John Chapter 1

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Discussion ideas for John 1


Themes in John 1 to follow throughout John’s Gospel


This link begins as early as Gen 1:2, where God creates light to serve as a boundary to darkness. Here light is not only instantly linked to God’s presence but also institutes time and order over the chaos of the formless void. (1)
1-Judith A. Odor, “Light and Darkness,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
Reflect on light’s role in the creation story. What does it do?
Genesis 1:3-5: It is a reaction to God’s word to overcome the darkness and so is immediately linked to God. It is good.
Genesis 1:14-18: It orders the days (day/night) and seasons.
Light is illuminating and orderly. It separates darkness (evil/death). Jesus is the ‘light of men.’
Read John 1:9
We should seek to find illumination through Him, as the ‘true light.’
What does it mean/look like to walk in the light?
How can we practically demonstrate this?
Read Eph 5:1-11; 1 John 3:11-14
Believing in Jesus is akin to being in the light (and out of the darkness). This is shown by our love of our neighbor/brother and our character.
Read John 3:20-21
We also need to remember that we used to be in darkness. It is not by our own works that we live in the light. It is God’s grace that brought us and keeps us there.
Keep a look out as we read John for other instances of the light theme.
John 3:16-21
John 5:30-47


Follow the train of witnesses through John 1.
John 1:35-39
John the Baptist points Jesus out to his disciples.
Jesus says “Come and you will see.”
John 1:40-41
Andrew gets Simon Peter.
John 1:45-46
Philip gets Nathanael.
Philip doesn’t try to convince Nathanael, he tells him “Come and see.”
Read John 3:22-30
How do we witness like John the Baptist?
How do we get to a point where we do not care of how others view us, as long as they come to Christ?
Read Philippians 2:1-11, Hebrews 4:14-16
We demonstrate Jesus’s humility by living out the same humility that He did. No one gave up more for less than He did. We know that we have a savior who has suffered as we have.
Keep a look out as we read John for other instances of the witness theme.
The Samaritan Woman (John 4:39)
Jesus’ own works (John 5:36; 10:25)
Apostles/Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27)


What do you think of when we say ‘belief’?
Read Hebrews 11:1
Faith and belief are often spoken of together. Faith is trust in God when you do not know the answer. It is placing your life in his hands and following him.
Read Hebrews 11:6
Faith seems to be the next step on belief.
Read Hebrews 11:17-19, 24-29
Abraham and Moses’ actions were a result of his faith.
Read John 1:11-12
John also equates believing in Jesus with receiving Him. In the Greek, receive can me “accept an object or benefit”. How does this change how you think of belief? What does it mean to ‘receive’ Jesus?
Read John 1:16; Matthew 10:5-8
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