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7. John continues the true story

Leader's page and Student's page best viewed left/right side together

Lesson 7 Leader’s notes: John 2:1 – 11:57

There will be time pressure on this lesson once again!

See if any of the ladies can remember why John wrote his Gospel,

from this book chapter 1, page 7. (or John 20:31).

Work through the first two paragraphs of the lesson.

Look at the map about Judea and Galilee on page 3.

Below is extra information in case you want it for paragraph three opposite.

Before 1400 A.D. most copying of literature was done by hand. The availability of such literature was therefore very limited.

Printing using wood blocks started in China about 200 A.D. Moveable wood block type was developed around 1000 A.D. Woodblock printing was also used in Europe, but in the 1400s European printers produced metal type pieces. This began an economical book printing industry, and with it came an explosion of knowledge.

Printing enabled many more people to have books. It was a major development in education and communication. The advent of computers has revolutionised commercial printing – hence this book - and made it easy for an individual to communicate to many more people than she or he might ever meet.

Note: Some of the references in the four sections (opposite) are outside of

John 2:1 – 11:57. This is deliberate. The next Lessons on each Gospel in our course cover Palm Sunday to Ascension, and we will have difficulty fitting it all in!

Suggestion: teach three ‘special findings’ passages (opposite), by asking the ladies questions.

Especially go through ‘material from John that is not in the Synoptics.’

Extra information you may find useful:

A.D.70 The Roman forces destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, and slaughtered many people, after the Jewish rebellion against Rome in A.D.66.

Note: we are not doing our usual ‘four column research’ during this lesson.

Student's page:

Lesson 7 John continues the true story 2:1 – 11:57

As we saw earlier John’s purposes in writing his Gospel were:

“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”.

John wants to show to Jews that the promised Messiah has come.

He wants to show to everybody else that Jesus is the Son of God – divine.

John’s Gospel has no genealogy, no birth stories, nothing about Jesus’ temptation, no transfiguration, no appointing of disciples, no parables.

John concentrates on the divinity of Christ, the only begotten of the Father. He records more Jerusalem and Judean ministry than Matthew, Mark and Luke, who record a lot of ministry in Galilee.

Before we look at 2:1–11:57 we need to look at 7:53-8:11. This short passage is not in the oldest Greek manuscripts. A few manuscripts use part of this short section in two different places in John, or in two different places in Luke. It may be that a scrap of a manuscript was separated from its original document and later tucked into different places. Remember, these original documents did not have chapter and verse references. References were only added for our convenience in 1551 A.D. Printing presses were only invented in 1440-1450. Before that manuscripts were copied by hand.

It feels like an authentic Jesus story but we cannot base categoric or dogmatic teaching on what we are not sure is an original record.

Section one: If we had searched John 2:1-11:57, as we did for Matthew, Mark and Luke in Lessons 4,5, and 6, we likely would have come to these three passages in our ‘special findings’.

2:23-25 In Jerusalem, the religious centre of the Jewish nation, at the Passover Festival, people saw the signs – John’s code word for miracles – and believed in Jesus. Verse 25 Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.

10:40-42 John’s testimony to Jesus had proved to be true.

11:45-54 Conspiracy by the priests/Sanhedrin to keep their Temple and their nation secure - but even though they had Jesus killed the nation still perished in A.D.70.

Compare Caiaphas’ words in 11:50 with Jesus words 10:11.

Section two: John has material in his Gospel which is not in the Synoptics.

There are also occasions where John’s account clarifies something in one of the Synoptic Gospels. See Mark 14:53-54 and John 18:15-16,

Mark 14:57-59 and John 2:19-21,

Mark 15:1 and John 18:31-32.

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Leader's page:

You may need to teach this section by asking questions,

and discuss the second section (below opposite), because of time.

Seven miraculous signs

Look at these references for signs – pointers to Who Jesus is - in twos or small groups, or as one group led from the front if that works better for your group and/or timewise.). Discuss.

What does each sign teach us?

I’ve done the first two as examples – you do the rest!

2:1-12 (verse 11) Mary trusted Jesus – Jesus respected Mary – the new wine is superior to the old, as is everything in Jesus’ Messianic age.

4:45-54 (verses 48 and 54) An important man but unable to sort this problem himself –

Jesus could and He did. The important man and his household believed.


6:1-14 (verses 2 and 14)



11:38-44, (see description in 12:18)

Note: Some add an eighth sign as 21:1-14, after Jesus’ resurrection.

John does say in 20:30 he knew of more than seven.

Seven ‘I am’s. ‘I am’ is a phrase we all use, but Jesus is using it with reference to the name of God, compare Exodus 3:14, John 8:58.

Check the verse or verses in the Gospel of John. Check the cross references if there are any.

Put your thoughts together.

What do each of these ‘I am’s that Jesus says mean for you?



10:7 and 9

10:11 and 14



15:1 and 5

Student's page:

Section three: John uses the word ‘signs’ rather than miracles. Some English translations use the words ‘miraculous signs’ – they point to Who Jesus really is. John records at least seven signs.

What does each sign teach us?

1. 2:1-12

2. 4:45-54

3. 5:1-15

4. 6:1-14

5. 6:16-21

6. 9:1-7

7. 11:38-44, 12:18

Section four: John also records seven occasions when Jesus describes Himself. He begins with the words, ‘I am’.

How does each ‘I am’, describing something of Jesus, help or encourage you?

6:51 compare John 1:14, Mark 14:22

8:12 compare John 1:9-12

10:7 and 9 Several shepherds would keep their sheep together in one enclosure

overnight, and employ an under shepherd to guard the single entrance.

10:11 and 14 What does a good shepherd do? Psalm 23:1-4

11:25 compare John 1:4, John 5:25-26

14:6 What is Jesus saying? He is the Way to _ _ _

He is the Truth about _ _ _

He is the Life of _ _ _

15:1 and 5 compare Ephesians 2:10, Colossians 2:6-7

John has presented Jesus as the powerful and caring Son of God.

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