Overview of John 13-21

John 13:1-11 — Jesus and His disciples gathered to eat the Passover meal in an upper room. Before beginning the meal, Jesus got up from the table and washed His disciples’ feet. Peter protested that Jesus should not wash his feet. Jesus explained that those who wanted to be connected to Him had to be cleansed by Him, a reference to the spiritual cleansing He would make possible by His death on the cross. Jesus also explained that not all of those present were clean within, a reference to Judas.

John 13:12-17 — Jesus asked the disciples if they understood what He had done for them. He explained that He had set an example of service He expected them to follow. Jesus did not institute foot washing as a church ordinance but rather set an example of the kind of humble service believers should show one another.

John 13:18-30 — After His startling display of service, Jesus made an equally startling announcement. Jesus informed His disciples that one of them would betray Him. John, who was seated next to Jesus, asked Him to identify the betrayer. Jesus identified His betrayer by giving a piece of bread, a gesture of friendship, to Judas Iscariot. Judas accepted the bread and then left the room. Judas would later betray Jesus with a kiss, another gesture of friendship.

John 13:31-38 — After Judas left the room, Jesus told His disciples that the time had come for Him to be glorified—something which would be accomplished through His death and resurrection. He also commanded His disciples to love one another. Love, said Jesus, should be the distinguishing mark of His followers. Peter boasted that he was willing to protect Jesus with his life. Jesus informed Peter that during the next several hours he would deny Him three times.

John 14:1-7 — The disciples were troubled at the news that one of them would betray Jesus (13:21) and that Jesus was leaving them (13:33). Jesus told the disciples that He was leaving to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. He identified Himself as the way to the Father.

John 14:8-11 — Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus explained that to see Him is to see the Father. After hearing Jesus words and seeing His works, the disciples should have known that Jesus was God in human form (1:14,18).

John 14:12-14,18-21 — When Jesus returned to the Father He would send the Holy Spirit to empower His followers to expand the scope of His kingdom. Jesus promised that God would hear and answer requests in line with His will and kingdom purposes.

John 14:15-17 — Jesus promised to give the disciples the Holy Spirit. He identified the Spirit as the Counselor and the Spirit of truth. Jesus also promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would be with them forever.

John 14:22-24 — Judas (not Iscariot) asked Jesus to clarify how He would manifest Himself to them but not to the world. Jesus explained that He and the Father would abide with them in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Their obedience would be the proof that they loved Him.

John 14:25-26 — The Holy Spirit would teach the disciples all they needed to know about Jesus and the way of salvation. The Counselor would cause the disciples to remember all that Jesus had said to them.

John 14:27-31 — Jesus gave the disciples His peace—a resource they would need to calm their troubled hearts. He told His disciples that He would complete His redemptive work and return to His Father.

John 15:1-3 — Jesus used the analogy of a vine and its branches to clarify His relationship to believers. God, the gardener, personally tends the vineyard in order to increase the potential for fruit bearing.

John 15:4-8 — Jesus said that He is the Vine and believers are the branches. Believers must remain in vital union with Christ in order to bear fruit. Apart from Christ, believers can do nothing worthwhile or of eternal value. Believers who remain in Him are assured that God will hear and answer prayers that are in line with His will and purposes.

John 15:9-15 — Jesus urged His disciples to obey His commands just as He obeyed His Father’s commands. Jesus called His disciples friends and challenged them to demonstrate a sacrificial kind of love toward others.

John 15:16-17 — Jesus appointed His disciples to bear fruit that will last. He reminded them that prayer is essential to a productive and fruitful spiritual life.

John 15:18-20 — Jesus taught His disciples that they would experience the hatred and opposition of the world. The world hates those who are identified with Christ. Jesus told His disciples to remember that the world hated Him first.

John 15:21-24a — Jesus explained that the world’s hatred is fueled by spiritual ignorance. Jesus’ life and works made people uncomfortably aware of their sin. Those who refused to believe in Jesus were without excuse for their sin.

John 15:24b-25 — In spite of evidence that indicated Jesus is the Christ and God’s Son, many Jews refused to believe in Jesus. Instead, they hated Him, thus fulfilling what was written in their Law.


John 15:26-27 — The Holy Spirit always points others to Jesus. The disciples, under the power of the Holy Spirit, were to tell others about Jesus and how to find salvation in Him.

John 16:1-4 — Jesus warned His disciples about persecution so that they would not be caught off guard when it came. He said that the hatred of the world would manifest itself in expulsion from the synagogue and even death.

John 16:5-15 — Jesus identified the ministry of the Holy Spirit in relation to the world. The Holy Spirit convicts the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit guides believers into all truth concerning the significance of Christ’s life, ministry, and death.

John 16:16-18 — The disciples were confused by Jesus’ announcement that they would not see Him and then would see Him. They were also puzzled by what He meant by the statement that He was going to the Father. They discussed their confusion among themselves and wondered what Jesus meant by these statements.


John 16:19-22 — Jesus overheard the disciples’ discussion concerning His statements. He explained to them that they would weep and mourn His death while the world would rejoice. He also assured them that their grief would turn to joy when they saw Him again.

John 16:23-24 — Jesus told the disciples that a day was coming when they would make their requests directly to the Father in Jesus’ name. He assured the disciples that they would be heard.

John 16:25-28 — Jesus told the disciples that a time was coming when they would understand everything He had taught them about the Father. He also spoke to them of a time when they would have direct access to the Father through prayer in His name.

John 16:29-33 — Jesus questioned the disciples’ declaration of faith. He predicted they would forsake Him in the coming hours. Jesus offered hope to the disciples by assuring them that everything He had shared with them was meant to give them peace. He also promised to give them victory over tribulation.

John 17:1-5 — Jesus prayed that the Father would glorify Him so that He might glorify the Father. Jesus glorified the Father by completing the work God had given Him to do. For this reason, Jesus asked the Father to restore to Him the glory He had before He came to earth.

John 17:6-12 — Jesus prayed for His disciples. He acknowledged that God had given them to Him. He asked the Father to protect them and to keep them united.

John 17:13-19 — Jesus not only asked the Father to keep His disciples together but to keep them from the enemy as well. He did not ask that they be taken out of the world, but that they be sanctified and consequently live distinctive lives in the world.

John 17:20-24 — Jesus prayed for those who would believe in Him as a result of the disciples’ message. He specifically prayed that they be one, as He and the Father are one. Christian unity tells the world that Christ makes a difference in the lives of those who believe in Him.

John 17:25-26 — Although the world had failed to recognize who Jesus was, the disciples had come to believe that He was the One sent from God. Jesus prayed that the Father’s love would be in them and that He (Jesus) Himself would be in them.

John 18:1-14 — At the conclusion of His prayer (17:1-26), Jesus took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus agonized in prayer to the Father (Matt. 26:39; Luke 22:42-44). Soon, Judas escorted an armed crowd to the garden to arrest Jesus. Those who arrested Jesus bound Him and took Him to Annas, a former high priest.

John 18:15-18 — Peter and an unnamed disciple followed Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. A servant girl asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus. Peter replied that he was not one of Jesus’ disciples.

John 18:19-24 — Annas asked Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. Jesus did not disclose any information about His disciples. He told Annas that He had taught openly and challenged him to produce witnesses against Him. An official struck Jesus in the face. Jesus challenged the official to provide proof that He had said or done anything wrong.

John 18:25-27 — Peter denied a second and third time that he knew Jesus. As Jesus had predicted, a rooster began to crow after Peter’s third denial.

John 18:28-40 — The Jewish leaders led Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate in an effort to secure from him the death sentence for Jesus. Pilate questioned Jesus but did not wait for an answer to the most important question, “What is truth?” Pilate gave in to the pressure of the Jews and released Barabbas instead of Jesus.

John 19:1-7 — Pilate handed Jesus over to Roman soldiers who physically and verbally abused Him and dressed Him in mock royal attire. Pilate then presented Jesus to the crowd. The crowd called on Pilate to crucify Jesus because of His claim to be the Son of God.

John 19:8-12 — Pilate was afraid when he heard that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. He questioned Jesus a second time and told Jesus he had the authority to crucify or release Him. Jesus reminded Pilate that His only power over Him came from God.

John 19:13-16 — Pilate gave in to the pressure of the Jews to crucify Jesus. He presented Jesus to the Jews as their King. The Jews shouted that they had no king but Caesar. Pilate then washed his hands before the crowd (Matt. 27:24) and handed Jesus over to be crucified.

John 19:17-30 — Jesus was required to carry His own cross to Golgotha where He was crucified between two others. Pilate wrote an inscription and placed it on Jesus’ cross to the dismay of the Jewish leaders. The soldiers who made up the execution squad divided and cast lots for Jesus’ clothing. Jesus instructed “the disciple whom he loved” to care for Mary, His mother. Jesus then uttered His final words from the cross and died.

John 19:31-42 — The Jews asked Pilate to hasten the death of Jesus and of those crucified with Him. When the soldiers came to Jesus they saw that He was already dead. A soldier thrust his spear in Jesus’ side thus confirming that Jesus was dead. Pilate released the body of Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. These men prepared His body for burial according to Jewish burial customs and placed Jesus in Joseph’s own new tomb.important question, “What is truth?” Pilate gave in to the pressure of the Jews and released Barabbas instead of Jesus.

John 20:1-9 — Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb early on the Sunday morning after the crucifixion. Mary reported the news to Peter and the disciple who Jesus loved. These men ran to the tomb to investigate her report.

John 20:10-18 — After looking into the empty tomb, Peter and the other disciple returned to Jerusalem but Mary stayed outside the tomb crying. Mary saw two angels seated in the tomb who asked her why she was crying. Mary replied that she wanted to know where the body of Jesus was. Mary then turned and saw a man who she presumed was the gardener. When he called her name, she recognized that it was Jesus. Jesus asked Mary to tell the disciples about His resurrection.

John 20:19-29 — The disciples, with the exception of Thomas, were hiding behind locked doors when Jesus appeared to them without announcement. Jesus showed them His hands and side. The disciples tried to convince Thomas that Jesus was alive. Thomas refused to believe without bodily proof. A week later Jesus again appeared to the disciples and Thomas had the opportunity to see Jesus for Himself. Thomas acknowledged the deity of Jesus.

John 20:30-31 — John stated the evangelistic purpose for writing his gospel. He wrote in the hope that his readers would believe in Jesus and that by believing they would receive the gift of eternal life.

John 21:1-11 — Seven of the disciples were together on the Sea of Galilee. As they fished from their boat, Jesus appeared on the shore and called out to them, but they did not recognize Him. He instructed them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. The result was a large catch of fish. John realized and told Peter that the stranger on the shore was Jesus. Peter swam to shore while the others hauled the catch of fish in.

John 21:12-14 — Jesus invited the disciples to share the breakfast He had prepared. He served them bread and the fish He had prepared. This was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection.

John 21:15-23 — Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter replied that he loved Jesus all three times. Jesus commissioned Peter to feed or shepherd His sheep. Jesus also predicted that Peter would die a martyr’s death. Peter asked Jesus about John’s fate. Jesus told Peter not to be concerned about what God had planned for John. He urged Peter to fulfill his specific calling. Some people misunderstood Jesus’ statement about John remaining until He returned. John included a brief statement to clear up the misunderstanding.

John 21:24-25 — John affirmed that he was an eyewitness to all that he had recorded in his gospel. He also affirmed that Jesus did much more than was contained in his gospel or that could be contained in an endless number of books.

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