THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
When we open our Bibles to read, we’re never alone. The Holy Spirit is here to helps us, to make the Word of God alive, stir our hearts, transform us and redirect our lives, all for the glory of Christ (John 16:14).
Here are some guidelines to help reading the Bible:
Read the text until you can say what it says in your own words
Ask questions to help you see more in the text:
- Start with the background to get into the world of the original readers
- Who wrote this?
- When and why did they write this?
- What is the main aim/theme of the book (letter, story)
- What is the genre (is it a story, poetry, wisdom, apocalyptic) and how does it influence the reading of the text?
- What are the main arguments, themes or images used? (hint look at the verbs in the passage)
- How does it relate to the next book or letter? (bigger context)
Ask the question:
- What does this passage mean in my life today?
- How do I respond?
- How do I apply Scripture in my life now?
Meditate on the Scripture you read, pray and reflect. Worship the Lord and ask Him to reveal His truth to you.
Before starting the devotional on the Gospel of John, take some time to do a study on the historical context of John, the themes and characteristics, the aim and purpose of the book. Journal it down and then begin by reading the prologue and starting the devotional.
Scripture of the day: John 1:1-18
John’s First Three Verses Those words — “word of God”— bring us to the first words of John’s Gospel. John 1:1–3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”
- How is Jesus described?
- Why do you think John begins his gospel with this description of Jesus?
- Where does this description of Jesus evoke in you wonder, worship, or thanksgiving?
Ask God to show you Himself more clearly through this study of John.
Scripture of the day: John 1:19-34
He (John) said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” I am simply a voice.
A voice, a witness. And in his mouth are not self-exalting words, but Christ-exalting words. John 1:15: “He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.” John 1:34: “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
- How does John the Baptist describe himself and how does he describe Jesus?
- What do you learn from John the Baptist about speaking of Jesus with humility and boldness?
- Think of someone you will likely interact with today. How can you point them toward Jesus?
Scripture of the day: John 1:35-51
What in this text is going to show the glory of the only Son from the Father? And how is it that seeing this will give grace to you?
- Where do you see seeking and finding in these encounters?
- Why do you think these men follow Jesus despite knowing so little about him?
- What is your response when Jesus says to you, “come and see”?
Scripture of the day: John 2
- For each story, what would have happened if Jesus hadn’t intervened?
- How is the glory of Jesus revealed here and how is it concealed?
- How has Jesus been revealing his glory to you lately? Ask God for a believing and receptive heart.
Scripture of the day: John 3:1-21
- Where do you see contrast (e.g. flesh/Spirit, light/darkness)?
- How does the surrounding context deepen your understanding of v. 16?
- What has Jesus been making clear to you/as a group today as you have studied his words? How should we respond?
Scripture of the day: John 3:22-36
- How does John describe his role in the ministry of Jesus?
- What does it mean for Jesus to become greater in and through our lives? What was the condition of John’s heart when he approached Jesus?
Scripture of the day: John 4:1-42
- At each stage of this exchange, what do you think keeps the woman in the conversation?
- What do we learn about Jesus’ character and priorities through these expectation-defying interactions?
- Reflect on what you have personally/as a group have been revealed about Jesus? Who might need to hear your story? How could you share it with them?
Scripture of the day: John 4:43-54
- What steps can you distinguish in this royal official’s journey to belief?
- What does this second sign reveal about Jesus?
- Are there ways you can see Jesus performing miracles in your friends’ lives? Ask God for opportunities to walk with an expectation and faith for Him to do the impossible.
Scripture of the day: John 5:1-30
- What stands out for you at the healing pool of Bethesda?
- What do we learn about the relationship between Jesus and the Father?
Scripture of the day: John 5:31-47
- What are the sources of testimony regarding Jesus and what do they say about him?
- How could these men, who studied the Scriptures so diligently, have refused to come to Jesus for life?
- What testimonies about Jesus do you pay attention to and how do you act on them? Ask God to make your heart responsive to truth.
Scripture of the day: John 6:1-21
- What reactions do you see to Jesus and his miracles?
- What does Jesus reveal about himself through these miracles?
- Share with someone today how Jesus has nourished and provided for you.
Scripture of the day: John 6:22-40
- What does the crowd want from Jesus?
- What does Jesus mean when He says “I am the Bread of Life”?
Scripture of the day: John 6:41-71
- How do the Jews, Jesus’ disciples, and Simon Peter respond to this hard teaching?
- Why is Jesus willing to talk about himself in such a controversial and divisive way?
- What encouragement do you find in Simon Peter’s response?
Scripture of the day: John 7:1-24
- What judgments regarding Jesus do you see here and what is their basis?
- How is Jesus trying to help others judge him and his actions correctly?
- How can you guard against seeking personal glory when you’re talking with others about the things of God?
Scripture of the day: John 7:25-52
- What reasons are given to believe Jesus and what reasons are given to disqualify Jesus?
- Why do Jesus and his critics have such different approaches to the question of where he’s from?
- Are you ever so reliant on what you “know” about God that you disqualify others without even truly hearing them? Ask God to make your heart open.
Scripture of the day: John 8:12-30
- What is said here about testimony and judgment?
- How does the lifting up of the Son of Man (v. 28) relate to testimony and judgment?
- How has Jesus brought light into your world recently and what has that light revealed?
Scripture of the day: John 8:31-59
- How is the Jews’ own self-identity hampering their capacity to see Jesus more clearly?
- When God shows the truth about your own brokenness, do you respond with humility or with defensiveness? How can you choose humility?
Scripture of the day: John 9
- How do the people involved in this story react to the blind man and his healing?
- What steps were involved in this man moving from blindness to worship?
Scripture of the day: John 10:1-21
- How is Jesus like a gate and a good shepherd?
- What is Jesus trying to get across to the Pharisees through this imagery?
- Among all the voices in your life, how do you tune in to the voice of Jesus? Ask him to speak to you again today and give you confidence in his voice.
Scripture of the day: John 10:22-42
- What are the Jews willing and unwilling to believe about Jesus?
- What does Jesus most want them to know about himself? Why?
- Reflect on what it means for you to be one of Jesus’ sheep. How might you listen, follow, and find security in that reality?
Scripture of the day: John 11:1-27
- What do the different people we see here expect of Jesus?
- Why does Jesus seem to let the situation get worse before he acts?
- Where might your expectations of what Jesus “should be doing” be hindering you from receiving what he is doing? Ask him for an open mind and heart so you can follow where he leads.
Scripture of the day: John 11:28 – 44
- What would you see, hear, smell, and feel if you were present at this scene?
- Where do you see faith, hope, and love exhibited here in the midst of sorrow?
- How might Jesus want to show you his glory and call you to greater trust in the midst of a current circumstances/situations in your or your family’s life?
Scriptures of the day: John 11:45-57 & John 12:1-19
- What actions do you see here and what does John tell us about what motivates them?
- What do people’s responses to Jesus reveal about what they believe about him?
- How have you seen different people in your life respond to Jesus? Thank God for those who have received him with reverence and pray for those who have not yet received Him into their lives.
Scriptures of the day: John 12:20-36
- How does Jesus describe what will happen to him and how it affects those listening?
- How will the death of Jesus glorify the Father?
- As you reflect on how Jesus approached his own death, how does that challenge or encourage you? Ask God for light so you can walk by it today.
Scripture of the day: John 12:37-50
- Who speaks and why? Who is silent and why?
- When we will not believe, or will not act on what we believe, what happens to our spiritual senses and why?
- Ask God to examine your own heart: where do you love the glory that comes from people more than the glory that comes from God?
Scripture of the day: John 13:1-20
- What does Jesus do that sets an example for his disciples to imitate?
- What enables Jesus to serve with such humility?
- Who is someone you can serve this week? Pray for that person and think of one practical way you can serve them.
Scriptures of the day: John 13:33-38 & John 14:1-14
- What promises and instructions does Jesus give here?
- Where do you see evidence of Jesus’ affection for his disciples?
Scriptures of the day: John 14:15-31
- How does Jesus describe the role of the Holy Spirit?
- How does the Holy Spirit’s role relate to love and obedience?
- Pray about an area of obedience in your life which requires the Holy Spirit to remind you of the love and presence of Jesus.
Scriptures of the day: John 15:1-27
- What words or phrases are repeated in this teaching?
- What is the significance of remaining in Jesus?
- How is Jesus currently inviting you to remain in Him? How open or resistant are you to his invitation?
- According to Jesus, why does “the world” hate him and his disciples?
- As the disciples reflected on these words later, how might they have found comfort in them?
Scriptures of the day: John 16:1-33
- What are the names and actions of the Holy Spirit as described here?
- Why is it so important to Jesus that his disciples know about the Holy Spirit?
- What is Jesus telling them will happen?
- How will the words Jesus shares here result in his disciples’ peace (v. 33)?
- How might these words help us to find peace in Jesus?
Scriptures of the day: John 17
- What does Jesus want his followers to have in common with him?
- Why has Jesus sent his disciples into the world (v. 18)?
- How does it affect you to know that Jesus did and is praying these things for us?
Scripture od the day: John 18:1-27
- What do you notice as you compare how Jesus and Peter responded to these threats?
- “Drinking the cup” in v. 11 means to actively accept what the Father has intended. How does Jesus show his willingness to drink the cup?
Scriptures of the day: John 18:28-40 & John 19:1-42
- What Scriptures does John note are fulfilled here?
- What is the significance of the testimony of the blood and water coming out of Jesus’ side in vv. 34-35?
- How does Jesus’ intentional self-sacrifice speak to you today?
Scriptures of the day: John 20:1-31 & John 21:15-25
- What do you think Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, and the other disciple were thinking and feeling?
- How would you describe this conversation between Peter and Jesus?
- What is the connection between Peter’s love for Jesus and what Jesus is asking of him?