (i) God; (ii) Christ; (iii) the ‘witness’; (iv) the author; (v) the editor of the Gospel, who may have inserted this verse. Only John says it was a garden where the tomb was (verse 41). He also adds Nicodemus to the Synoptic mention of Joseph of Arimathaea (verse 39).


John 19: 38 – 20: 10


(1)     What do you find remarkable about the burial of Jesus (a) in the men who supervised it, (b) in the manner in which they did it, and (c) in the fact that God, who had not intervened to save His Son from the cross, now arranges for Him a burial worthy of a king?

(2)     Nicodemus is mentioned three times in this Gospel; see John 3: 01-15, 7: 45-52, and here in this portion. What evidence do you find in him of a growing faith in Jesus and courage in confessing Him? Compare John 7: 51.

(3)     John 20: 01-10. How do these verses show that the disciples were not expecting the resurrection of the Lord? What was Mary Magdalene’s interpretation of the moving of the stone? Peter was obviously perplexed to know what to think. Only John grasped the truth. What was it that convinced John?


The loving tenderness of the Lord Jesus manifested to His mother. Here( in chapter 19), with one exception in the first chapter of Acts, we part with Mary; she is not mentioned in the after-books. In all the doctrine of the Epistles she has no place. Blessed among women as she is surely by her connection with the human nature of our Lord, the entire silence of Scripture as to her in that fullness of Christian truth which it was the office of the Spirit of truth to communicate is the decisive overthrow of the whole Babel-structure of Mariolatry which Romanism has built up (and still do) upon a mere sand-foundation. She remains for us in the Word of God, a simple woman rejoicing in God her Saviour, as a stone in the temple to His praise, and with no temple of her own. To use the grace of the Redeemer in taking flesh among us by her means to exalt the mother to the dishonour of Christ her Lord is truly a refined wickedness worthy of the arch-deceiver of mankind (Numerical Bible).


After the Resurrection (chapters 20 and 21). What is unique with John as to the burial of Jesus (John 19: 38-42)? As to the details of the resurrection (John 20: 01-18)? As to the first meeting of Jesus with His disciples (verses 19-25)?  What additional proof of the reality of the resurrection does this gospel afford in verses 26-29?  What is stated as the object for the writing of the gospel (verses 30, 31)? Why, do you suppose, was the addition given in chapter 21? What apparently, was the particular object in recording that appearance of Jesus to His disciples in detail? Do you suppose the transaction of verses 15-17 explains it? Was it not just like our Saviour to give Peter who denied Him thrice an opportunity to become restored in a triple confession of Him again? What prophecy of Peter’s manner death follows (verses 18, 19)? Compare this with 2 Peter 1: 14. What rumour subsequently became current about John, and why (verses 20-23)?


John 20: 11-31


Cumulative evidence of the resurrection of Jesus


(1)   By what thought was Mary obsessed when she saw the empty tomb? See verses 13 and 15. Neither the vision of angels nor of the Lord Himself availed to turn her from it. What at last convinced her?

(2)   What shows that up to the evening of that day the disciples were still unconvinced? See verse 19. What convinced them? Consider not only His appearance among them, but also His words (verses 21-23). Who could have spoken such words but Jesus?

(3)   What finally convinced Thomas? We, unlike him, are among those ‘who have not seen’. Are we also among those whom the Lord calls blessed, because, having not seen, they have nonetheless believed (verse 29), and who, believing, have ‘life through His Name’ (verse 31)?


The resurrection appearances


John 20: 01 - 29


There are four accounts here: (1) the finding of the empty tomb (01-10); (2) the appearance to Mary Magdalene (11-18); (3) the appearance to the disciples (19-25); (4) another appearance, with Thomas present (26-29).


Verses 01-10: Here Mary finds the stone removed from the mouth of the tomb, Peter and another disciple find the tomb empty and later Mary sees two angels[4] (12-13).


Verses 11-18: This is only in John. Touch me not (17) is literally ‘Do not cling to me’. The reason for this command does not seem logical. By an emendation in the Greek we may read: ‘Do not fear.’ The author apparently thinks of the ascension as taking place between this time and the appearances to the disciples later on.


Verses 19-25: Only John mentions the fear of the Jews. Verses 19-21 seem to reflect Luke 24: 36-49. But here the Spirit is given to the disciples immediately, without their waiting in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost.


Verses 26-29: John does not say Thomas did accept Jesus’ invitation to feel him. The latter part of verse 29 plainly has the readers of the Gospel in mind – the second generation of Christians.


John 21: 01 - 25


(1)    Consider the situation. The disciples, in obedience to the Lord’s instruction, had returned to Galilee (see Mark 16: 07), but Jesus had not yet appeared to them there (verse 14). They were restless, perplexed, not knowing what to do, and Peter said, ‘I go fishing’. What danger was there in this return to their old way of living?

(2)    How did the Lord remind them of their true calling, and of their dependence upon Him for success? Compare Luke 5: 01-11; Mark 1: 17, 18.

(3)    What other lessons of spiritual value do you find in this story?

(4)    What is the significance (a) of the name Jesus used in addressing Peter (compare John 1: 42); (b) of the phrase “more than these’ (compare Mark 14: 29); (c) of Jesus’ asking Peter three times, ‘do you love Me?’ (Compare John 13: 38)?

(5)    Though Peter had failed, Jesus re-commissioned him. What does this incident teach us (a) as to the possibility of restoration after backsliding, (b) as to the test Jesus applies to those to whom He gives oversight over His flock? Can we say to the Lord what Peter said in verse 17?

(6)    What may we learn from verses 18-23 about (a) the Lord’s direction of each disciple’s life; (b) the possible wide differences in His plan for one disciple and another; and (c) the necessity of each making sure that he himself is following the Lord, no ,matter how others may be led?


A resurrection appearance in Galilee


John 21: 01-23


The Gospel comes to a fitting conclusion in John 20: 30-31. This chapter is obviously an appendix, although it is not agreed whether it was added by the writer himself or by a later disciple.


The journey of the disciples back to Galilee agrees with Matthew 28: 16. The story of the catch of fish is like Luke 5. The number of fish caught is a symbolic detail (verse 11); there were reckoned to be a hundred and fifty-three species of fish in the sea. The number stands for humanity complete, the nations of the world.


Peter is commissioned three times (verse 15-23), as he had denied Jesus three times.  There are different Greek words used for love in verses 7 and 8, and for sheep, and lambs, and for feed and tend. There is no slight distinction between the pairs of words; they are used simply for the sake of variety. The two words for love, for instance, were used indiscriminately in the New Testament and the Hellenistic world.


The ‘beloved disciple’ seems to have been dead by the time verses 20-23 were written. His death caused a difficulty to the Christians, in view of the rumour that he would not die before the return of Christ. This paragraph was intended to put this in its proper perspective.


John and Isaiah






The shepherd and the sheep


10: 01-21

Water for the thirsty

41:18;44:03; 48:21;49:10; 55:01

4:13-14; 6:35;7:37

Food for the hungry




42:16; 48:17


The divine Comforter



The gift of the Spirit


14:26; 15:26; 16:13

Worldwide salvation

43:19; 45:22; 49:12; 56:07-08; 60:03

4: 21-24; 10: 16

Freedom from fear

41:10; 51:07


Sight for the blind

35:05; 42:07


Liberty for the bound

61: 01


Divine teaching


14:10; 17: 06-08


The last words John reports in his Gospel coming from the very lips of our Lord are “You follow Me.” And, so He speaks to all of us. Wonderful Gospel it is, this Gospel of the Son of God and the eternal life! How full and rich each portion of it. Yes, the grace which sought us, saved us, made us one with Him keeps us and which will soon bring us home to the Father’s house with its many mansions. May we follow Him in loving obedience, till He comes. Maranatha, Jesus comes.


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[1] Sacraments or ordinances of the Christian Church in Protestantism. The Reformers have historically recognised two sacraments or ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, whereas Roman Catholics have held to seven sacraments: Baptism, the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper), Confirmation, Penance, Extreme unction, Holy Orders and Marriage. There is a difference of opinion regarding terminology. Catholics and some Protestants as Calvinists prefer the term sacrament, which comes from the Latin sacramentum, meaning “a thing set apart as sacred.” The term sacramentum in the Latin Vulgate was also used to translate the Greek word musterion (Ephesians 5: 32) and “came to be used for anything that had a secret or mysterious significance. The church-father Augustine called it ‘the visible form of an invisible grace’.” ‘Sacrament’ was later defined as an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.”  By the sacraments or ordinances, we mean those outward rites which the Lord Jesus Christ has appointed to be administered in His church as visible signs of the saving truth of the Gospel. They are signs, in that they vividly express this truth and confirm it to the believer.


[2] The last two verses of John 15 connect with chapter 16 : 07-11. The opening verses of John 16 are a parenthesis, spoken because of the effect upon the disciples of His words about the hatred they would meet from the world.

[3] elegcv (elencho) : convict, reprove, expose, demonstrate or show.

[4] The word “angel” in the Bible means “messenger.” An angel is a messenger from God, appearing to humans in human form. What are we to make today of this belief in angels, of which we have no direct experience? This question is best left to each person’s imagination, and in his prayerfully ‘searching the Scriptures’.  The frequency with which angels participate in  human affairs has certainly diminished since the day of Pentecost, probably because of the larger role played by the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians since Acts 2.