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FRAMEWORKS: John's Gospel


Frameworks: John's Gospel, chapter 1


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in in italic a description of what is happening)




v.1-5 Introducing the Word

v.6-8 Introducing John the Baptist

v.9-18 The Word made Flesh

v.19-28 John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

v.29-34 John Testifies About Jesus

v.35-42 John's Disciples Follow Jesus

v.43- 51 Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael


NB. v.1-18 are often referred to as the Prologue to this Gospel


v.1-5 Introducing the Word


v.1  (at the start of everything God expressed Himself and the all-encompassing Word came forth) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

v.2 (this Word was one with God) He was with God in the beginning.

v.3 (God used him to create the world) Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

v.4  (he brought life into the material world and lit up mankind) In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 

v.5  (his light cannot be extinguished) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.



v.6-8 Introducing John the Baptist


v.6  (in history there was a man called John who was sent by God) There was a man sent from God whose name was John.

v.7  (he came to help people believe in this light) He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.

v.8  (he himself wasn't the light, just one pointing to it) He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.



v.9-18 The Word made Flesh


v.9  (this real light was coming into the material world) The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

v.10  (he came but the world didn't recognise him for who he was) He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

v.11  (he came to his prepared people but they didn't receive him) He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

v.12,13  (but if you did receive him you were given the right by God to be called a child of God ‘born' by His will) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

v.14  (this Word became human flesh, real and full of grace, and lived among us, and he revealed the glory, the wonder, the splendour of the Son from God the Father) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

v.15  (John pointed out who he was, one who had existed before him) (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'”)

v.16  (from his wonder we have each received his grace) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

v.17  (Moses brought the Law, Jesus Christ brought grace) For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

v.18  (although no one has seen God, the Son, this Word, this light, has made Him known) No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.



v.19-28 John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah


v.19  (when the authorities came to John they asked who he was) Now this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders (* see below) in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.

v.20  (he told them he wasn't the expected Messiah) He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

v.21  (when they suggested who he was he kept saying no) They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”

v.22  (they demanded an answer) Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

v.23  (John quoted Isaiah's prophecy of Isa 40) John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'”

v.24,25  (they demanded to know why he was baptising then) Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

v.26  (he as merely a baptizer in water but another was coming) “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.

v.27  (John felt he wasn't worthy even to untie the sandals of this one) He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

v.28  (this happened near Bethany near the Jordan) This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


(Note on v.19 from footnote: The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John's Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19)



v.29-34 John Testifies About Jesus


v.29  (John heralded Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away sins) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

v.30  (he referred to what he had said before) This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'

v.31  (he baptized so this one would come and be revealed) I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

v.32  (John saw the Spirit come down on Jesus when he came) Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

v.33  (God had told him what to watch for) And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

v.34  (John testified to who Jesus was) I have seen and I testify that this is God's Chosen One.”



v.35-42 John's Disciples Follow Jesus


v.35,36  (John pointed out Jesu to two of his disciples) The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

v.37  (these two then followed Jesus) When the two disciples heard him say ths, they followed Jesus.

v. 38  (Jesus questioned them) Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

v.39  (he invited them to go with him) “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

v.40  (Andrew was one of the two) Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.

v.41  (Andrew found his brother Simon and told him) The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).

v.42  (he brought him to Jesus who renamed him Peter) And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).



v.43-51 Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael


v.43  (getting ready to leave for Galilee, Jesus calls Philip to follow him) The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

v.44  (he was from the same town as the others) Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.

v.45  (he found Nathanael and said he had found the messiah) Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

v.46  (Nathanael doubted whether the messiah came from Nazareth) “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

v.47  (when Jesus meets him he gives a greeting implying he knows him) When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

v.48  (when Nathanael questions this Jesus said he saw him previously) “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

v.49  (Nathanael realises this is revelation and declares he is the Son of God) Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

v.50  (Jesus says he will see greater than this) Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”

v.51  (he says he will see heavenly things) He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on' the Son of Man.”


(Note: we should understand that when, throughout the gospels Jesus refers to himself as ‘the Son of Man', he is applying a prophetic understanding from Dan 7:3, one coming from heaven, the Messiah)



Design Criteria

1. Divided by main sub-headings.

2. Each verse has a brief summary of the verse in italics.

3. The additional notes seek to add clarity of understanding