The plan of John is much more systematic, clear and simple than those of
the other three Evangelists. It will be a help in a connected study of this
part of Holy Scripture to have an analysis. I am indebted to Dr. Schaff for
the outlines of the following plan, though I have modified and condensed the
view he gives in his History of the Apostolic Church. I have marked by a
star those sections which are not found in the other Gospels.
*(1) John bearing witness of and pointing to the Lamb of God.
*(2) Gathering of the First Disciples.
*(3) The First Miracle.
First sojourn in Capernaum.
First Passover at Jerusalem.
*(4) First Cleansing of the Temple.
*(5) Conversation with Nicodemus and the New Birth.
*(6) Labors of Christ in Judea. The Testimony of John the Baptist.
*(7) Labors in Samaria. At Jacob's Well. The Samaritan Woman.
(8) Public Teaching in Galilee.
Mark 1:14; Luke 4:14.
*(9) Nobleman's Son at Capernaum Healed.
*(10) Second Journey to Jerusalem to a Feast supposed to be the Passover;
The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda.
The Beginning of the Enmity
of the Jews that finally led to the Crucifixion. The discourse of Christ on
his Relation to the Father.
*(11) The Feeding of the Five Thousand and the Stilling of the Tempest.
*(12) The discourse on the Bread of Life.
*(13) Third Visit to Jerusalem, at the Feast of Tabernacles. The Discourse
at the Temple. The Increase of Hostility. Attempt to Seize the Lord.
*(14) The Woman taken in Adultery.
7:53 to 8:11.
*(15) Discourse on the Light of the World. The Children of God and the
Children of the Evil One. Attempt to Stone Jesus.
*(16) The Healing of the Man Born Blind, on a Sabbath; His Testimony of the
*(17) The Good Shepherd, the Sheepfold and the Sheep.
*(18) Discourse at the Feast of Dedication in Solomon's Porch.
*(19) Departure to the Country beyond the Jordan.
*(20) The Resurrection of Lazarus at Bethany, and its effect in increasing the
Enmity of the Jews. The Counsel of Caiaphas.
*(21) Jesus retires to Ephraim.
(22) The Anointing by Mary at Bethany at the Feast.
(23) The Counsel of the Chief Priests.
(24) The Entry into Jerusalem as a King.
Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44.
*(25) The Visit of the Greeks to Jesus. Discourse on the Grain of Wheat that
must die to bear Fruit. The Voice from Heaven.
It will be observed that, thus far, most of the matter is peculiar to John.
The same is true of the discourses to the disciples which now follow.
III. CHRIST MANIFESTED TO HIS DISCIPLES.
The time is during the last
Passover week. The place is Jerusalem.
13:1 to 17:26.
*(1) Jesus washes the feet of his Disciples at the Passover Meal.
(2) He Announces the Traitor and Judas departs.
*(3) The New Commandment of Love. (The Lord's Supper supposed to be
(4) Peter's Denial Predicted.
*(5) The Farewell Discourses to the Disciples. The House of Many Mansions.
The Father in the Son. The Conditions of Enjoying the Divine Presence.
Promise of Answer to Prayer. Benediction of Peace.
*(6) The Promise of the Comforter. The Work of the Spirit.
*(7) The True Vine and the Branches. The Spirit and the World.
*(8) The Prayer for the Apostles; for Believers in all ages; for the Unity of
IV. CHRIST LIFTED UP; ON THE CROSS.
FROM THE TOMB.
18:1 to 20:31.
(1) Passage of the Kedron and the Betrayal.
(2) Jesus before the High Priest.
(3) Peter's Denial.
(4) Jesus before Pilate the Roman Governor.
18:28 to 19:16.
(5) The Crucifixion.
(6) The Burial of Christ.
(7) The Resurrection. Mary Magdalene, John and Peter at the empty
(8) Christ appears to Mary Magdalene on the first Lord's day.
*(9) Christ appears to the Apostles. Thomas not present.
*(10) Christ appears to all the Apostles, Thomas included, on the second
*(11) The object of John's Gospel. Written in order to cause men to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
While the other Gospels allude to the appearance of the risen Lord in Galilee
the incidents of this chapter are narrated only by John.
(1) Christ appears to Seven Disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The third time he had revealed himself to his Apostles.
(2) The Dialogue with Simon Peter. His Restoration.
(3) The intimation concerning John tarrying until he came.
(4) The attestation to the authorship of the Gospel.
An examination of the stars prefixed to the sections peculiar to John will
show how far his history is independent of the other Gospels. Up to the
beginning of the eighteenth chapter only five incidents are named, I believe,
which are narrated by the other writers. The accounts of the trial, crucifixion,
burial, resurrection, and appearances, are more nearly parallel, but the
last chapter is, again, entirely new matter. These facts serve to show how
much of the Savior's words and life would have been lost to the world if the
Fourth Gospel had never been written. They also demonstrate the infinite
resources from whence the Gospel historians drew their accounts; resources
so vast, that after three historians wrote the life of the Redeemer, a fourth was
still able to write another history, in full harmony with what was already
written, but composed almost entirely of new matter, not less important or
interesting than what had already been narrated. [xxiv]