A) 1-2: The Divine WORD was with God eternally. B) 3: All things
came into being through it/him (the Word). C) 4-5:
In him was life and light, which darkness did not overcome.
D) 6-8: [John was not the light, but came to testify about the light.]
E) 9-10: The True Light was in the world, but the world did not recognize
F) 11: He came into his own realm, but his own people did not accept
G) 12: THOSE WHO DO BELIEVE IN HIM
BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD.
F') 13: These believers are not ordinary human offspring, but are born
E') 14: The Incarnate WORD reveals God's glory, full of grace and truth.
D') 15: [John testified about the priority of the one coming after
him.] C') 16:
Out of his (the Word's) fullness, we all received grace upon grace. B') 17: Grace and truth
came into being through Jesus Christ. A') 18: The only-begotten Son has revealed
I) The Prophetic Testimony of John about Himself (1:19-28)
19a: Literary Introduction: The
testimony given by John [the Baptizer].
19b: Priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem
question John: "Who are you?" 20-21: John confesses that he is not
the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet. 22: Searching for an answer: "Who are you?
What do you say about yourself?"
23: John replies, quoting Isaiah 40:3 ("The voice
crying in the wilderness; Make straight the way of the Lord.")
24: The ones sent by the Pharisees continue
questioning John: 25: Why does he baptize if he is not
the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet? 26-27: Variation of answer: John baptizes with
water, but is not worthy of the one coming after him.
28: Geographical Setting: John
was baptizing in Bethany across the Jordan.
II) The Prophetic Testimony of John about Jesus (1:29-34)
29: He [John] saw Jesus and declared:
"HERE IS THE LAMB OF GOD..." (cf.
30: After me comes one who ranks ahead of me,
because he was before me.
31: I myself did not know him, but came baptizing
with water that he might be revealed.
32: John testified: "I saw the Spirit descending
from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him."
33a: I myself did not know him, but the one
who sent me to baptize with water said:
33b: The one on whom the Spirit descends is
the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
34: I have seen and have testified: "THIS
IS THE SON OF GOD." (cf. v. 49)
A1) The First Two Disciples (1:35-39)35-36: John & two of his disciples saw Jesus: "Look,
HERE IS THE LAMB OF GOD." (cf. v. 29) 37: The two disciples heard him [John] say
this, and they followed Jesus. 38-39a: Jesus sees the two following
and dialogues with them: Jesus: "What are you looking for?" They: "RABBI,
where are you staying?" Jesus: "Come and see." 39b: They came and saw, and remained with Jesus; it was about the tenth
hour (4:00 p.m.). A2) The Third Disciple (1:40-42)40: One of the two disciples who heard John and followed
Jesus was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter. 41: He found his brother
Simon: "We have found THE
MESSIAH, which is translated CHRIST." 42: He brought Simon to Jesus,
who says he will be called "Cephas," which is translated Peter. B1) The Fourth Disciple (1:43-44)43a: Geographical transition: Jesus decided to go to Galilee. 43b: Jesus found
Philip and said: "Follow me." 44: Geographical
aside: Philip, Andrew, Peter were all from Bethsaida. B2) The Fifth Disciple (1:45-51)45-46: Philip found Nathanael and dialogues
with him: Philip: "We have found
THE ONE ABOUT WHOM MOSES
AND THE PROPHETS WROTE." Philip: "JESUS,
SON OF JOSEPH, FROM NAZARETH." Nathanael: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip: "Come and
see." 47-51: Jesus sees and dialogues with Nathanael: Jesus: "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there
is no deceit." Nathanael: "How did you get to know me?" Jesus: "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip
called you." Nathanael: "RABBI,
you are THE SON OF GOD
(cf. v. 34); you are THE KING
OF ISRAEL." Jesus: "Do you believe because I told you I saw
you? You will see greater things." Jesus: "You will see heaven opened and God's
angels ascending and descending upon THE
SON OF MAN."
Note the dynamics of who calls whom to discipleship
#1&2 - John (the Baptist) sends two of his disciples
to follow Jesus. #1&2 - One is named Andrew, but the other remains anonymous. #3 - Andrew brings his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus. #4 - Jesus finds and invites Philip personally. #5 - Philip talks to Nathanael about Jesus.
Contrast: In Mark and Matthew, Jesus calls two pairs of brothers
(Peter & Andrew, James & John) as his first disciples; while in
Luke, the focus is mainly on Peter (for more details, see my page on Disciples
Some scholars also highlight the temporal notices in
1 - One day (implicit beginning in 1:19) 2 - "The next day..." (1:29) 3 - "The next day..." (1:35) 4 - Another day (begins 1:40, implied by late afternoon hour of 1:39) 5 - "The next day..." (1:43) 7 - "On the third day..." (2:1; the biblical way of saying "two
Question: Did the evangelist really intend this as a sequence of 7
days? If so, why didn't he explicitly say "The next day" in
1:40? And how many days would it have taken to travel from "Bethany
across the Jordan" (1:28) to "Galilee" (1:43) to "Cana
in Galilee" (2:1)? (see the Geography
of John's Gospel webpage). Moreover, rather than merely completing
a sequence of seven days, "On the third day" (2:1) serves to connect
the story of the Wedding at Cana with the crucifixion and resurrection of
Jesus (cf. 2:19-21; 20:1).