John’s Good News

About this book

John’s Gospel is one of the four Gospels. ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’. The Gospels are the books that tell us about Jesus’ life on earth. John was one of the three disciples who knew the Lord Jesus Christ best. John called himself ‘the disciple that Jesus loved’. We think that John wrote his Gospel in the city called Ephesus. He wrote it some years after Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote their Gospels. He wrote it about 70 years after Christ’s birth.

John’s Gospel is different from the other three Gospels. It does not describe many things that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke do describe. But it does include many things that are not in the other Gospels. John tells us much more about who Jesus was. John shows us Jesus as the Son of God – the only person who can cause us to live. John teaches us more about God’s Spirit, too.

At the beginning of his Gospel, John calls Jesus ‘the Word’.

Chapter 1

The Word became human

1 In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God. The Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 God made all things by the Word. God did not make anything without him. 4 It is the Word who causes us to live. And because of this, he was the light to all people. 5 The light shines in the dark, and the dark cannot put out the light.

6 God sent a man. His name was John. 7 He came to tell people about the light. God wanted everyone to believe what John said. 8 John himself was not that light. God sent him to tell people about the light. 9 The true light, that gives light to every person, was coming into the world.

Verses 4-9 The Word (Jesus Christ) is like light. He shows us what is true. The dark means the power of God’s enemy, Satan. He tries to hide what is true. God’s light shines in the dark. Satan’s power cannot put it out. Jesus said that he himself was the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5). In verse 6, ‘John’ is not the man who is writing this book.

10 The Word was in the world. God made the world by him. But the world did not know who he was. 11 He came to what was his own. But his own people did not accept him. 12 But some people did accept him. Some people did believe who he was. So, he gave authority to those people so that they could become God’s children. 13 These children were not born in the usual human way. They were not born because of what any people wanted. They were not born because of what any man decided. No! They were born from God. 14 The Word became human. He lived among us. We saw how great and how good he is. He is great and good as only the Father’s one true Son can be. He is completely kind. He is full of what is true.

15 John told people about the Word. He shouted, ‘This is the man that I told you about. He comes after me. But he is greater than I am. He was there before I was born.’ 16 The Word is full of everything that we need. All of us have received from him. We have received one good thing after another good thing. 17 God gave his rules by Moses. But God has been kind to us by Jesus Christ. God has brought his true message to us by Jesus Christ. 18 No person has ever seen God. But God’s only true Son, who is so very near to the Father, has shown God to us.

Jesus Christ was a very special person. That is what John is saying at the beginning of his book. And he is telling us that Jesus had important work to do. He was the Word of God. He was the only person who really knew God. He knew what people were really like too. He was God and he was man too. So, because of that, he could show us what God is like. Only Jesus could make us able to be the people that God wanted us to be.

John the Baptist was not Christ

19 The Jews’ leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John, ‘Who are you?’ This is what he said. 20 John did not refuse to answer. He said, ‘I am not the Christ.’ 21 So they asked him, ‘So who are you? Are you Elijah?’ John said, ‘No, I am not.’ They asked, ‘Are you the Prophet?’ John answered, ‘No.’ 22 Then they said, ‘Tell us who you are. We must say something to the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 23 He said, ‘I am the voice that shouts in the wild places. I shout, “Make a straight path for the Lord to come.” That is what the prophet Isaiah said.’ 24 The men who came to ask these questions were Pharisees. 25 They said to John, ‘Why do you baptise people, if you are neither the Christ nor Elijah nor the Prophet?’

Verse 19 A Levite was a person from Israel’s people who belonged to Levi’s family group. The Levites worked in God’s Great House (the temple).

Verses 21 and 24 Israel’s people believed that God would send Elijah and at least one other great prophet to them. They believed that these prophets must come before God sent the Messiah (Christ).

Verse 23 See Isaiah 40:3.

26 John replied, ‘I baptise people with water. But there is someone here among you that you do not know. 27 It is he who comes after me. I am not good enough even to take off his shoes.’ 28 All these things happened at a place east from the Jordan river. It was a village called Bethany. John was baptising people there.

29 The next day, John saw Jesus, who was coming towards him. John said, ‘Look! Here is God’s Lamb (young sheep), who takes away the world’s sin. 30 This is the man that I told you about. I told you, “It is he who comes after me. But he is greater than I am. He was already there before I was born.” 31 I did not know him. But I had to show Israel’s people who he was. That is why I am baptising people with water.’ 32 John told them, ‘I saw God’s Spirit come down from the sky. He came like a dove (a kind of bird) and he stayed on Jesus. 33 I would not have known who Jesus was. But God had sent me to baptise people with water. And God told me, “You will see the Spirit come down. He will stay on someone. That is the person who will baptise people with my Holy (completely good) Spirit.” 34 Now I have seen this. So, I can tell you that this is God’s Son.’

Verses 29 and 36 John the Baptist called Jesus ‘God’s Lamb’ (young sheep). This would have caused the people to remember the young sheep that they killed for the Passover meal. Israel’s people also killed young sheep at other times, so that God would forgive their sins. Jesus Christ was God’s Lamb, who came to die on our behalf. He came to save us from sin.

John was called ‘the Baptist’ because he baptised people in water.

Jesus’ first disciples

35 John and two of his disciples were standing there the next day. 36 John saw Jesus, who was walking past them. John said, ‘Look! There is God’s Lamb (young sheep).’ 37 When the two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned round. He saw that they were following him. He asked them, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying?’ 39 Jesus replied, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So, they went with him. And they saw where he was staying. It was about 10 in the morning. And they stayed with him that day.

Verse 39 Really, John wrote, ‘It was the 10th hour.’ The Jews counted time from 6 o’clock. So some Bible teachers think that John means 4 in the afternoon. But the Romans said that the day started at midnight. So other Bible teachers think that John means 10 in the morning here.

40 Andrew was one of the two disciples who had followed Jesus. They had heard what John had said about Jesus. Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother. 41 The first thing that Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon. Andrew said to Simon, ‘We have found the Messiah.’ (Messiah means Christ.) 42 Then he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and he said, ‘You are Simon, John’s son. Your name will be Cephas.’ This name is the same as Peter, which means ‘rock’.

43 The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He met Philip, and Jesus said to Philip, ‘Follow me.’ 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, came from the town called Bethsaida. 45 Philip went to find Nathanael. He told Nathanael, ‘We have found the man that Moses wrote about in the book of God’s rules. The prophets wrote about him, too. He is Jesus, who is Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.’ 46 Nathanael said, ‘I did not think that anything good could come from Nazareth!’ Philip replied, ‘Come and see.’

47 Jesus saw Nathanael, who was coming towards him. Jesus said, ‘Here is a completely honest man. That is what a person from Israel should really be like.’ 48 Nathanael asked, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you before Philip asked you to come. I saw you when you were under the fig (fruit) tree.’ 49 Nathanael said, ‘Teacher, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.’ 50 Jesus said to him, ‘I told you that I saw you under the fig (fruit) tree. And you believe me because I told you that. But you will see much greater things than that.’ 51 And Jesus said to him, ‘I am telling you what is true. You will see heaven (the sky) open. You will see God’s angels. They will be going up and they will be coming down on the Son of Man.’

Verse 51 Jesus called himself the ‘Son of Man’. He is a Man who came to earth from God. That is what this name shows. He came with God’s authority. The prophets spoke about him (for example, Daniel 7:13). He is the Messiah.

Chapter 2

The marriage at Cana

1 Two days after that, there was a marriage. It was in the town called Cana, in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2 People had asked Jesus and his disciples to come to the party also. 3 When people had drunk all the wine, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ 4 Jesus replied, ‘Woman, why do you tell me this? It is not my time yet.’ 5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do anything that he wants you to do.’

6 There were 6 big pots there, which people had made from stone. Each pot could contain 20 to 30 gallons of water. These pots contained water so that the Jews could wash themselves. The Jews had special rules about when they must wash themselves. 7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the pots with water.’ So they filled the pots to the top. 8 Then he said, ‘Now take some of the water from the pots and give it to the master of the party.’ So they took the water. 9 And the master of the party tasted the water. But the water had become wine. The master did not know where the wine had come from. But the servants who had given it to him knew. Then the master asked the bridegroom (the man who had just married) to come to him. 10 The master said to him, ‘Everyone else brings out the best wine first. Then, when people have had plenty to drink, they give people cheaper wine. But you are different. You have kept the best wine until now.’

11 Jesus did this first miracle at Cana, in Galilee. In this way, Jesus showed how great and how powerful he was. Then his disciples believed him.

Verse 11 Jesus did many miracles, but John only tells us about 7 of them. John wrote his book in the language called Greek. In that language, John uses a word for these miracles that means ‘signs’.

Jesus goes to God’s Great House (the temple)

12 After this, Jesus went to Capernaum. His mother, his brothers and his disciples went with him. They stayed there for a few days.

Verse 12 Capernaum was another town in Galilee. It was next to the Sea (big lake) called Galilee.

13 It was almost time for the JewsPassover. So, Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In God’s Great House (the temple), he found people who were selling cows, sheep and doves (a kind of bird). Other people were sitting at tables. They were buying and selling coins there. 15 So Jesus made a whip from some pieces of rope. Then he caused all the people to run out of God’s Great House, with the sheep and the cows. He threw all the money-changers’ coins on to the ground and he turned their tables over. 16 He said to the people who sold birds, ‘Take them out of here! Do not make my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered what it says in the Old Testament: ‘My love for your house burns inside me like a fire.’

Verse 15 A whip is something that people use to hit animals (like horses or cows). That causes the animals to go faster. People use ropes to tie things.

Verse 17 See Psalm 69:9.

18 Then the Jews asked Jesus, ‘If you have authority to do this, show us a miracle. Then we will know that you really do have authority.’ 19 Jesus answered them, ‘If you destroy this house of God, I will build it up again in 3 days.’ 20 The Jews replied, ‘A lot of men worked for 46 years to build this house. And you say that you will build it in 3 days all by yourself!’ 21 But the house that Jesus was speaking about was his own body. 22 The disciples remembered this when Jesus had become alive again after his death. They remembered that he had said this. Then they believed the Old Testament. And they believed the words that Jesus had spoken.

23 While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover, he did many miracles. Many people saw these miracles. As a result, they believed who Jesus is. 24 But Jesus himself did not trust the people. He knew what all people are really like. 25 He did not need anyone to tell him what people are like. He knew already what was really in all people.

Verses 13 and 23 The Passover was a time that was very special to Israel’s people. All their men had to come to God’s Great House at Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, every year. They remembered the time, many years before, when God had led their ancestors out of Egypt. God had saved them so that they did not have to be slaves to Egypt’s people. He had killed all the oldest sons of Egypt’s people. But he had saved the sons of Israel’s people. He told Israel’s people that they must put a lamb’s blood on the wood round their doors. (A lamb is a young sheep.) If the blood was there, their oldest sons would not die (Exodus 12).

Verse 24 To trust means to believe that someone will do the right thing.

Chapter 3

Jesus and Nicodemus

1 There was a Pharisee called Nicodemus. He was one of the Jews’ leaders. 2 He came to Jesus at night. He said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi (teacher), we know that God has sent you to us. We have seen the miracles that you are doing. Nobody could do these things unless God was with him.’ 3 Jesus replied, ‘I am telling you what is true. Unless a person is born from above, they cannot see God’s kingdom.’ 4 Nicodemus asked, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot return into his mother’s body. He cannot be born a second time.’ 5 Jesus explained, ‘I am telling you what is true. Unless a person is born by water and by God’s Spirit, he cannot go into God’s kingdom. 6 Human people give birth to what is human. But God’s Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 I said to you, “You must be born from above.” What I said should not surprise you. 8 Everyone who is born by God’s Spirit is like the wind. The wind blows where it wants. You can hear it. But you cannot say where it came from. And you cannot say where it is going.’

Verses 3, 5 A kingdom is a place where a king rules. Or it is the people and things that he rules over.

9 Nicodemus asked, ‘How can this happen?’ 10 Jesus replied, ‘You are a teacher in Israel. You ought to understand these things! 11 I am telling you what is true. We speak about things that we know. We tell you what we have seen. But even then, you people do not believe our words. 12 I have told you about things that happen in this world. And you do not believe me. But I am telling you about things that happen in heaven. So, I do not think that you will ever believe me about those things. 13 The Son of Man came down from heaven. Nobody else has gone up to heaven except him. 14 And people will lift up the Son of Man, as Moses lifted up the snake in the wild, dry place. Moses made a snake out of metal and he held it up to show it to Israel’s people. In the same way, people will lift up the Son of Man for everyone to see. 15 As a result, everyone who believes him will be able to live always. 16 God loved the people in the world so much that he gave his one and only Son on their behalf. So, as a result, everyone who believes in the Son will not die. Instead, they will live always.’

Verse 14 See Numbers 21:4-9.

17 God did not send his Son into the world because he wanted to punish people. No, God sent his Son to save the people in the world. 18 God will not decide to punish anyone who believes the Son. But God has already decided that he must punish some people. Some people refuse to believe who his one and only Son is. God must punish anyone who refuses to believe that. 19 This is why God has already decided to punish some people. It is because light has come into the world. But people did not love the light. They loved the dark instead. That was because they were doing bad things. 20 Everyone who does bad things hates the light. A person like that will not come to the light because he is afraid. He does not want everyone to see that he has done bad things. 21 But every person who obeys everything true comes to the light. So then the light will show that he was doing God’s work. Everyone can see that he was obeying God.

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the country places in Judea. Jesus stayed there with his disciples for some time, and they baptised people there. 23 John was baptising people too. He was at Aenon near Salim because there was a lot of water there. People were coming to him and John was baptising them. 24 (This was before the rulers put John in a prison.) 25 A certain Jew began to argue with John’s disciples. They were arguing about some rules. Those rules told people when and how they should wash. 26 The disciples came to John. They said to him, ‘Teacher, remember the man, Jesus, that you spoke to us about. He was with you on the other side of the Jordan river. Now he is baptising people and everyone is going to him.’

27 John replied, ‘A man can receive only what God gives to him. 28 You yourselves will remember what I said. I said, “I am not the Christ, but God sent me before the Christ.” 29 The bride (woman who is marrying) is the bridegroom’s (man who is marrying her). But the bridegroom’s friend stands near him and he listens. That friend is very happy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. I am like that friend, so I am completely happy now. 30 He must become greater, but I must become less important.

31 He who comes from above is greater than all things. A person who comes from the earth belongs to the earth. A person like that speaks only about things that belong to the earth. He who comes from heaven is greater than all things. 32 He tells what he has seen. He tells what he has heard. But nobody believes what he is saying. 33 Anyone who does believe his message has said, “Yes, God is true.” 34 He that God has sent speaks God’s words. God fills him completely with God’s Spirit. 35 The Father loves the Son. He has given the Son authority over all things. 36 Anyone who believes the Son is alive for always. But anyone who will not obey the Son will never really live. God will continue to be angry with a person who refuses to obey the Son.’

Verse 28 John the Baptist said that God sent him before the Lord Jesus Christ. He was like someone who brings a message from a king. He had to tell people that the king was coming to visit them. The prophet Malachi had told Israel’s people that someone would come before the Christ [Malachi 4:5] . This person would tell them that their Messiah (Christ) would come soon.

Chapter 4

Jesus talks to a woman from Samaria

1 The Pharisees heard the news that many people were joining Jesus’ group of disciples. They heard that Jesus was baptising more disciples than John. 2 (But really Jesus himself did not baptise anyone. It was only Jesus’ disciples who baptised people.) 3 So, when the Lord knew about this, he left Judea. He returned to Galilee. 4 On his way, Jesus had to go through Samaria.

5 He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar. It was near to the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph, many years earlier. 6-8 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired after his journey. He sat down by the well. It was about 6 in the evening. His disciples had gone to buy food in the town. A woman from Samaria came to the well because she wanted to get some water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give a drink to me.’ 9 The woman from Samaria said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a woman from Samaria. Why do you ask me for a drink?’ (The Jews will not usually even talk to people who belong to Samaria.)

Verses 4-9 Samaria was the part of Israel between Judah (in the south) and Galilee (in the north). The people in Samaria did worship the Lord God of Israel. But they worshipped him in a different way from how Israel’s people worshipped him. They believed only some of the Old Testament and they refused to worship at Jerusalem. As a result of these differences, Israel’s people were not friendly to the people from Samaria.

‘It was about 6 in the evening.’ John wrote that it was the 6th hour. Many Bible teachers think that John means midday. But other Bible teachers think that John means 6 in the evening (Roman time) here. (See note about John 1:39.)

10 Jesus answered the woman, ‘You do not know what God can give. I asked you to give a drink to me. But you do not know who I am. If you did know, you would have asked me to give a drink to you. Then I would have given water to you that would cause you to live.’ 11 The woman said, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where can you get this water that would cause me to live? 12 Jacob, our ancestor, gave this well to us. He, his sons, and his sheep and goats and cows all drank its water. Are you saying that you are greater than Jacob?’ 13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks from this well will get thirsty again. 14 But I can give a different kind of water. Whoever drinks that kind of water will never get thirsty again. The water that I will give to him will become a well inside him. That well will continue to give fresh water that will cause him to live always.’ 15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give this water to me. Then I will never get thirsty again. And I will not have to continue to come here so that I can get water.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Go, fetch your husband. Then return here.’ 17 The woman replied, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say, “I have no husband.” 18 The fact is that you have had 5 husbands. And now you live with a man who is not your husband. What you have said is quite true.’ 19 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain. But you Jews say that Jerusalem is the right place to worship God.’

21 Jesus spoke to her with authority, ‘Believe me, woman. Soon you will not worship the Father either on this mountain or at Jerusalem. 22 You people from Samaria do not really know what you worship. But we Jews do know what we worship. The way that God has made to save people comes from the Jews. 23 But soon, people will really worship the Father. Really, it is that time already. Those people who really want to worship the Father will worship him from their spirits. The Father looks for people who will worship him like that. 24 God is spirit. Those people who worship him must worship from their spirits. They must really want to worship God.’ 25 The woman said to Jesus, ‘I know that the Messiah will come. He is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ 26 Then Jesus replied, ‘I, who am speaking to you, am he.’

Verses 20-21 ‘This mountain’ means a mountain in Samaria called Gerizim. That was where the people from Samaria worshipped God.

The disciples return

27 At this moment, his disciples returned. They were surprised to see that Jesus was talking to a woman. But none of them asked him, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you talking to her?’ 28 Then the woman left her water-pot and she returned to the town. She said to the people there, 29 ‘Come! See a man who told me everything about myself. He told me all the things that I have ever done! He must be the Christ!’ 30 So they left the town and they went to find Jesus.

31 While the woman was away, the disciples said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, eat something.’ 32 But he said to them, ‘I have food that I can eat. But you do not know about it.’ 33 So the disciples asked each other, ‘Could someone have brought food to him?’ 34 Jesus said to them, ‘I must obey him who sent me. I must finish the work that he has given to me to do. That is my food. 35 You say, “The plants in the farmers’ fields will be ready for the harvest after 4 more months.” But I say that you should open your eyes. Look at the fields. The plants are ready for the harvest now. 36 God is paying the workers already. They are bringing in the fruit. They are bringing in people who will live always. The person who plants the seeds will be very happy. And the person who brings in the fruit will be very happy too. Both of them will be happy as a result of their work. 37 What people say is true. One person plants the seeds and another person brings in the fruit. 38 I sent you to fetch people like fruit that you have not worked for. Other people did the work. You have brought in the fruit (people) that they worked for.’

Verse 35 Harvest is the time when people bring in the fruits and other food from the farmers’ fields.

39 Many of the people who lived in that town in Samaria heard the woman’s story. She had said to them, ‘He told me all the things that I have ever done!’ And because of this, they believed Jesus. 40 So when these people from Samaria came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them. And he stayed there for two more days. 41 Many more people believed Jesus when they listened to his own words. 42 The people said to the woman, ‘Now we believe him because we ourselves have heard him. Now we do not believe only because of what you said. This man really is the man who will save the world. We know that now.’

Jesus makes an officer’s son well

43 After two days, Jesus left there and he went to Galilee. 44 (Jesus himself had said earlier, ‘When a prophet visits places near his own home, the people there never believe him. The people there never think that a prophet from their place could be important.’) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the people there were happy to see him. They had been at the Passover also. And they had seen all the things that he had done at Jerusalem.

46 Jesus visited Cana, in Galilee, again. This was the town where he had changed the water into wine. A certain man who was one of the king’s officers was there. This officer had a son who was at Capernaum. His son was very ill. 47 This man had heard the news that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea. So, he went to Jesus. He asked Jesus to go to Capernaum, where the man’s son was dying. He asked Jesus strongly to make his son well. 48 Then Jesus said to him, ‘You people want me to do great miracles that will surprise you. Unless you see these great miracles, none of you will ever believe.’ 49 The king’s officer said to Jesus, ‘Sir, come with me now before my child dies.’ 50 Jesus replied, ‘Go home. Your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said. And he started to go home. 51 While he was travelling home, his servants met him. They told him, ‘Your boy will live.’ 52 He asked them, ‘At what time did he start to get well?’ They told him, ‘He stopped being ill yesterday, at 7 in the evening.’ 53 Then the father remembered that time. It was the time when Jesus had spoken to him. It was when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live.’ So, the man and all his family believed. 54 This was the second miracle that Jesus did after he returned from Judea to Galilee.

Verse 52 ‘at 7 in the evening’. John wrote that it was the 7th hour. Many Bible teachers think that John means at 1 in the afternoon. But other Bible teachers think that John means 7 in the evening (Roman time) here. (See note about John 1:39.)

Chapter 5

Jesus makes a man able to walk

1 Some time after that, Jesus went to Jerusalem, because it was time for one of the Jewsfestivals.

2 There is a pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. Its name in the Jews’ language is Bethesda. Round the pool, there is a building with 5 places that have a roof over them. 3 A large number of sick people were lying in these places. Some of them could not see. Some of them could not walk. Some of them could not move themselves properly. They were waiting for when the water started to move. 4 An angel went down into the pool at certain times and he moved the water. Then all the sick people tried to get into the pool. The first person who got into the water became well. That person became well, whatever his illness was.

5 One man there had been ill for 38 years. 6 Jesus saw this man, who was lying there. Jesus knew that the man had been ill like this for a very long time. So he asked the man, ‘Do you want to get well?’ 7 The sick man said, ‘Sir, I do not have anyone who will help me. I need somebody who will put me into the pool. When the water starts to move, I try to get in. But someone else always gets in before me.’ 8 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your bed and walk.’ 9 The man became well immediately. He picked up his bed and he walked. The day when this happened was a Sabbath day.

10 So, the Jews’ leaders spoke to the man that Jesus had made well. They said to him, ‘You must not carry your bed on the Sabbath day. You are not obeying the rules.’ 11 He replied, ‘A man made me well. That man said to me, “Pick up your bed and walk.” ’ 12 So they asked him, ‘Who is this man? Who said to you, “Pick up your bed and walk”?’ 13 The man that Jesus had made well did not know. He did not know who it was. Jesus had gone away into the crowd that was there.

14 Some time after that, Jesus found the man in God’s Great House (the temple). Jesus said to him, ‘See, you have become well. Stop doing wrong things. If you do not stop, something worse may happen to you.’ 15 Then the man went to the Jews’ leaders. He told them that it was Jesus. It was Jesus who had made him well. 16 The Jews’ leaders were angry because Jesus had made a man well on the Sabbath day. So, they began to cause a lot of trouble for Jesus. 17 But Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is still working, and I am working too.’ 18 So, because Jesus said this, the Jews’ leaders got even angrier. They wanted even more to kill him. He not only worked on the Sabbath day. He was also calling God his own Father, so he was making himself equal with God.

Verses 9-18 The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week. God had said that Israel’s people must not work on that day. But Jesus was obeying his Father, God. And God chose to make the man well on the Sabbath day. The man was not really working when he carried his bed. (It was a little carpet, not a big heavy thing.) God had made good rules. Jesus wanted the Jews to see that they were not really understanding the purpose of God’s rules.

19 So, Jesus answered them, ‘I am telling you what is true. The Son can do nothing by himself. He sees what the Father does. And he can do only those same things. What the Father does, the Son does also. 20 The Father loves the Son. So, he shows the Son all the things that he himself does. And the Father will show the Son even greater things than these. These greater things will surprise you even more. 21 The Father raises dead people, to make them alive again. In the same way, the Son makes alive whoever he chooses. 22 More than that, the Father does not judge anyone. He has given authority to the Son completely so that the Son will judge all people. 23 So then all people will know how great the Son is. They know that the Father is very great. In the same way, they will know also that the Son is very great. Some people may refuse to think that the Son is great or important. But really, those people are thinking the same things about the Father, because he sent the Son. 24 I am telling you what is true. Everyone who hears my words should believe the Father. They should believe him who sent me. If they do believe, they are alive for always. God will not punish them because of the wrong things that they have done. They were dead, but now they have become alive.’

25 ‘I am telling you what is true. A time will happen soon when the dead people will hear the voice of the Son of God. Really, it is that time already. Those people who hear the Son’s voice will live. 26 The Father himself can cause people to live. In the same way, he has made the Son able to do this also. The Son himself can cause people to live. 27 Also, the Father has given authority to the Son so that he judges people. The Son says what is right for each person. That is because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be surprised by this. There will be a time when all the dead people under the ground will hear the Son’s voice. 29 They will come out from the ground. Those people who have done good things will rise. They will rise so that they can live with God always. Those people who have done bad things will rise. But they will rise so that God can punish them.’

Things that show who Jesus really is

30 ‘I can do nothing by myself. I hear what the Father says to me. Then, because of what he says, I judge. So, what I judge is right. I am not trying to do what I myself want. The Father sent me. And I want to do what he wants. 31 If I said great things about myself, my words would not be true. 32 But there is someone else who speaks about me. What he says about me is true. I know that. 33 You have sent your people to ask John about me. What he has told you about me is true. 34 I do not need any man to speak on my behalf. No, but I am telling you this only so that God will be able to save you. 35 John was like a light that shone brightly. And for a certain time, you enjoyed the light that he gave.’

36 ‘But other things show who I am. My Father has given work to me so that I could finish it. And these things that I do, they speak about me. They speak more strongly than John’s words. They show that the Father has sent me. 37 Also, the Father himself, who sent me, has spoken about me. You have never heard his voice. And you have never seen his shape. 38 His word does not stay inside you. You do not believe the Person that the Father sent. That is why his word does not stay in you. 39 You study the Scriptures (Old Testament) carefully. You think that they will cause you to live. And the Scriptures (Old Testament) themselves tell you about me. 40 But you refuse to come to me so that you could really live!’

41 ‘I am not wanting people to say great things about me. If people say great things about me, that is not important to me. 42 But I know what kind of people you are. I know that you do not really love God or other people. 43 I have come with my Father’s authority, but you do not accept me. But if someone else comes with his own authority, you will accept him. 44 When you say good things about each other, it makes you happy. But you do not try to make God happy. You do not want the only God to say good things about you. That is why you cannot believe me. 45 But I will not tell the Father that you are wrong. Do not think that I will do that. No, because it is Moses who will do that. You hope that Moses will help you. But he will tell the Father that you are wrong. 46 If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me. That is because Moses wrote about me. 47 But you do not believe what Moses wrote. So, you cannot believe what I say.’

Verses 45-47 Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament.

Chapter 6

Jesus feeds 5000 men and their families

1 Some time after that, Jesus went across Lake Galilee, which is also called Lake Tiberias. 2 A large crowd of people followed him, because of the miracles that he had done. They had seen him make sick people well. 3 Jesus went up a hill and he sat down there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly the time for the JewsPassover Festival.

5 Jesus looked up. He saw a large crowd of people who were coming towards him. Then he said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy enough bread to feed all these people?’ 6 Jesus himself already knew what he would do. But he asked Philip this question for a reason. He wanted to know what Philip would say. 7 Philip answered, ‘A man might work for 8 months. But, he still would not have enough money to buy bread for all these people. Still there would not be enough bread for each person here to have a little piece.’ 8 Then Andrew, another one of Jesus’ disciples, spoke. He was Simon Peter’s brother. He said to Jesus, 9 ‘Here is a boy who has 5 small loaves and two small fish. But certainly, they will not be enough food for so many people.’

10 Jesus said, ‘Cause the people to sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, so the people sat down. There were about 5000 men. 11 Jesus took the loaves and he thanked God for them. Then he broke the loaves into pieces. He passed them to all the people who were sitting there. Everyone had all the bread that they wanted to eat. Jesus did the same with the fish. 12 When all the people had eaten enough food, Jesus spoke. He said to his disciples, ‘Do not waste anything. Pick up all the pieces that the people have not eaten.’ 13 So the disciples picked up all the pieces. They filled 12 baskets with the pieces of bread that the people had not eaten.

14 The people had seen this miracle that Jesus had done. So, they began to talk about it. They said, ‘Certainly, this man is the Prophet who must come into the world.’ 15 The people wanted to take Jesus so that they could make him their king. But Jesus knew what they wanted to do. So, he went away alone to the hills again.

Jesus walks on the water

16 When it was evening, the disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and they started to travel towards Capernaum. It was dark then and Jesus still had not come to them. 18 A very strong wind was blowing and so the water was moving powerfully. 19 The disciples were trying to pull the boat through the water with oars (special long, flat pieces of wood). When they had gone 3 or 4 miles (5-6 kilometres), they saw Jesus. He was coming near to the boat and he was walking on the water. And they were very afraid. 20 But he said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ 21 So, the disciples were happy to let Jesus get into the boat with them. Immediately, the boat came to the place where they wanted to be.

The crowd looks for Jesus

22 The crowd of people had stayed on the other side of the lake. The next day, they looked round. They saw that the only boat had gone. They knew that the disciples had taken it. And they knew that Jesus had not gone with his disciples. 23 (But other boats from Tiberias had arrived near to the place where all the people had eaten the bread. They had eaten that bread after the Lord had thanked God for it.) 24 The crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there. So, they got into the boats and they went to Capernaum. They were looking for Jesus.

Jesus is the bread that causes us to live

25 The people found Jesus on the other side of the lake. So they asked him, ‘Teacher, when did you arrive here?’ 26 Jesus answered, ‘I am telling you what is true. You saw me do miracles. But you are not looking for me because of that. No, you are looking for me because you ate the loaves. You ate all the bread that you wanted to eat. So then you were full. 27 Do not work to get the food that does not continue. Instead, work to get the food that does continue. Work to get the food that causes you to live always. God, the Father, has put his mark of authority upon the Son. That is why the Son of Man will give this food to you.’

28 Then the people asked him, ‘How can we do the work that God wants us to do?’ 29 Jesus answered, ‘Believe him that God has sent to you. That is the work that God wants you to do.’ 30 So then the people asked him, ‘What miracle will you do? If we see a miracle, we will believe you. What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna (special food from God) in the wild, dry places. As it says in the Old Testament, “God gave bread to them from heaven so that they could eat it.” ’ 32 Jesus said to them, ‘I am telling you what is true. It was not Moses who gave that bread to you from heaven. No, but it is my Father who really gives to you the bread from heaven. 33 God’s bread is he who comes down from heaven. He causes people in the world to live.’ 34 So they said to him, ‘Sir, give this bread to us now and always.’

Verse 31 See Exodus 16:4.

35 Then Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread that causes people to live. Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry. Anyone who believes me will never be thirsty. 36 But you have seen me and still you do not believe me. I have told you that before. 37 Everyone that the Father gives to me will come to me. When anyone comes to me, I will never send that person away. 38 I have not come down from heaven to do what I myself choose to do. No, instead I have come to obey him who sent me. 39 He who sent me does not want me to lose anyone. He does not want me to lose even one of the people that he has given to me. He wants me to raise all of them up on the last day, so that they live with me always. 40 These are the people who will be alive for always: Everyone who sees the Son and believes him. And I will raise them up on the last day. That is what my Father wants.’

41 Jesus had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ When he said this, the Jews did not like it. So, they started to say bad things about Jesus. 42 They said, ‘But this is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and his mother. So, he should not say that he came down from heaven.’

43 Jesus answered, ‘Stop saying these bad things to each other. 44 The Father has sent me. Nobody can come to me unless the Father brings them to me. And I will raise that person up on the last day, so that they live with me always. 45 The prophets wrote in the Old Testament, “God will teach all the people.” These are the people who come to me: Everyone who hears the Father and learns from him. 46 I do not mean that anyone has seen the Father. Nobody has seen the Father except the Person who has come from God. It is he who has seen the Father. 47 I am telling you what is true. The person who believes this is alive for always. 48 I am the bread that causes you to live. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna (special food from God) in the wild, dry places, but they died. 50 This bread that comes down from heaven is different. Anyone who eats this bread will not die. 51 I am the bread that is alive. This bread came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live always. The bread that I will give is my body. I will give it so that all people in the world can live.’

Verse 45 See Isaiah 54:13.

52 Then the Jews became angry and they quarrelled with each other even more. They said, ‘This man cannot give his body to us so that we can eat it!’ 53 Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you what is true. You must eat the body of the Son of Man and you must drink his blood. Unless you do those things, you are not really alive. 54 Every person needs to eat my body and they need to drink my blood. If they do those things, they are alive for always. And I will raise them up on the last day. 55 My body is proper food and my blood is proper drink. 56 Every person needs to eat my body and they need to drink my blood. If a person does that, that person lives in me. And I live in them. 57 The Father, who is alive, sent me. And I live because of him. In the same way, anyone who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not like the manna (special food from God) that your ancestors ate. They ate it but they died. But the person who eats this bread will live always.’

59 Jesus said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

Many disciples go away from Jesus

60 Many of Jesus’ disciples did not like these words. They said, ‘This thing that he teaches is too difficult. Nobody can agree with it!’ 61 Jesus himself knew that the disciples were arguing. He did not need anyone to tell him. He said to them, ‘This seems to make you surprised and angry. 62 So think about this. The Son of Man goes up again to the place where he was before. And you see him go up. Think about how you would feel then. 63 It is the Spirit that causes you to live. The body alone is worth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit. They cause you to live. 64 But some of you do not believe.’ Jesus had known from the beginning which of them would not believe. Also, he had always known who would sell him to his enemies. 65 Then Jesus said these words: ‘So I told you that only the Father can bring people to me. Nobody can come to me unless the Father makes them able to come.’

66 From that time, many of Jesus’ disciples left him. They did not follow him any longer. 67 Then Jesus asked the 12 special disciples, ‘Do you want to go away, too?’ 68 Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, we do not know whom we would go away to. You have the words that cause people to live always. 69 And we believe that you are the Holy One. We believe that you have come from God. We are sure about that.’ 70 Jesus replied, ‘I have chosen the 12 of you. But one of you is a devil (bad spirit from Satan)!’ 71 He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Judas was one of the 12 special disciples. But after this time he would sell Jesus to Jesus’ enemies.

Chapter 7

Jesus and his brothers

1 After this, Jesus visited many places in Galilee. He did not want to visit Judea because the Jews’ leaders there wanted to kill him. 2 It was almost time for the JewsFestival of Tabernacles. 3 So Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘You should leave this place and you should go to Judea. Then your disciples can see the great things that you do. 4 Nobody does things secretly if he wants everyone to know him. You are doing these things, so you should show yourself to everybody.’ 5 Even his own brothers did not believe about him.

6 So Jesus answered, ‘It is not the right time for me yet. But any time is right for you. 7 People who belong to this world cannot hate you. But they hate me. The things that they do are wrong. And I show that those things are wrong. That is why they hate me. 8 You go to the festival. I will not go to it yet because it is not the right time for me yet.’ 9 Jesus said this and then he stayed in Galilee.

Verse 2 The Festival of Tabernacles continued for a week. The people built houses from branches and they lived in these small houses during the festival. This helped them to remember what God had done many years before this. A long time before this, their ancestors had left Egypt and they had lived in houses like this. God had brought them out of Egypt so that they did not have to be slaves there any longer. The festival happened each year, after Israel’s people had brought in all the year’s fruits from the fields. It was a time for the people to thank God because he was so good to them. [Leviticus 23:33-36] [Leviticus 23:39-43] [Deuteronomy 16:13-15]

Jesus goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

10 Some time after his brothers had gone, Jesus went to the festival also. But he did not let everybody know that he was going. Instead, he went secretly. 11 The Jews’ leaders were looking for him at the festival. They asked, ‘Where is that man?’ 12 Small groups in the crowd were talking quietly. Some people said, ‘He is a good man.’ But other people said, ‘No, he is telling the people things that are not true.’ 13 But nobody spoke loudly about him, because they were afraid of the Jews’ leaders.

14 When about half of the time for the festival had finished, Jesus went to God’s Great House (the temple). He started to teach there. 15 The Jews’ leaders were very surprised. They asked, ‘How does this man know so much? He has not learned in our schools.’ 16 Jesus answered, ‘What I teach does not come from me. No, it comes from him who sent me. 17 Anyone can choose to do what God wants. Those people will know about what I teach. They will know whether it comes from God. And they will know if it comes from my own thoughts. 18 A person who teaches his own ideas wants people to think great things about him. But a person who wants to show great things about someone else is different. A person like that wants people to think great things about him who sent him. A person like that is honest and there is nothing false in him. 19 Moses gave God’s rules to you. But not one of you obeys those rules. Why are you trying to kill me?’

20 The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon (bad spirit from Satan). Who is trying to kill you?’ 21 Jesus replied, ‘I have done one miracle on the Sabbath day, and all of you were surprised. 22 But you will circumcise a boy on the Sabbath day. Moses told you that you must circumcise your sons. That is why you will do it. Your ancestors did it even before Moses was born. 23 You will circumcise a boy on the Sabbath day so that you obey Moses’ rules. So you should not be angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath day. 24 Do not judge about things because of what they may seem to be. Instead, judge about things because of what is right.’

Verses 22-23 God had told Israel’s people that they must circumcise every boy. To circumcise means to cut off the skin that covers the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part. It was a mark to show that Israel’s people had agreed to obey God. It showed that they belonged to God’s people, Israel. They circumcised a boy 8 days after he was born. Even if the eighth day was a Sabbath day, they circumcised the baby on that day.

The people talk about whether Jesus is the Messiah

25 Some of the people in Jerusalem began to say, ‘This is the man that the leaders want to kill. 26 But look! He is speaking to the crowds. And the leaders are not saying anything to him! Perhaps they think that he is really the Christ! 27 But we know where this man came from. When the Christ comes, nobody will know that. Nobody will know where he has come from.’

28 Jesus was teaching in God’s Great House (the temple). He shouted, ‘Yes, you know me. And you know where I came from. I have not come because I myself decided to come. He who sent me is true. You do not know him. 29 But I know him because I have come from him. He sent me.’ 30 When they heard this, they tried to take him to a prison. But nobody put their hands on him, because it was not the right time. It was not the right time for that to happen. 31 But many people in the crowd believed him. They said, ‘This man has done so many miracles. Nobody could do more miracles. Surely he is the Christ!’

32 The Pharisees heard what the crowds were saying quietly about Jesus. Then the most important priests and the Pharisees sent some soldiers to take him away. 33 Jesus said, ‘I will be with you for only a short time. Then I will go to him who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me. You cannot go to the place where I will be.’ 35 The Jews’ leaders asked each other, ‘What is he trying to tell us? Where can he go so that we cannot find him? Perhaps he will go to our people who live among the Greeks. Perhaps he will go to teach the Greeks. 36 He says, “You will look for me, but you will not find me.” And he says, “You cannot go to the place where I will be.” What does he mean?’

Verse 35 Greeks are people who come from the country called Greece. When Jesus lived on the earth, Greek people lived in many places outside Greece.

Streams of the water that causes people to live

37 The last day of the festival was the most important day. On that day, Jesus stood up and he spoke with a loud voice. He said, ‘If anyone is thirsty, he should come to me. He should come to me and he should drink. 38 As it says in the Old Testament, “God will cause streams of water to pour out from anyone who believes me. Streams of the water that causes people to live will come out from inside that person.” ’ 39 Jesus was speaking about God’s Spirit, who would come to people some time after that. Those people who believed Jesus would receive God’s Spirit then. But God had not given his Spirit yet, because he had not raised Jesus yet. He had not yet raised Jesus, so that Jesus could be in heaven with him again.

Verse 38 Many verses in the Old Testament speak about water that causes us to live. See, for example, Isaiah 44:3; 58:11 and Zechariah 13:1; 14:8. The Jews would read these verses aloud at the Festival of Tabernacles.

The people argue

40 Some of the people in the crowd heard Jesus say these words. Then they said, ‘This man really is the Prophet that we were waiting for!’ 41 Other people said, ‘This man is the Christ.’ But some people said, ‘The Prophet will not come from Galilee! 42 The Old Testament says that the Christ will come from King David’s family. He will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived.’ 43 So, the crowd of people could not agree about Jesus. 44 Some people wanted to take him to a prison. But nobody put their hands on him to take him away.

45 The soldiers returned to the most important priests and the Pharisees. They asked the soldiers, ‘Why did you not bring him here?’ 46 The soldiers answered, ‘Nobody has ever spoken like this man speaks.’ 47 The Pharisees replied, ‘He seems to have caused you to believe these silly things! 48 None of the Pharisees or the leaders believes him. Surely, you know that! 49 But this crowd does not know Moses’ rules. So, God will cause very bad things to happen to them.’ 50 Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the other people, 51 ‘Our rules say that we must listen to a man first. We must find out first what he has done. Only then can we judge him.’ 52 They answered, ‘Perhaps you come from Galilee, too! Study the Scriptures (Old Testament). You will learn from them that no prophet ever comes from Galilee.’ 53 Then everyone went to his own home.

Many old translations do not have the last verse of chapter 7.

Chapter 8

The woman who was with a man who was not her husband

Many old translations do not have the first 11 verses of chapter 8 here.

1 But Jesus went to the Mount (mountain) of Olives. 2 Early the next morning, he returned to God’s Great House (the temple). All the people came to him. He sat down and he began to teach them.

3 The Pharisees and the scribes (men who taught God’s rules) brought a woman to him. They had found her with another man. She was having sex with a man who was not her husband. They caused her to stand in front of all the people there. 4 They said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we found this woman. She was having sex with a man who was not her husband. 5 Moses’ rules say that we should throw stones at this kind of woman, to kill her. What do you say about this?’ 6 They asked this question for a reason. They wanted Jesus to say something that they could use against him. But Jesus bent himself down. He started to write on the ground with his finger.

7 They continued to ask him questions. Then he stood up. He said to them, ‘If any one of you has never done anything wrong, he can throw the first stone at her.’ 8 He bent himself down again and he wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they began to leave. They went one at a time. The older ones went first. So then Jesus was alone with the woman. She was still standing there. 10 Jesus stood up. He said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? There seems to be nobody still here who wants to punish you.’ 11 She said, ‘There is nobody, Sir.’ So Jesus said, ‘And I do not want to punish you. Go away and do not do wrong things again.’

Verse 1 The Mount of Olives was like a line of mountains outside Jerusalem, east from the city.

Jesus is the light of the world

12 Jesus spoke to the people again. He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who becomes my disciple will never walk in the dark. No, he will have the light that causes people to live.’ 13 The Pharisees began to argue with him. They said, ‘You are saying things about yourself. But you are only one man. So, what you say is not certainly true.’

14 Jesus answered, ‘What I say is true. Even if I do speak on my own behalf, my words are true. I know where I came from. I know where I will go. But you do not know where I came from. You do not know where I will go. 15 You judge in a human way. I do not judge anyone. 16 But if I did judge anyone, I would judge correctly. That is because I am not alone. The Father, who sent me, is with me. 17 Your rules say, “There must be two people who agree about something. If there are two people, their words are true.” 18 I speak on my own behalf. The Father, who sent me, speaks about me also.’

Verse 12 Jesus said that he was the light of the world. The Jews lit a special light in God’s Great House during the Festival of Tabernacles.

Verse 17 See Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15.

19 Then they asked him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know either me or my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ 20 Jesus said all these words while he taught in God’s Great House (the temple). He was near the place where they kept the gifts of money. Nobody took him away to a prison, because it was not the right time for that yet.

Jesus says that he comes from above

21 Jesus said to them again, ‘I will go away and you will look for me. But you are sinful and you will die sinful. You cannot go where I will go.’ 22 So, the Jews’ leaders said to each other, ‘Perhaps he means that he will kill himself. He says, “You cannot go where I will go.” Perhaps that is why he says this.’ 23 Jesus answered, ‘You belong to the things down here. But I come from above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. 24 That is why I told you this. I told you that you would die sinful. You must believe that “I am”. If you will not believe, you will die sinful.’

25 Then they asked him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you who I am from the beginning. That is who I am. 26 I have many things to say about you. I must judge about many things that you do. But he who sent me is true. I tell the world only what I have heard from him.’ 27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, ‘You will lift up the Son of Man. Then you will know that “I am”. And you will know that I do nothing by myself. I say only what the Father has taught me to say. 29 He who sent me is with me. He has not caused me to be alone, because I obey him always. I do always the things that he wants me to do.’ 30 Many people who heard Jesus say these things believed him.

The Jews’ leaders were becoming more and more angry with Jesus. Some people believed Jesus, but many did not believe him.

The people did not believe that Jesus’ Father was God. The Jews used ‘I am’ as the name of God. Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world’ or only the words ‘I am’ (8:12, 24, 28, 58). He was saying that he is God.

What is true will make you free

31 Then Jesus spoke to the Jews who believed him. He said, ‘Continue to obey the words that I have spoken to you. If you continue to do that, you are really my disciples. 32 And you will know what is true. And what is true will make you free.’ 33 They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s grandchildren. We have never been anyone’s slaves. But you say to us, “You will become free.” What do you mean?’

34 Jesus answered them, ‘I am telling you what is true. Everyone who does sinful things is a slave to sin. 35 A slave does not belong to a family for always. But a son does belong to a family for always. 36 So, if the Son makes you free, you will really be free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s grandchildren. But you are trying to kill me, because you have no room in yourselves for my words. 38 I speak about what my Father has shown me. But you do what you have heard from your father.’

39 They answered, ‘Abraham is our father!’ Jesus replied, ‘If you were really Abraham’s children, you would be like him. You would do the same things that he did. 40 I am a man who has told you only true things. I have told you the true things that I have heard from God. But you want to kill me. Abraham did not do anything like that! 41 You do the same things that your father does.’ They said to him, ‘God himself is our only Father, and we are his proper sons!’

42 Jesus said to them, ‘If God was really your Father, you would love me. I came from God and now I am here. I did not come because it was my own idea. No, but God sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot really hear my message. 44 You are the children of your father, the Devil. And you want to do the things that he wants. From the beginning, he was someone who killed people. He did not continue with what is true. There is nothing true in him. He says things that are not true. And then he is showing what he himself is like. He is the father of everything that is not true. 45 But I tell you what is true. And that is why you do not believe me. 46 None of you can show that I have done anything wrong. You should believe me, because I am telling you true things. 47 Someone who is God’s hears God’s words. But you are not God’s. That is why you do not hear.’

48 The Jews answered him, ‘What we say about you is right! You are from Samaria and you have a demon (bad spirit from Satan) in you!’ 49 Jesus replied, ‘There is no demon in me.’ ‘But I want people to know how great and how good my Father is. And you want people to think bad things about me. 50 I myself am not wanting people to think great things about me. There is someone who does want people to think great things about me. And it is he who judges correctly about me. 51 I am telling you what is true. If anyone obeys my words, he will never die.’ 52 The Jews shouted, ‘Now we know that a demon (bad spirit) lives in you! Abraham and all the prophets died. But you say, “Anyone who obeys my words will never die!” 53 You cannot be greater than our father Abraham, who died! You cannot be greater than all the prophets, who died! Who do you think that you are?’

54 Jesus replied, ‘If I myself wanted people to think great things about me, that would be worth nothing. But it is my Father who wants that. And you say that he is your God. 55 You have never known him, but I know him. I might say, “I do not know him.” But then I would be saying something that is not true. So, I would be like you. But I do know him, and I obey his words. 56 Your father Abraham knew that I would come. He knew that he would see that time. He knew that he would be very happy then. He did see that time, and he was very happy.’

57 The Jews said, ‘You are not 50 years old yet. But you say that you have seen Abraham!’ 58 Jesus said, ‘I am telling you what is true. Before Abraham was even born, “I am”.’ 59 Then they picked up stones so that they could throw them at him. But Jesus hid himself, and he went out of God’s Great House (the temple).

Verse 58 The Jews used ‘I am’ as the name of God. When Jesus said, ‘I am’, they would have recognised this name. He was saying that he is God.

Chapter 9

Jesus makes a man able to see

1 While Jesus was walking along, he saw a certain man. This man had been unable to see since he was born. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Teacher, why was this man born unable to see? Was it because he himself did something wrong? Or was it because his parents did something wrong?’ 3 Jesus answered, ‘It was not because either this man or his parents did something wrong. It happened so that God could show his work in this man. 4 While it is still day, we must continue to work. We must do the work of him who sent me. We must work now because it will be night soon. Then nobody can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the world’s light.’

6 When Jesus had finished speaking, he spat (sent water from his mouth) on the ground. He mixed it on the ground so that he made mud. Then he put some of the mud on the eyes of the man who was unable to see. 7 Jesus said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Siloam pool.’ (The name Siloam means ‘sent’.) So the man went there and he washed himself. When he returned, he could see.

8 Then people who knew the man began to talk about him. Also, people who had seen him before spoke to each other about him. They had seen him when he was asking for money. They asked, ‘Is this the man who sat here? Is this the man who asked for money?’ 9 Some people said, ‘Yes, it is him.’ But other people said, ‘No, it is someone who is very like him.’ So the man himself said, ‘I am that man.’ 10 Then they asked him, ‘How did you become able to see?’ 11 He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made some mud. He put the mud on my eyes. Then he sent me to wash in the Siloam pool. So I went there and I washed. And then I could see.’ 12 They asked him, ‘Where is this man?’ He replied, ‘I do not know.’

The Pharisees talk to the man who had been unable to see

13 The people brought the man who had been unable to see to the Pharisees. 14 (Jesus had made the mud and then he had caused the man to see on a Sabbath day.) 15 So the Pharisees asked the man again, ‘How did you become able to see?’ The man replied, ‘Jesus put mud on my eyes. Then I washed and now I can see.’

Verses 6-15 When water mixes with material from the ground, it makes mud.

16 So some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man (Jesus) cannot have come from God. He does not obey the rules about the Sabbath day.’ But other Pharisees said, ‘Nobody who is sinful could do great things like this!’ So they did not agree with each other. 17 The Pharisees spoke again to the man who had been unable to see. They said, ‘What do you yourself say about this man who has made you able to see?’ The man replied, ‘He is a prophet.’

18 The Jews’ leaders did not want to believe that the man had really been unable to see. They did not want to believe that he had become able to see. So, they sent people to ask the man’s parents to come to them. 19 They asked the parents, ‘Is this your son? You say, “When he was born, he was unable to see.” But now he can see. How did this happen?’ 20 The parents replied, ‘We know that this is our son. And when he was born, he was unable to see. We know that, too. 21 But we do not know how he can see now. And we do not know who made him able to see. Ask him. He is old enough. He himself can answer!’ 22 The man’s parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews’ leaders. The Jews’ leaders did not want anyone to say that Jesus was the Christ. They had already agreed to punish anyone who said that. The leaders would not let anyone like that belong to the synagogue. 23 That is why the man’s parents said, ‘Ask him. He is old enough.’

24 So the leaders asked again to speak to the man who had been unable to see. They said to him, ‘Promise that you will speak only true things. Promise that in front of God. We know that this man is sinful.’ 25 The man replied, ‘I do not know whether he is sinful or not. But I do know one thing. I was unable to see and now I can see. I do know that.’ 26 Then they asked him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he make you able to see?’ 27 He answered them, ‘I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’ 28 Then they were very angry with him. They shouted at him, ‘You are that man’s disciple. But we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we do not even know where this man comes from.’

30 The man answered, ‘That is a very strange thing! You do not know where Jesus comes from. But it was he who made me able to see. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinful people. But God does listen to some people: 
People who believe how great he is. 
People who do what he wants them to do.    
He does listen to those people. We know that. 32 Nobody before has ever made a man able to see, who was born unable to see. Since the world began, nobody has ever done that! 33 Surely, this man who made me able to see has come from God. Unless he came from God, he could not do anything.’ 34 The Jews’ leaders answered, ‘You have always been sinful, since the day that you were born. You cannot try to teach us!’ And they threw him out.

Jesus came to cause people really to see

35 Jesus heard that the Jews’ leaders had thrown the man out. So, he found the man. And Jesus asked him, ‘Do you believe the Son of Man?’ 36 The man answered, ‘Sir, please tell me who he is. Then I can believe him.’ 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him. It is he who is talking to you now. I am he.’ 38 Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ He bent down on his knees and he worshipped Jesus.

39 Then Jesus said, ‘I came into this world to show what people are really like. So then, those people who do not see will be able to see. And those people who do see will become unable to see.’ 40 Some of the Pharisees who were there with him heard this. They asked Jesus, ‘Do you mean that we are unable to see also?’ 41 Jesus said to them, ‘If you were unable to see, you would not have done anything wrong. But you say that you can see. So, that means that you are still continuing to do something wrong.’

Chapter 10

The story about the shepherd

1 Jesus said, ‘I am telling you what is true. A shepherd keeps his sheep in a safe place with a wall round it. There is a gate into that safe place. Anyone else who gets into that place by another way, not through the gate, is not the shepherd. That person is bad. He comes to take away the sheep that are not his. 2 The shepherd goes in through the gate. 3 The person who watches the gate opens it for the shepherd. The sheep recognise the shepherd’s voice. He calls each of his own sheep by their name and he leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes in front of them. And the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger. They will run away from a stranger because they do not recognise his voice.’

6 Jesus told them this story that was like a picture. But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Jesus is like the good shepherd

7 So Jesus spoke again. ‘I am telling you what is true. I am like the gate for the sheep. 8 All other men who ever came to the sheep before me were bad. They wanted to take away the sheep that were not theirs. But the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am like the gate. Anyone who comes in through me will be safe. He will come in and he will go out. And he will find plenty of food. 10 He who comes to take away my sheep comes only to kill them. He comes only to destroy. I have come so that they can live. And so they can have everything that they need.’

11 ‘I am like the good shepherd. The good shepherd would die so that he can save his sheep. 12 Another man may work with the sheep so that he gets money. But the sheep are not his own. A man like that is not the shepherd. A man like that runs away when he sees a wolf (a wild dog). The wolf comes to kill the sheep. But a man like that leaves the sheep and he runs away. So, the wolf attacks the sheep and it causes them to run in all directions. 13 That man runs away because the sheep are not his own. The sheep do not really matter to him.’

14 ‘I am like the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me. 15 I know them in the same way that my Father knows me. And they know me in the same way that I know the Father. And I will die on behalf of the sheep. 16 I have other sheep also, and I must bring them too. They do not belong to this group of sheep. But they will listen to my voice, and so all the sheep will become one group, with one shepherd. 17 The Father loves me because I will choose to die. I will choose to die so that then I can become alive again. 18 Nobody causes me to die. No, instead, I myself choose to die. I have authority so that I can choose to die. Also, I have authority so that I can become alive again. My Father has said that I must do that.’

19 Again, the Jews could not agree about these things that Jesus said. 20 Many of them said, ‘He has a demon (bad spirit from Satan) and he is crazy. You should not listen to him!’ 21 But other people said, ‘A man with a demon (bad spirit) could not talk like this! A demon could not make people able to see!’

Verses 1-16 A shepherd is a person who keeps sheep safe. And he is good to them. The prophets had often said that God was like a shepherd. He is good to his people as a shepherd is good to his sheep.

The Jews’ leaders do not believe Jesus

22 It was the time for the Dedication Festival at Jerusalem.

Verse 22 At the Dedication Festival, Israel’s people remembered a special time, 165 years before Jesus came to the earth. A foreign ruler had come to Jerusalem. He had put false gods in God’s Great House (the temple). But some of Israel’s people attacked that ruler and they sent him away. Then they made God’s Great House clean again so that they could worship the one true God there. At the Dedication Festival, the people remembered this.

23 It was winter. And Jesus was walking under a roof by the side of God’s Great House (the temple). The place was called Solomon’s porch. 24 The Jews’ leaders stood round him. They said to him, ‘We want to be sure about who you are. When will you tell us? If you are the Christ, tell us clearly.’ 25 Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, but you do not believe. The things that I do by my Father’s authority show you about me. Those things show you who I am. 26 But you refuse to believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep recognise my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I cause them to live always. They will never die. Nobody can ever take them away from me. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all things. Nobody can ever take my sheep out of my Father’s hand. 30 My Father and I are one Person.’

31 Then the Jews’ leaders picked up stones again to throw at Jesus so that they could kill him. 32 Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good things. The Father told me that I must do them. You have seen me do those good things. Which of those good things have caused you to throw stones at me?’ 33 The Jews’ leaders answered, ‘We do not want to kill you with stones because of any good things that you have done. We want to kill you with stones because you are speaking against God. You are only a man. But you are saying that you are God.’

34 Jesus answered, ‘It says in your own Scriptures (Old Testament) that God said, “You are gods.” 35 God called the people to whom he spoke ‘gods’. And the Scriptures are always true. 36 The Father chose me. And he sent me into the world. I said that I am God’s Son. So you should not say, because of that, that I speak against God. 37 If I am not doing my Father’s work, do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing his work, believe that work. Even if you do not believe me, believe my work. Believe the things that I do. Then you will know certainly that the Father is in me. And you will know that I am in the Father.’

Verse 34 See Psalm 82:6.

39 Again, the Jews’ leaders tried to catch Jesus. But he got away from them.

40 Jesus returned across the Jordan river again. He went to the place where John had baptised people. And Jesus stayed there. 41 Many people came to him. They said to each other, ‘John did not do any miracles. But everything that John said about this man was true.’ 42 And in that place, many people believed Jesus.

Chapter 11

Lazarus dies

1 A certain man, who was called Lazarus, became ill. Lazarus lived at Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived too. 2 It was this Mary who had poured oil with a lovely smell over the Lord. Then she had cleaned his feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was ill. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus. The message said, ‘Lord, the friend that you love is ill.’

4 Jesus heard the message. Then he said, ‘This illness will not finish with Lazarus’s death. No, its purpose is to show how great and how powerful God is. It will show how great God’s Son is.’ 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and their brother Lazarus, too. 6 He heard the news that Lazarus was ill. But then he stayed in the place where he was for two more days.

7 After that, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘We will return to Judea.’ 8 The disciples said, ‘Teacher, only a short time ago, the Jews there tried to kill you with stones. You should not return there!’ 9 Jesus answered, ‘You know that there are 12 hours in the day. Anyone who walks during the day will not fall down. He will not fall down because he sees this world’s light. 10 But anyone who walks during the night will fall down. He will fall down because there is no light in him.’

11 Jesus said that. Then he said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus is sleeping. But I go there to wake him up.’ 12 So the disciples said to him, ‘If he is sleeping, Lord, he will get well.’ 13 But Jesus meant that Lazarus had died. The disciples thought that Jesus was talking about sleep as rest. 14 So then, Jesus told them clearly, ‘Lazarus is dead. 15 But I am happy that I was not with him. I am happy about that because now you will believe. We must go to him now.’ 16 Thomas, who was called Didymus, spoke to the other disciples. He said, ‘We will go with our Teacher, so that we can die with him!’

Verse 16 Didymus means ‘the Twin’. Twins are two children who were born at the same time to the same mother.

Jesus is able to make dead people alive

17 Jesus arrived at Bethany. Then he discovered that they had buried Lazarus 4 days earlier. 18 Bethany was less than 2 miles (about 3 kilometres) from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come there to visit Martha and Mary. These Jews wanted to be kind to Martha and Mary because their brother had died.

20 Martha heard the news that Jesus was coming. So immediately, she went out to meet him. But Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that, even now, God will answer you. God will do whatever you ask him.’ 23 Jesus told her, ‘Your brother will rise, to become alive again.’ 24 Martha replied, ‘I know that he will rise, to become alive again, on the last day.’ 25 Jesus said to her, ‘It is I who raise dead people, to make them alive. I cause people to live. Anyone who believes me will live. Even if that person dies, he will live. 26 Some people will live and believe in me. Anyone who does that will never die. Do you believe that?’ 27 She answered, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son. You are the man that God promised to send into the world.’

Jesus weeps

28 After this, Martha went home and she spoke secretly to her sister, Mary. Martha said, ‘The Teacher is here, and he is asking to meet you.’ 29 When Mary heard this, she got up. She hurried out to meet Jesus. 30 Jesus had not arrived in the village yet. He was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews in the house, who were being kind to Mary, saw her get up quickly. They saw her go out and so they followed her. They thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

32 Mary arrived at the place where Jesus was. When she saw Jesus, she fell at his feet. She said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ 33 Jesus saw that Mary was weeping. The Jews who had come with her were weeping, too. Jesus saw them and he felt very, very sad in his spirit. He was very sorry for them. 34 He asked them, ‘Where have you put his dead body?’ They answered, ‘Come and see, Lord.’ 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said to each other, ‘See how much he loved Lazarus!’ 37 But some of them said, ‘He opened the eyes of the man who could not see. So, surely he would have been able to stop Lazarus from dying.’

Jesus makes Lazarus alive again

38 Jesus felt very, very sad again while he was coming to the tomb. It was a big hole in the rock. A very big stone covered the way into it. 39 Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, his dead body will have a bad smell. He has been dead for 4 days!’ 40 Jesus said to her, ‘I told you that you must believe. Then, as a result, you will see how great and how powerful God is. That is what I told you.’ 41 So they took the stone away. Jesus looked up towards the sky. He said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 42 I know that you listen to me always. But I said this because of all the people who are standing here. I want them to believe that you sent me.’ 43 When Jesus had said this, he shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ 44 The dead man came out. There were pieces of cloth round his hands and round his feet. Another piece of cloth was round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Undo the cloths and let him go.’

The Pharisees decide how to kill Jesus

45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw this. They saw what Jesus did. So, they believed him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees. They told the Pharisees what Jesus had done. 47 Then the Pharisees and the most important priests had a meeting. They said to each other, ‘What will we do? This man is doing so many miracles. 48 If we let him do more things like this, everyone will believe him. Then the Romans will come. And they will destroy our temple (God’s Great House) and they will kill our people.’

Verse 48 The Romans had attacked Israel and they were ruling the country.

The priests’ leaders and the Pharisees did not want to believe Jesus. Jesus had said that he was God’s Son. But that had made them very angry. They were even angrier when Jesus made the dead man, Lazarus, alive again. They were afraid that they would lose their authority. They were afraid that the people would make Jesus their leader, or even a king. So then the Romans would punish all the Jews.

49 One of them, who was called Caiaphas, was the priests’ leader that year. He said, ‘You do not understand the problem. 50 It is better that one man should die on behalf of the people. That is better than if all the people in our country died.’ 51 Caiaphas did not say this because he had thought it by himself. No, he was speaking as a prophet because he was the priests’ leader that year. He spoke as a prophet that Jesus would die on behalf of Israel’s people. 52 And Jesus would die not only for Israel’s people. Also, his death would bring together all God’s people who lived in many different places. They would become like one big family.

53 From that day, the Jews’ leaders decided together how they could kill Jesus. 54 So, Jesus stopped travelling about in Judea where everyone could see him. Instead, he went away secretly to a town called Ephraim. It was near to the wild place. He stayed there with the disciples.

55 It was almost time for the JewsPassover Festival. Many people were going from their country places to Jerusalem. They were going to make themselves clean and ready for God before they went to the festival. 56 They were looking for Jesus. While they were standing in God’s Great House (the temple), they spoke to each other about him. They asked each other, ‘Do you think that he will come to the festival or not?’ 57 The most important priests and the Pharisees had spoken to the people about Jesus. They had told them, ‘Someone may know where Jesus is. If anyone does know that, you must tell us.’ So then they could put him in a prison.

Chapter 12

Jesus at Bethany

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the village where Lazarus lived. He was the man who had been dead. But Jesus had raised him, to make him alive again. 2 Some friends prepared a special meal there for Jesus. Martha gave out the food, and Lazarus sat among the visitors, with Jesus. 3 Then Mary brought a pound of very expensive oil that had a lovely smell. She poured it over Jesus’ feet and then she cleaned his feet with her hair. The smell of the oil filled the whole house.

4 Then Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, spoke. He was the man who would sell Jesus to Jesus’ enemies. Judas said, 5 ‘She could have sold this expensive oil for as much money as someone would get for a year’s work. And she could have given that money to poor people.’ 6 He did not say this because he really wanted to help the poor people. No, he said it because he wanted the money himself. He kept the bag of money, and sometimes he took money from it for himself. 7 But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop her! She has kept this oil for the day when they bury my dead body. 8 Poor people will always be with you, but I will not always be with you.’

9 By this time, a large crowd of Jews had heard the news that Jesus was at Bethany. So, they came there to see him. They came also to see Lazarus, because Jesus had made him alive again. 10 So the most important priests, who had already decided to kill Jesus, decided to kill Lazarus too. 11 They decided to do that because many Jews were refusing to obey them. Instead, these Jews were believing Jesus because of what he had done for Lazarus.

Jesus goes into Jerusalem as the Messiah

12 The next day, a large crowd of people were in Jerusalem for the festival. They heard the news that Jesus was on the way there. 13 So, they took branches from palm trees and they went out to meet Jesus. They were shouting, ‘Save us now! God is good to the man who comes in the name of the Lord. God is good to the King of Israel!’ 14 Jesus found a young donkey. And he sat on it, as it says in the Old Testament:

15 ‘Do not be afraid, people in Zion (Jerusalem).

            Look! Your king is coming.

            He is riding on a young donkey.’

Verse 13 Palm trees are trees with big leaves.

Verses 14-15 A donkey is an animal like a small horse. People use donkeys to carry things.

Verse 15 The book of Zechariah the prophet told Israel’s people that their king would ride on a donkey. (See Zechariah 9:9.) Jesus was showing the people that he was that king. But this only made their leaders angrier than before. Jesus was not the kind of king that they wanted. They wanted a leader who would send all the Romans away. They did not want a man who would help them to know God.

16 Jesus’ disciples did not understand all this at that time. They understood only after Jesus had returned to God in heaven. Then they remembered that the Old Testament said these things about him. And they remembered that these things had happened to him. 17 The crowd who had been with Jesus before, continued to tell people about Lazarus. Jesus had told Lazarus that he should come out of the tomb. Jesus had made Lazarus alive again after he had been dead. The crowd continued to tell people about this. 18 That is why all the people came to meet Jesus. They had heard that he had done this miracle. 19 So, the Pharisees said to each other, ‘This is not what we wanted. Look! All the people in the world are running after him!’

Jesus says that he will soon die

20 There were some Greeks (people from Greece) among the people who had come to worship God at the festival. 21 These Greeks came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida city in Galilee. They said to him, ‘Sir, we want to talk with Jesus.’ 22 Philip went to Andrew and he told Andrew this. Then Philip and Andrew went to Jesus and they told him.

23 Jesus said to them, ‘God will show how great and how good the Son of Man is. It is now time for that to happen. 24 I am telling you what is true. A seed of wheat continues to be only a single seed unless it dies. It must fall into the ground and then it must die. But if it dies, it grows to give a lot of seeds.’

Verse 24 Wheat is a kind of seed that grows on farms. People make bread from the flour that comes from wheat seeds.

25 ‘Anyone who loves his own life will lose it. But anyone who hates his life in this world will live always. 26 Anyone who wants to be my servant must follow me. Then he will be with me, where I am. My Father will do great things for anyone who is my servant. 27 Now I feel very sad. And I have trouble in my mind. I might say, “Father, save me from this very difficult time!” But I came to the world for this purpose. I came so that I could go through this difficult time. 28 Father, show how great and how good you are.’

Then someone spoke from heaven, ‘I have shown how great and how good I am. And I will do it again.’ 29 The crowd of people who were standing there heard the sound of this voice. And they said that it was like the noise of a storm. But other people said, ‘An angel spoke to him!’

30 Jesus said, ‘This voice did not speak so that it could help me. No, it spoke so that it could help you. 31 It is time now for God to judge the people in this world. Now he will throw out the ruler of this world. 32 But when people lift me up from the earth, then I will pull everyone towards myself.’ 33 He said this to show how he would soon die.

34 The crowd said, ‘The Scriptures (Old Testament) tell us that the Christ will continue always. So why do you say, “People must lift up the Son of Man”? Who is this Son of Man?’ 35 Jesus answered, ‘The light will be with you for only a short time longer. So, continue to walk while you still have the light. Then the dark will not come over you. Anyone who walks in the dark does not know the way. That person does not know where he is going. 36 Believe the light, while you have the light. So then you will become sons of light.’ When Jesus had said this, he went away. And he hid himself from them.

Verse 32 Jesus said that people would ‘lift him up’. He meant that they would lift him up on a cross of wood to die. The Romans were the rulers of Israel and of most other countries when Jesus lived on the earth. They often punished people in that way.

The Jews still do not believe Jesus

37 Jesus had done so many miracles that the people themselves had seen. But even then, they still did not believe him. 38 This showed that the prophet Isaiah had spoken true words. Isaiah had said:

            ‘Lord, nobody has believed our message.

            Nobody has understood how powerful the Lord is.’

Verse 38 See Isaiah 53:1.

39 Isaiah spoke also about why the people could not believe. 40 He said:

            ‘God has made their eyes unable to see.

            He has closed their minds.

            So they cannot see with their eyes,

            and they cannot understand with their minds.

            They will not turn to me, so that I can make them well.’

Verse 40 See Isaiah 6:10.

41 Isaiah had seen how great Christ is. That is why he said these things.

42 But many of the Jews’ leaders did believe Jesus. But they did not tell people that they believed. They did not speak about it because they were afraid of the Pharisees. They were afraid that the Pharisees would send them away from the synagogue. 43 They wanted other people to think good things about them more than they wanted to make God happy.

Jesus’ words will judge people

44 Jesus said in a loud voice, ‘Anyone who believes me does not believe only me. That person believes also him who sent me. 45 Anyone who looks at me does not see only me. That person sees also him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world to be a light. Everyone who believes me will not remain in the dark. That is why I came. 47 Some people may hear my words but not obey them. I will not judge anyone who does that. I did not come to judge the people in the world. I came to save them. 48 Something else will judge anyone who refuses me. Something else will judge anyone who will not listen to my words. The message that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 The words that I have spoken did not come from me myself. They came from the Father, who sent me. He told me what to say. And he told me how to say it. 50 What the Father says causes people to live always. I know that. So, I say only those things that the Father has said to me.’

Chapter 13

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet

1 It was nearly time for the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that it was almost time for him to leave this world. It was almost time for him to go to the Father. He had always loved those people in the world who were his own. And he loved them to the end.

2 Jesus and his disciples were eating supper. The Devil had already put an idea into the mind of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son. The idea was to sell Jesus to his enemies. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him power over everything. He knew that he had come from God. And he knew that he would soon return to God. 4 So, during the meal, he stood up. He took off the coat that he wore over his other clothes. He tied a thick cloth round his body. 5 Then he poured water into a bowl (a wide pot) and he began to wash the disciples’ feet. Jesus made their feet dry with the thick cloth that was round him.

6 Jesus came to Simon Peter. Peter asked him, ‘Lord, will you wash my feet?’ 7 Jesus answered him, ‘You do not understand now what I am doing. But you will understand some time after this.’ 8 Peter said, ‘You will never, never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered, ‘If I do not wash you, you do not belong with me.’ 9 Simon Peter replied, ‘So Lord, do not wash my feet only! Wash my hands and my head too!’ 10 Jesus said, ‘A person who has had a bath is completely clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And all of you are clean, except one of you.’ 11 Jesus knew already who would sell him to his enemies. That is why he said, ‘All of you are clean, except one.’

12 When he had finished washing their feet, Jesus put on his coat. He returned to his place at the meal. He asked them, ‘I want you to understand what I have just done to you. 13 You call me Teacher and Lord. And you are right when you say that. You are right, because I am your Teacher and Lord. 14 I am your Teacher and your Lord, and I have washed your feet. So, you should wash each other’s feet also. 15 I have given you an example. So, you should do the same as I have done for you. 16 I am telling you what is true. No slave is more important than his master is. And no messenger is more important than the person who sent him. 17 Now you know these things. So, you will be happy if you do them.’

18 ‘I am not talking about all of you. I know the people that I have chosen. The Old Testament says, “Someone who ate food with me has become my enemy.” So that is what must happen. 19 I am telling you this now, before it happens. So then, when it does happen, you will believe. You will believe that “I am”. 20 I am telling you what is true. Some people will accept those that I send. And anyone who accepts them is accepting me also. And so some people will accept me. And anyone like that is accepting also him who sent me.’

Verse 18 See Psalm 41:9.

Verse 19 The Jews used ‘I am’ as the name of God. When Jesus said, ‘I am’, they would have recognised this name. He was saying that he is God.

Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will sell him to his enemies

21 After Jesus had said this, he felt very, very sad. And he had trouble in his mind. He said to them very seriously, ‘I am telling you what is true. One of you will sell me to my enemies.’ 22 The disciples looked at each other. They did not know which of them Jesus was speaking about. 23 One of them, the disciple that Jesus loved, was sitting very near to Jesus. 24 Simon Peter pointed at that disciple. Peter said, ‘Ask Jesus whom he is speaking about.’ 25 So that disciple moved even nearer to Jesus and he asked, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ 26 Jesus answered, ‘I will put a piece of bread in the dish of food. Then I will give the bread to him. That is the man.’ So he put a piece of bread in the dish. Then he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

27 Then, when Judas had taken the bread, Satan came into him. Then Jesus said to Judas, ‘Do quickly what you want to do.’ 28 None of the other men who were sitting at the meal understood this. They did not know why Jesus said this to Judas. 29 Some of them thought that Jesus had asked Judas to buy some things. Judas was going out to buy what they needed for the festival. That was what some of them thought. Some of them thought that Jesus had asked Judas to give some money to the poor people. That was because Judas kept the bag of money on behalf of all of them.

30 Judas took the bread and then he went out immediately. And it was night.

The new rule

31 When Judas had left, Jesus said, ‘Now people will see how great and how good the Son of Man is. And in him, they will see how great and how good God is. 32 The Son will show how great God is. Then God will take the Son to himself. And God will show how great the Son is. And he will do that immediately. 33 My children, I will be with you for only a short time. You will look for me. But I tell you now what I told the Jews. You cannot go where I go now. 34 I give a new rule to you. Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. 35 By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples. They will know it, if you really love each other.’

36 Simon Peter asked him, ‘Where will you go, Lord?’ Jesus replied, ‘You cannot follow now where I will go. But you will follow some time after this.’ 37 Peter said, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I would die for you.’ 38 Jesus answered, ‘You say that you would die for me. But I am telling you what is true. You will say that you do not know me. Before the first bird sings, early in the morning, you will say it three times.’

Chapter 14

Jesus is the way to the Father

1 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not let yourselves be sad and afraid. Believe God, and believe me also. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it was not true. And I will go now so that I can prepare a place for you. 3 After I have prepared a place for you, I will return. I will take you so that you will be with me. So then you will be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I will go.’

5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you will go. So how can we know the way to get there?’ 6 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way. I am what is true. And I am the life. Nobody comes to the Father except by me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father also. From this time, you do know him, and you have seen him.’

8 Philip said, ‘Lord, show the Father to us. That is all that we need.’ 9 Jesus answered, ‘I have been with all of you for such a long time. But still you do not seem to know me, Philip! Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. So why do you say, “Show the Father to us”? 10 I am in the Father and the Father is in me. You should believe that. The words that I say to you do not come from me myself. But the Father, who lives in me, is doing his work. 11 I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Believe me when I say that. Or, if you do not believe my words, believe because of my work. Believe because of the things that I have done. 12 I am telling you what is true. Anyone who believes me will do the same things as me. That person will do the same things that I have done. Yes, he will do even greater things than these, because I go to my Father. 13 Ask for things in my name (because you are mine). If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. So then the Son will show everyone how great and how good the Father is. 14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.’

Verses 13-14 Jesus says that his disciples should ask for things ‘in his name’. This means ‘because they are his’. So they will ask only for things that God is happy to give to them.

Jesus promises God’s Spirit

15 ‘If you love me, you will obey me. You will obey what I have asked you to do. 16 I will ask the Father. And he will give to you another Person who will help you. That Helper will stay with you always. 17 He is the Spirit, who shows you true things. The people who belong to this world cannot receive him. That is because they cannot see him. They cannot know him. But you know him because he stays with you. And he will be in you. 18 I will not let you remain alone, like children without parents. I will come to you.’

19 ‘After a short time, the people who belong to this world will not see me any longer. But you will see me. And because I live, you will live also. 20 On that day, you will know that I am in my Father. You will know that you are in me. And you will know that I am in you. 21 Some people will listen to what I have told them. And they will obey what I have said. It is those people who love me. My Father will love everyone who loves me. And I will love them and I will show myself to them.’

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘Lord, why will you show yourself only to us? Why will you not show yourself also to the people who belong to this world?’

23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my words. My Father will love him. And my Father and I will come to him and we will make our home with him. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my words. And these words that you hear are not my own. No, these words come from the Father, who sent me. 25 I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Father will send the Holy (completely good) Spirit. And it is he who will help you. He will come in my name. He will teach you all things. And he will cause you to remember everything that I have told you.’

Verse 26 ‘In my name’ here means that the Spirit is like Jesus himself. He teaches us the things that Jesus wants us to learn.

27 ‘I will go away but I will cause a gift to stay with you. My gift is that I will give you power to be without trouble in your minds and in your hearts. In the same way that I myself have this power, I will cause you to have it also. My gift to you is not like what this world gives. Do not let yourselves be sad or afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, “I will go away, but I will return to you.” If you loved me, you would be happy because of that. You would be happy because I go to the Father. And he is greater than I am. 29 I have told you this now, before it happens. So then, when it does happen, you will believe. 30 I will not talk with you much more, because the ruler of this world will come soon. He has no power over me. 31 But the people who belong to this world must learn about me. They must know that I love the Father. And I do everything that he asks me to do. I must show that to them. So get up, we must go.’

All through this book, Jesus teaches the disciples that there are two kinds of people. The people who love this world will not listen to Jesus’ words. They belong to the people of the ruler of this world, the Devil. But those people who listen to Jesus are different. They obey the words that Jesus speaks. This shows that they love Jesus. And Jesus says that he will love those people. And he says that his Father also will love those people. And they will both come to live inside the people who obey Jesus.

Chapter 15

The branches must stay in the vine

1 ‘I am the proper vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Some branches that are part of me may have no fruit on them. So, my Father removes those branches. And he cuts short every branch that does make fruit. He cleans all those branches, so that they will make more fruit. 3 The words that I have spoken to you have made you clean already. 4 Continue to live in me, and I will continue to live in you. A branch cannot make fruit by itself. It can make fruit only if it continues to be part of the vine. You are like that. You cannot make fruit unless you continue to live in me.’

5 ‘I am the vine, and you are the branches. You must remain in me and I must remain in you. Only if you do that will you make plenty of fruit. That is because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, that person is like a dead branch. The gardener will throw that branch away and it will become dry. People take those dry branches and they throw them into the fire. So, those dry branches burn. 7 You must remain in me, and my words must remain in you. So then you can ask for anything that you want. And God will do it for you. 8 If you make plenty of fruit, you will be my disciples. You will show how great and how good my Father is.’

Verses 1, 4 and 5 A vine is a kind of plant that has many small, sweet fruits called grapes. People make wine from grapes.

9 ‘I have loved you as the Father has loved me. Continue to know that I love you. 10 You must obey everything that I have taught you. So, as a result, you will continue to know that I love you. In the same way, I have obeyed everything that the Father has asked me to do. So, as a result, I continue to know that he loves me. 11 I have told you these things so that you can be really happy. You can be happy in the same way that I myself am happy. So you will be completely happy.’

12 ‘I tell you that you must do this: You must love each other, as I have loved you. 13 A person really loves his friends if he dies on behalf of them. Nobody could love anyone more than that. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey me. You must do what I ask you to do. 15 A servant does not know what his master is doing. So I do not call you servants any longer. But I have told you everything that I have heard from my Father. So, I call you friends. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. I chose you for a purpose. You must go and you must make fruit. You must make the kind of fruit that will continue. So, as a result, the Father will give you anything that you ask him. If you ask him in my name (because you are mine), he will give it to you. 17 This is what you must do: You must love each other.’

Verse 16 Jesus says that his disciples should ask for things ‘in his name’. This means ‘because they are his’. So they will ask only for things that God is happy to give to them.

The world hates the disciples

18 ‘The people who belong to this world may hate you. But remember this: They hated me before they hated you. 19 If you belonged to this world, this world’s people would love you. They would love you because you would belong with them. But I chose you so that you would be separate from this world’s people. You do not belong with them, so they hate you. 20 Remember what I told you, “No slave is more important than his master.” If they have caused trouble for me, they will cause trouble for you, too. But if they have obeyed my words, they will obey your words, too. 21 They will do all these things to you because of me. They do not know him who sent me. That is why they will do these things.’

22 ‘I have come and I have spoken to them. If I had not done that, they would not have done anything wrong. But now they cannot say, “We have not done anything wrong.” 23 Anyone who hates me hates my Father also. 24 I did many great things when I was with them. Nobody else ever did things like that. If I had not done those things among them, they would not have done anything wrong. But they have seen what I did. And they have hated me. And they have hated my Father too. 25 But this had to happen. Their book of rules (the Old Testament) says, “They hated me without any good reason.” And what it says had to happen.’

Verse 25 See Psalm 35:19; 69:4.

26 ‘But I will send the Helper to you from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit who speaks only true things. He comes from the Father. And he will speak about me. 27 You must speak about me, too, because you have been with me from the beginning.’

Chapter 16

1 ‘I have told you all this, so that nothing will cause you to stop believing me. 2 People will send you away from the synagogues. There will be a time when people will kill you. And they will even think that God has given them a duty to kill you. 3 They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or me. 4 But I have told you this so that you will remember. When they begin to do these things, you will remember. You will remember that I told you about them. I did not tell you this before, because I was with you.’

The work of God’s Spirit

5 ‘Now I will go to him who sent me. But none of you asks me, “Where will you go?” 6 And now you are very sad, because of the things that I have told you. 7 But I am telling you what is true. I will go away because it will be better for you. Unless I go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will show things about this world’s people. He will show that they are wrong. They are wrong about sin. They are wrong about how to be right with God. They are wrong about how God judges people. 9 They are wrong about sin, because they do not believe me. 10 They are wrong about how to be right with God, because I go to the Father. And you will not see me any longer. 11 They are wrong about how God judges people. They are wrong about that because God has already decided to punish the ruler of this world.’

12 ‘I have many more things to tell you. But you are not strong enough to know them now. 13 But the Spirit, who shows you true things, will come. And when he comes, he will be a guide to you. He will cause you to know everything that is true. He will tell you only what he hears. He will not speak his own words. He will tell you about things that will happen after this time. 14 He will receive what I have to say. And he will tell it to you. In that way, he will show how great and how good I am. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I said, “The Spirit will receive what I have to say. And then he will tell it to you.” ’

The disciples will be sad first but after that they will be happy

16 ‘After a short time, you will not see me any longer. But soon after that, you will see me.’ 17 Some of his disciples said to each other, ‘What does he mean? He says, “After a short time, you will not see me any longer, but soon after that, you will see me.” And he says, “because I go to the Father.” 18 What does he mean by ‘a short time’? We do not know what he is talking about!’

19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him about this. So, he said to them, ‘I said, “After a short time, you will not see me any longer. But soon after that, you will see me.” Perhaps you are asking each other about that. 20 I am telling you what is true. You will cry and you will be sad. But the people who belong to this world will be happy. First, you will be sad, but soon after that, you will become happy instead. 21 While a woman is giving birth to a baby, she is sad. She is sad at that time because it is painful. But after the baby is born, she is happy. She forgets the pain, because now she is so happy. She is so happy because a person has been born into the world.’

22 ‘It is like that for you. You are sad now. But I will see you again, and you will be happy. You will be so happy. And nobody will cause you to stop being happy. 23 On that day, you will not ask me for anything. I am telling you what is true. The Father will give you anything that you ask for in my name (because you are mine). 24 Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive. So then you will be completely happy.’

25 ‘I have spoken to you with words and stories that are like pictures. But there will be a time when I will not speak like that any longer. Instead, I will speak clearly to you about the Father. 26 On that day, you will ask in my name (because you are mine). I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, because the Father himself loves you. He loves you because you love me. He loves you because you believe. You believe that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father, and I came into the world. And now I will leave the world, and I will return to the Father.’

Verses 23-26 ‘In my name’ means ‘because you are mine’. The disciples will be united with Jesus. So then they will ask only for things that God is happy to give to them.

29 His disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking clearly. You are not speaking with words that are like pictures! 30 Now we are sure that you know everything. You do not need to ask people what they are thinking. Because of this, we believe that you came from God.’ 31 Jesus answered them, ‘You say that you believe now. 32 But it will happen very soon that all of you will run away to your own homes. Yes, it is that time already. You will leave me alone. But I am not really alone, because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you these things so that you will be without trouble in your minds and in your hearts. You will be like that because you are united with me. In this world, you will have trouble. But be strong! I have won! I have destroyed the power of this world.’

Chapter 17

Jesus prays for himself

1 After Jesus said this, he looked up to heaven. He said, ‘Father, it is the time. Show how great and how good your Son is. So then I (the Son) can show how great and how good you are. 2 You gave to me (the Son) authority over all people. You did this so that I (the Son) could cause people to live always. I could cause all those people that you gave to me to live always. 3 And this is how they will live always. They will live because they will know you. They will know you. And only you really are God. And they will know Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have finished the work that you gave to me to do. And so, I have shown on the earth how great and how good you are. 5 Now, Father, show how great and how good I am. Before the world began, I was with you. I was great and powerful with you. Show again that I am great like that.’

Jesus prays for his disciples

6 ‘You gave some men to me out of the world. I have shown them who you are. They were yours. You gave them to me, and they have obeyed your words. 7 Now they know about me. Everything that you have given to me really comes from you. They know that now. 8 I gave to them the words that you gave to me. And they accepted those words. They know certainly that I came from you. They believe that you sent me.’

9 ‘I pray for them. I am not praying for the people who belong to this world. No, but I am praying for those people that you have given to me. I am praying for them because they are yours. 10 Everything that is mine is yours. And everything that is yours is mine. And these people have shown how great and how good I am. 11 Now, I will not remain in the world any longer. I will come to you. But they are still in the world. Holy (completely good) Father, keep them safe in your name (by your own power), that you gave to me. So then they can be united in the same way that you and I are united. 12 While I was with them, I kept them safe. I kept them safe in your name (by your own power), that you gave to me. I kept them safe so that none of them went the wrong way, except one. That was the man who had to go the wrong way. What the Old Testament says had to happen.’

Verse 12 See Psalm 41:9 and 109:2-9.

13 ‘Now, I will come to you. But I am saying these things while I am still in the world. I am saying them so that these men can be completely happy in their hearts. I want them to become completely happy in the same way that I am completely happy. 14 I have given your words to them. And the world’s people have hated them because they do not belong to the world. They do not belong to the world, in the same way that I do not belong to the world. 15 I am not asking that you will take them out of the world. But I want you to keep them safe from him who is bad (the Devil). So I am asking you to do that. 16 They do not belong to the world, in the same way that I do not belong to the world. 17 Make them separate for yourself by your words, which are true. 18 I have sent them into the world, in the same way that you sent me into the world. 19 On behalf of them, I make myself separate, so that I obey only you. So then they can become separate for you also, by what is true.’

Jesus prays for everyone who will believe him

20 ‘I do not pray only for these people. I pray also for those people who will believe me because of their words. 21 I pray that all of them will be united. You, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be united in us. So then the world’s people will believe that you sent me. 22 I have given to them the great and special gift that you gave to me. Now they can be united in the same way that you and I are united. 23 I will be in them, and you will be in me. So then they can be completely united. And, as a result, the world’s people will know that you sent me. The world’s people will know that you love them. You love them as you love me.’

24 ‘Father, you have given these people to me. And I want them to be with me where I am. You made me great and powerful because you loved me. You loved me before you made the world. And I want these people to see how great and how powerful I am. 25 Father, you always do what is right. The world’s people do not know you, but I know you. And these disciples know that you have sent me. 26 I have shown them what you are like. And I will continue to show them who you are. So then they will love other people in the same way that you love me. And so I can be in them.’

The world’s people are people who refuse to believe the words of Jesus or of his disciples. They do not know God. So, the Devil has power over them.

Chapter 18

Soldiers take Jesus to the Chief Priest (priests’ leader)

1 When Jesus had finished praying, he and his disciples went out. They went across the Kidron valley. On the other side, there was a garden. Jesus and his disciples went into it. 2 Judas, who sold Jesus to Jesus’ enemies, knew the garden. He knew it because Jesus and his disciples had met there often. 3 The most important priests and the Pharisees had sent a group of soldiers and some officers to Judas. Judas led these soldiers and officers to the garden. The soldiers had long knives and they carried lights.

Verse 3 The soldiers were Roman soldiers. The officers were Jews who may have worked like police at God’s Great House (the temple).

4 Jesus knew everything that would soon happen to him. So, he went towards them. He asked them, ‘Whom are you looking for?’ 5 They answered, ‘Jesus, who comes from Nazareth.’ Jesus said, ‘I am.’

Judas, who sold Jesus to Jesus’ enemies, was standing with the soldiers. 6 When Jesus said to them, ‘I am’, the soldiers moved away from him. They fell down to the ground. 7 So Jesus asked them again, ‘Whom are you looking for?’ And they said, ‘Jesus, who comes from Nazareth.’ 8 Jesus said, ‘I have told you already that “I am” that person. So, if you are looking for me, let these other men go.’ 9 Jesus said this for a reason. Earlier, he had said, ‘I have lost none of those men that you gave to me.’ And what he had spoken earlier had to happen.

Verses 5, 6 and 8 The Jews used ‘I am’ as the name of God. When Jesus said, ‘I am’, they would have recognised this name. He was saying that he is God.

10 Simon Peter had a long knife. He lifted the knife and he attacked the Chief Priest’s (priest’s leader’s) servant. He cut off the servant’s right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 Then Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your knife into the thing that covers it! Let them take me. My Father has told me what must happen to me. And I will obey him completely.’

12 The group of soldiers, with their captain and the Jews’ officers, took Jesus and they tied him. 13 They led him first to Annas, who was the father of Caiaphas’s wife. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest (priests’ leader) that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had spoken to the Jews’ leaders some time before. He had told them, ‘It is better that one man should die on behalf of all the people.’

Verse 14 See John 11:50.

Peter says that he does not know Jesus

15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. The Chief Priest (priests’ leader) knew that other disciple. So, he went with Jesus into the yard of the Chief Priest’s house. 16 But Peter stayed outside by the gate. Then the other disciple, whom the Chief Priest knew, went out again. He spoke to the girl who was at the gate. Then he brought Peter inside. 17 The girl who was at the gate spoke to Peter. She asked him, ‘Are you another of this man’s (Jesus’) disciples?’ Peter replied, ‘No, I am not!’ 18 It was cold. So the servants and the officers were standing round a fire that they had made. They were making themselves warm. Peter went to stand with them, so that he could make himself warm too.

The Priests’ Leader asks Jesus some questions

19 The Chief Priest (priests’ leader) asked Jesus about his disciples. He also asked Jesus about what Jesus taught. 20 Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken in public places so that everyone could hear. I have always taught in synagogues, or in God’s Great House (the temple), where all the Jews meet together. I have said nothing secretly. 21 So, you do not need to ask me these questions. Ask the people who heard me. Ask them what I said to them. They know what I said.’ 22 When Jesus said this, one of the soldiers hit him on the face. The soldier said, ‘You must never speak to the Chief Priest (priests’ leader) like that!’ 23 Jesus replied, ‘If I said something wrong, tell everyone about it. But if I said something true, you should not have hit me.’ 24 Then Annas sent Jesus, who still had ropes round his arms, to Caiaphas, the Chief Priest (priests’ leader).

Verses 19-24 Annas had himself been the Chief Priest (priests’ leader) before Caiaphas, so people still called him the ‘Chief Priest’ too.

Verse 22 Jesus was not saying anything wrong. He was asking the Chief Priest to talk to people who had heard him teach. That was the right thing to do. It was what the Jews’ rules said.

Verse 24 Ropes are what people use to tie someone or something.

Peter says again that he does not know Jesus

25 Simon Peter was still standing there (by the fire) so that he could make himself warm. The other people there said to him, ‘We think that you are one of that man’s disciples.’ But Peter said, ‘No, I am not.’

26 A servant of the priests’ leader belonged to the same family as the man whose ear Peter had cut off. This servant said to Peter, ‘I am sure that I saw you in the garden with him (Jesus).’ 27 Again, Peter said, ‘No.’ And immediately the first bird sang, early in the morning.

Pilate, the Roman ruler, asks Jesus some questions

28 The Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas’s house to the Roman ruler’s big house (called the Praetorium). It was early in the morning. The Jews’ leaders themselves did not go into the house because they wanted to be ‘clean’. They wanted to eat the Passover meal.

Verse 28 During the time that Jesus lived on the earth, the Romans ruled over Israel. The Roman ruler (Pilate) lived and worked in a special house. It was called the Praetorium. It had a big yard inside, where people waited to see the ruler.

The Jews had special rules about who could go to their festivals. They had to keep themselves ‘clean’ and ready for God. So they could not go into the houses of people who did not believe God. If the Jews’ leaders had gone into Pilate’s house, they would not have been ‘clean’ for the Passover.

29 So Pilate went outside to meet them. He asked them, ‘What do you say that this man has done wrong?’ 30 They replied, ‘We would not have brought him to you if he had done nothing wrong.’ 31 So Pilate said to them, ‘You yourselves take him away. You judge him by your own rules.’ The Jews replied, ‘We do not have authority to kill anyone.’ 32 This happened because of what Jesus had said earlier. Jesus had told them how he would die. So, what he had said had to happen.

Verse 31 The Jews’ leaders wanted to kill Jesus. But the Romans did not let them kill anyone. Only the Roman ruler could cause his soldiers to kill someone who had done something wrong.

Verse 32 The Romans fixed a person on to a big cross of wood to kill him. Then they let the person hang there until he died. Jesus had said that people would ‘lift him up’ [John 3:14] [John 8:28] [John 12:32] . This is what he meant. And when Jesus said something, it had to happen.

33 Pilate returned into his big house (the Praetorium). He told Jesus that he must come to him. Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ 34 Jesus said, ‘Is that your own idea, or have other people spoken to you about me?’ 35 Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew! It was your own people and their most important priests who brought you to me. What have you done?’ 36 Jesus said, ‘My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it did, my people would have fought. They would have fought so that the Jews could not take me. No, my kingdom is from another place.’ 37 Pilate said to him, ‘So do you mean that you really are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is you are using the word “king”. I was born and I came into the world for only one purpose. I came to tell people what is true. Everyone who loves all true things hears my voice.’ 38 Pilate said, ‘I do not know if anything is really true.’

Verse 36 A kingdom is a place where a king rules. Or, it is the people and things that he rules over.

Then Pilate went out again to the Jews. He said to them, ‘This man seems to have done nothing wrong. I have no reason to punish him. 39 But every year we do something for you Jews. We let one man go free from the prison at the time of your Passover. Do you want me to let the king of the Jews go free?’ 40 They shouted their answer, ‘No, we do not want him! We want Barabbas!’ (Barabbas was a man who had robbed people.)

Chapter 19

1 Then Pilate told the soldiers that they should take Jesus outside. He told them that they should hit Jesus many times with a whip.

Verse 1 A whip is something that people use to hit animals (like horses or cows). It causes the animals to go faster. The Romans used whips to punish people.

2 The soldiers took some branches that had sharp points all over them. They made the branches into a circle that they put on Jesus’ head. Then they took a dark red coat (like a king’s coat) and they put that on him. 3 The soldiers came to him and they hit him with their hands. While they were hitting him, they said to him, ‘Hello, great King of the Jews!’

4 Pilate went outside once more. He said to the crowd, ‘Look, I will bring him (Jesus) out here to you. So now you will know that I cannot find any reason to punish him.’ 5 So Jesus came out, with the circle of branches on his head. He was wearing the dark red coat. Pilate said to them, ‘Look. Here is the man!’ 6 When the most important priests and the officers saw Jesus, they shouted, ‘Kill him! Kill him on a cross!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take him yourselves, and you kill him on a cross. I find no reason why anyone should punish him.’ 7 The Jews answered, ‘We have a rule. That rule says that he must die. He must die because he said, “I am the Son of God”.’

8 When Pilate heard that, he was even more afraid. 9 He returned into the big house (the Praetorium). He asked Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus did not answer. 10 Pilate said to him, ‘Are you refusing to speak to me? Remember that I have authority. I can let you go free, or I can let them kill you on a cross.’ 11 Jesus answered, ‘You could have no authority against me unless God had given it to you. So, the man who sent me to you has done a worse thing. That man has done a worse thing than you have done.’ 12 From that moment, Pilate tried to let Jesus go free. But the Jews shouted back, ‘If you let him go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Nobody should say that he himself is a king. Anyone who says that is Caesar’s enemy!’

13 When Pilate heard those words, he brought Jesus outside. Pilate sat down on a special seat, where he judged. The seat was in a place called ‘Gabbatha’ in the Jews’ language. There were large flat stones there, which covered the ground. 14 It was about 6 in the morning on the day when they prepared the Passover meal. Pilate said to the Jews, ‘Here is your king!’ 15 But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Kill him on a cross!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Do you want me to kill your king on a cross?’ The most important priests answered, ‘Caesar is the only ruler that we call king.’ 16 Then Pilate gave Jesus to them, so that they could kill him on a cross.

Verses 12 and 15 Caesar was the ruler of all the countries that the Romans had beaten. He ruled from Rome city itself (the capital of the country that we call Italy now).

Verse 14 ‘It was about 6 in the morning’. Many Bible teachers think that John means midday. But Mark 15:25 says that the soldiers fixed Jesus to the cross at 9 in the morning. So other Bible teachers think that John means 6 in the morning here. (That would be Roman time. See note about John 1:39.)

They fix Jesus to a cross

17 Jesus went out to the place called ‘The Place of the Skull’. This place is called ‘Golgotha’ in the Jews’ language. He was carrying his own cross.

Verse 17 A skull is the bone in a person’s head. The place was called that because they killed people there.

18 They fixed him to the cross with nails (short, sharp pieces of metal) and then they lifted the cross up. They put two other men on crosses with him, one on each side of him. Jesus was between them.

19 Pilate wrote a notice, and then he put it on the cross. It said: ‘Jesus from Nazareth, the King of the Jews’. 20 The place where they put Jesus on the cross was near to the city. So, many of the Jews read this notice. They could read it because Pilate had written the words three times. He had written it in the Jews’ language and in the languages called Roman and Greek. 21 The Jews’ most important priests said to Pilate, ‘Do not write: the King of the Jews. Instead, write: This man said, “I am the King of the Jews”.’ 22 Pilate answered, ‘I will not change what I have written.’

23 After the soldiers had put Jesus on the cross, they took his clothes. They made them into 4 parts, one part for each soldier. Also, they took his coat, which somebody had made from one piece of cloth. It was not several pieces of cloth that somebody had put together. 24 So they said to each other, ‘We will not tear it. Instead, we will play a game. The person who wins the game will have the coat.’ This happened because the Old Testament says:

            ‘Each of them took some of my clothes.

            They played a game to win what I was wearing.’

So, that is what the soldiers did.

Verse 24 See Psalm 22:18.

25 Some women stood near to Jesus while he was on the cross. They were his mother, his mother’s sister - Mary the wife of Cleopas - and Mary Magdalene (Mary from Magdala). 26 Jesus saw his mother. Also he saw the disciple that he loved. That disciple was standing near Jesus’ mother. So Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ 27 Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time, the disciple took her to live in his own home.

Jesus dies

28 Now Jesus had done everything that God had sent him into the world to do. Jesus knew this. So, because of what it says in the Old Testament, he said, ‘I want a drink.’ What it says in the Old Testament had to happen. 29 There was a pot full of cheap wine there. So the soldiers put a cloth into the wine. They fixed the cloth to the end of a branch. The branch was from a plant called hyssop. Then they lifted the cloth up to Jesus’ mouth. 30 Jesus drank the wine. Then he said, ‘I have finished it.’ Then he bent his head down and he let his spirit go.

Verse 28 See Psalm 22:15. David wrote Psalm 22 many years before Jesus was born. But it describes the time when Jesus was hanging on the cross. It describes how Jesus would feel then [Psalm 22:1-21] . God had already told his people everything that would happen to Jesus.

A soldier puts a spear into Jesus

31 It was a Friday - the day when the Jews prepared themselves for the Sabbath day. And that Sabbath day was a very important one. The Jews did not want the dead bodies to stay on the cross on the Sabbath day. So they asked Pilate to speak to the soldiers. The soldiers would break the legs of the men who were on the crosses. Then they could take the dead bodies down from the crosses.

32 So the soldiers went there. And they broke the legs of the two other men who were on the crosses next to Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, he was dead already. They saw that he was dead. So they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers put a spear into Jesus’ side. Immediately, blood and water came out. 35 The man who saw this has spoken about it. What he says is true. He knows that it really happened. He says this so that you can believe. 36 This happened because of what the Old Testament says. It says:

            ‘Nobody will break any of his bones.’

And what the Old Testament says must happen. 37 And, in another place, the Old Testament says:

            ‘People will look at the man whose body they have made a hole in.’

Verse 31 That Sabbath day was a very special one. It was the day when the Jews ate the Passover meal.

The Jews’ rules said that a dead body must not remain ‘on the tree’ all night [Deuteronomy 21:23] .

A person who was dying on a cross would use his legs to push his body up. This helped him to breathe, so that he could live for a longer time. If the soldiers broke the person’s legs, he would die more quickly.

Verses 34 and 37 A spear is a long piece of wood or metal that has a sharp point at the end. Roman soldiers used spears when they fought against enemies.

Verse 36 See Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20.

Verse 37 See Zechariah 12:10.

Joseph buries Jesus

38 After that, a man asked Pilate if he could take Jesus’ dead body away. The man was called Joseph. He came from the town called Arimathea. He was one of Jesus’ disciples, but that was a secret. It was a secret because he was afraid of the Jews’ leaders. Pilate told Joseph that he could take the dead body. So Joseph went there and he took it away. 39 Nicodemus, the man who, earlier, had visited Jesus at night, went with Joseph. Nicodemus brought about 100 pounds of spices called myrrh and aloes. 40 The two men covered Jesus’ dead body with these spices. And they put long pieces of cloth round it again and again. That is how the Jews prepare a dead body before they bury it. 41 There was a garden at the place where they killed Jesus on the cross. In that garden there was a new tomb, where nobody had ever put a dead person. 42 The next day was the JewsSabbath, and this tomb was near. So, they put Jesus there.

Verse 39 Spices are oils or powders that have a lovely smell. The Jews used them on dead bodies. They stopped the dead bodies getting a bad smell.

Chapter 20

The tomb is empty

1 Early on the first day of the week, Mary from Magdala went to the tomb. It was still dark. She saw that someone had removed the big stone from the way into the tomb. 2 So she ran to where Simon Peter was. He was with the other disciple, the one that Jesus loved. She said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb. And we do not know where they have put him!’

3 So Peter and the other disciple started to go to the tomb. 4 Both of them were running. But the other disciple ran faster than Peter ran. So he reached the tomb first. 5 He bent himself down and he looked inside the tomb. He saw the long pieces of cloth that were lying there. But he did not go in. 6 Simon Peter had run behind the other disciple. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb. He saw the long pieces of cloth that were lying there. 7 Also, he saw the piece of cloth that had been round Jesus’ head. This was not in the same place as the other pieces of cloth. Someone had put it carefully in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, went inside also. He saw and he believed. 9 They still did not understand what the Old Testament says. It says that Jesus had to become alive again. After he had died, he had to become alive again.

Verse 9 See Isaiah 53:10-12; Psalm 16:10; Hosea 6:2.

Jesus appears to Mary from Magdala

10 Then the disciples returned to their homes. 11 But Mary stood outside the tomb. She was crying. While she cried, she bent herself down to look inside the tomb. 12 She saw two angels who were wearing white clothes. They were sitting where Jesus’ dead body had been. One angel was sitting where Jesus’ head had been. The other angel was sitting where his feet had been.

13 They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ 14 She replied, ‘They have taken away my Lord. And I do not know where they have put him.’ When she had said this, she turned round. And she saw a man who was standing there. It was Jesus, but she did not recognise him. 15 Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?’ She thought that he was the gardener. So she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, please tell me. Tell me where you have put him. Then I will take him away.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned towards him and she said in the Jews’ language, ‘Rabboni!’ (This means ‘Teacher’.) 17 Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me because I have not gone up to the Father yet. But go to my brothers (the disciples). Tell them, “I go up to my Father. And he is your Father. He is my God, and he is your God.” ’ 18 Mary from Magdala went to the disciples. She said to them, ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Then she told them what he had said to her.

Jesus appears to his disciples

19 On the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the disciples were all together. They had locked the doors of the room because they were afraid of the Jews’ leaders. Then Jesus came and he stood among them. He said to them, ‘Be without trouble in your minds and in your hearts.’ 20 After he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were very, very happy when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said again, ‘Be without trouble in your minds and in your hearts. As the Father sent me, in the same way I am sending you.’ 22 When he had said this, he caused air from his mouth to blow on them. And he said, ‘Receive God’s Spirit. 23 If you forgive a person’s sins, God will forgive them too. If you do not forgive them, God will not forgive them.’

Jesus shows himself to Thomas

24 One of the 12 disciples was called Thomas. He was not with the other disciples when Jesus came. (Thomas was also called ‘the Twin’.) 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But Thomas said to them, ‘I will never believe that unless I myself see him. I want to see the marks of the nails in his hands. I want to put my finger where the nails were. I want to put my hand into the hole in his side. I will not believe unless I do those things.’

Verse 24 Twins are two children who were born at the same time to the same mother.

Verse 25 Nails are short pieces of metal with sharp points at the end.

26 Eight days after that, the disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. They had locked the door. But Jesus came and he stood among them. He said, ‘Be without trouble in your minds and in your hearts.’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger in here. Look at my hands. Put your hand in my side. Do not refuse to believe, but instead, believe.’ 28 Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord, and my God!’ 29 Jesus said to him, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Other people have not seen, but they do believe. And God will be good to those people.’

The purpose of this book

30 Jesus did many other miracles while the disciples were with him. I have not written about them in this book. 31 But I have written about these things, so that you will be able to believe. You will be able to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And when you believe, you will be able to live. You will be able to live because of who he is.

Chapter 21

Jesus shows himself to the disciples again

1 After that, Jesus showed himself to the disciples again. They were by Lake Tiberias. This is how it happened. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, and Nathanael (who came from Cana in Galilee) were together. They were with the sons of Zebedee (James and John) and two other disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to the other disciples, ‘I am going to catch fish.’ They replied, ‘We will come with you.’ So they went out and they got into the boat. But they caught nothing during that night.

Verse 1 Lake Tiberias is another name for Lake Galilee.

Verse 2 Twins are two children who were born at the same time to the same mother.

4 Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore. But the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus asked them, ‘Friends, have you caught any fish?’ They answered, ‘No!’ 6 He said, ‘Throw your net out on the right side of the boat. If you do that, you will catch some fish.’ So they threw the net out. Then they caught so many fish that they could not pull the net into the boat.

7 The disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord’, he put on his coat. (He was wearing only a very few clothes.) Then Peter jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed him in the boat. They pulled the net that was full of fish behind them. They were not far from the shore. It was about 100 metres away. 9 When they came to the shore, they saw a red fire there. Some fish were lying on the fire. There was some bread there, too. 10 Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’

11 Simon Peter got into the boat and he pulled the net on to the shore. It was full of big fish. There were 153 fish. There were so many fish, but the net did not tear. 12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’ None of the disciples was brave enough to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew that it was the Lord. 13 So Jesus went and he got the bread. Then he gave it to them. And he did the same with the fish.

14 This was the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples. After Jesus had died, he had become alive again. And this was the third time that he showed himself to them.

Verses 6, 8 and 11 A net is a big bag with small holes in it. People use it to catch fish.

Jesus talks to Peter

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus spoke to Simon Peter. He said, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ Peter answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs (young sheep).’

Verse 15 ‘More than these’ may mean ‘more than other things’ (like catching fish). Or perhaps it may mean ‘more than other people (the other disciples)’.

16 Jesus asked him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ 17 Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was sad because Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ So he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I do love you!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep. 18 I am telling you what is true. When you were young, you got yourself ready. And you went to any place that you wanted to visit. But when you are old, it will be different. You will hold out your arms and someone else will tie you. Then they will take you where you do not want to go.’ 19 Jesus was speaking about how Peter would die. It would show how great God is. Then Jesus said to Peter, ‘Follow me.’

Verses 16 and 17 To ‘look after’ someone means to be good to them. It means to keep them safe, as a shepherd keeps his sheep.

Verses 15-17 Jesus asked Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ Earlier, Peter had said three times that he did not know Jesus. He had said that three times before Jesus died. This may be the reason why Jesus asked the question three times.

Verse 18 Jesus was telling Peter that Peter would die on a cross, with his arms on each side. He would die in the same way that Jesus had died.

20 Peter turned round. He saw another disciple. It was the disciple that Jesus loved. This disciple was following them. He was the man who had been very near to Jesus at the supper. This disciple had asked Jesus, ‘Lord, who will sell you to your enemies?’ 21 When Peter saw this disciple, he asked Jesus, ‘Lord, what will happen to him?’ 22 Jesus answered him, ‘Perhaps I might want him to live on the earth until I return. But it does not matter to you. You must follow me!’

23 Then people began to talk about these words that Jesus had said. People who believed Jesus began to have a wrong idea about this disciple. They thought that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say, ‘He will not die.’ Instead, he said, ‘Perhaps I might want him to live until I return. But it does not matter to you.’ 24 This is the disciple who spoke about these things. This is the disciple who wrote them down. And what he said is true. We know that.

25 Jesus did many other things also. If people wrote down all those things, there would be many, many books. I do not think that the whole world could contain all those books.

Word List

ancestor
ancestors are people centuries ago that your grandparents’ grandparents were born to.
angel
spirit being (a being is a person or animal that is alive). Good angels come from heaven. They are God’s servants and they bring messages from God to people.
baptise
to put a person into water to show that he or she wants to obey God.
Baptist
a man who baptises people.
breathe
to get air in through the mouth.
Caesar
Caesar was the ruler of all the countries that the Romans had beaten. He ruled from Rome city itself (the capital of the country that we call Italy now).
Christ
the special man that God sent to save his people.
circumcise
to cut off the skin that covers the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part.
cross
a piece of wood that someone has fastened across another piece. People put Jesus on a cross to kill him.
Dedication
when you give something to God for him to use.
Devil
the leader and the worst of the bad angels; God’s enemy, who is also called Satan. A devil (or demon) is a bad spirit that is the Devil’s servant.
Didymus
the other name of one of Jesus’ 12 special disciples; Didymus means ‘the Twin’. Twins are two children who were born at the same time to the same mother.
disciple
a person who believes and obeys Jesus; someone who wants to learn from Jesus and to be like him.
donkey
an animal like a small horse.
enemy
someone that wants to hurt or attack you; someone that wants to do bad things to you.
family
family included father, mother and children; it might also include grandfathers and those who had been born before them. The 12 families of Israel included everyone who belonged to Israel’s people.
festival
(also called feast) - a special time when Israel’s people came to worship God at Jerusalem. They remembered something that God had done on their behalf. There were several festivals during every year.
Festival of Tabernacles
this festival continued for a week. The people built houses from branches and they lived in these small houses during the festival. This helped them to remember what God had done many years before. A long time before, their ancestors had left Egypt and they had lived in houses like this.
forgive
when God (or another person) chooses to forget the wrong things that we do.
Greeks
people who come from the country called Greece. When Jesus lived on the earth, Greek people lived in many places outside Greece.
harvest
the time when people bring in the fruits and other food from the farmers’ fields.
hate
to strongly or completely not like something or someone. To hate is the opposite of when you love something or someone.
heart
the place deep inside a person where they feel things. For example, they may feel happy or sad, or brave or afraid.
heaven
the place beyond the earth where God and Jesus Christ live.
Holy One
the special person that God has chosen; another way to say ‘Messiah’.
Jew
someone who is born from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their children. The ancestors of the Jews were first called Israelites (Israel’s people). They were the sons of Jacob (Israel). Many years after that, God sent almost all of the Israelites away. Only the people from Judah’s family group remained. So they started to be called Jews.
judge
to say what is right or wrong, good or bad; also to say how to punish people who have done wrong things.
kingdom
a place where a king rules, or the people and things that he rules over.
lamb
young sheep. John the Baptist called Jesus ‘God’s Lamb’. Israel’s people killed young sheep so that God would forgive their sins. Jesus Christ was God’s Lamb, who came to die on our behalf. He came to save us from sin.
Levite
a man from the family of Levi. Levi was one of the sons of Jacob. We can read about this family in Exodus and Leviticus, and in 1 Chronicles 23:28-32. Levites worked in God’s Great House (the temple), but they were not priests.
look after
be good to; keep safe, as a shepherd keeps his sheep safe.
Lord
master; another name for God. It means that he is greater than everyone else.
messenger
a person who brings a message.
Messiah
the special person that God had chosen to save his people - Jesus Christ. The Messiah was a man that God would send to save Israel’s people. They thought that he would come to send away the Roman soldiers. They thought that he would be a king like David. They believed that he would make sick people well too. The prophets had said that he would be born in David’s city, Bethlehem.
miracle
a great thing, like when a dead person becomes alive again or a sick person becomes well; a thing that only God can do.
money-changers
these people bought and sold coins.
mud
material from the ground and water that you have mixed.
nail
a short, sharp piece of metal.
net
a big bag with small holes in it; people use it to catch fish.
Old Testament
the first part of the Bible; it describes events before Jesus’ life on earth. This was the only part of the Bible (called the Scriptures) that the people had during Jesus’ life on earth.
olive
a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people used to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light. They used it in other ways too.
palm
a tree with big leaves.
Passover
the time (festival) each year when the Jews remembered how God had brought them out of Egypt. He told them that they must put a young sheep’s blood on the wood round their doors. So then the angel that killed all the oldest sons of Egypt’s people passed over the houses of Israel’s people.
Pharisees
a group of Jews who were very careful to obey all the rules that God had given to Moses. They had many other rules also, that they thought were very important. They did not like people who did not agree with them.
power
what someone is able to do, or what someone has authority to do.
priest
a man from Levi’s family group, who worked in God’s Great House (the temple) in Jerusalem.
prophet
person who speaks words from God. In the Old Testament, the prophets often spoke about what would happen in future times.
punish
to hurt someone, or to cause trouble for them, because they have done wrong things.
Roman
a person who came from Rome city (in Italy). When Jesus lived on the earth, the Romans had a very powerful army. They ruled Israel and many other countries.
rope
long thin piece of material; people use it to tie things together.
Sabbath
the seventh day of the week. God told Israel’s people that they must rest on this day.
Satan
the bad spirit who wants to be God. He is the ruler of bad angels and of everything that is bad. He is the enemy of Christians. Another name for Satan is the Devil.
sheep
Jesus uses this word to mean people that he wants to be good to.
shepherd
person who keeps sheep safe.
sin
what makes us sinful. Sin has authority over every person who is born into this world. When we come to Christ, he stops sin’s authority over us. Sins are the wrong things that people do.
sinful
when a person does not love or obey God. All people are born sinful, with their spirits dead to God. As a result, they cannot really know God or be friends with him. Sinful things (sins) are the wrong things that sinful people do.
skull
bone in head that gives it its shape.
Solomon’s Porch
a part outside the Great House of God. People often met together there to listen while someone taught them. Only the priests could go into the Great House of God. Other people remained outside.
spear
a long piece of wood or metal that has a sharp point at the end. Roman soldiers used spears when they fought against enemies.
spices
oils or powders that have a lovely smell.
spirit
the part of a person that will always be alive. It will be alive even after their body is dead. Our spirit is the part of us that receives God’s Spirit. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and his angels. And there are bad spirits, like the Devil (God’s enemy) and his angels.
synagogue
a building in each town, where Jews met to pray. They also met to study and to worship God.
thirsty
a thirsty person wants or needs a drink.
tomb
a place where people bury dead bodies. Jesus’ tomb was a big hole in the rock.
trust
to believe that someone will do the right thing.
twin
twins are two children who were born at the same time to the same mother.
vine
a kind of plant that has many small, sweet fruits called grapes. People make wine from grapes.
wheat
a kind of plant; people make bread with the seeds.
whip
something to hit people and animals with; people made it out of very long and very thin pieces of material with something sharp at the end. People hit a person with it to punish them.
wild place
a place where people do not usually live.
wine
a drink that people make from small, sweet fruits called grapes. It contains alcohol.
worship
to love and to thank someone (God) more than anyone else.

Book List

B. Newman and E. Nida ~ A Handbook on the Gospel of John ~ UBS

Eight Translations of the New Testament ~ Tyndale Press

A. Marwill ~ The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

B. Milne ~ The Message of John ~ IVP

J. C. Ryle ~ Expository Thoughts on John

L. Morris ~ The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospel According to John ~ Marwill, Morgan & Scott

Various Bible versions

Info

© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2008

This version published September 2008

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.