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Portraits of Jesus in John’s Gospel

(This was a lesson I prepared a couple of weeks ago for our Giant Slayers class (four boys 5th - 8th grade)


16 names or titles in the first six chapters of the Gospel of John


“The Word” - “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

What does a word do? It communicates. It enlightens. It explains.

When the Word is God, it can do a whole lot more like creating the Universe.

Why did the Jehovah Witnesses change the scriptures?

Men create alternative religions so they don’t have to bow down to Jesus as God, Lord, and King.

Cool thing is the living God of the universe wants to communicate with us. He wants us to know Him and know whatever else is necessary for us to walk with Him and please Him.


“The Light” – “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” John 1:9

What does a light do?

Why do we need a light?

Why would we humans not want to have a relationship with the Light? Jn. 3:19, 20 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”


“The only begotten God” – “…the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” John 1:18

The living God of the Universe has many sons and daughters. But only One who is one with the Father, who has existed with the Father for all of eternity, who is the Word, Light, Life, and can perfectly and completely explain God because He is God.


“The Lamb of God” – “…Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Why is He called the Lamb of God? How can a Lamb take away the sins of the world?


“Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Gen. 22:8


“the Son of God” – “I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:34

John the Baptist knew Him as the son of Joseph and Mary until he baptized Jesus. Read vs. 31-34 “and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

“the” or “a”


“the Messiah” – “He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).” John 1:41

How did they even know to look for expect a Messiah? Isa. 9:6,7; Isa. 7:14; Micah 5:2;

Anointed one or chosen one in O.T. Mashiach = Hebrew word

“Christ” means Messiah or Anointed One in N.T. Greek


“the King of Israel” – “Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” John 1:49

What does a King have that no one else does? Authority.


“The Son of Man” – “And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:55

Why does Jesus call Himself the Son of Man? “The designation Son of Man means, for Jesus, both that he is human as we are, a son of Adam, and that he is the coming Messiah, who has been given authority by the Most High and reigns over his kingdom through his weakness, seen most clearly at the cross.”



“only begotten Son” – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

What does “only” imply?

God only did this once.


“Savior of the world” – “…for we have heard ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:42

What does a Savior do?

Why do we need one?

Who did He come to save?


“God” – “….He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” John 5:18

How did the Jews feel about or interpret what Jesus was saying?

Context: vs. 17-21


“the Son” – “….the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

What is Jesus saying about His relationship with God the Father?


“the bread of life” - “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

What does physical bread do for we humans?

All humans are spiritually hungry. The question is: how are we going to try to satisfy that hunger. It has to be satisfied.


“the living bread” –I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;….” John 6:51

Why do you think Jesus calls Himself the living bread?

What does He mean by “eating of this bread”?

What results?


“Lord” – “.. Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of…” John 6:68

What did Peter mean by calling Jesus Lord?


“the Holy One of God” – “…You are the Holy One of God.” John 6:69

Why did Peter call Jesus this? By this time he had seen Jesus in a lot of different circumstances and situations; he knew He was so different from the religious leaders he had grown up with or known of;


How was Jesus holy? – never once sinned; never once chose to please people instead of pleasing God; never once got off course or distracted with lesser things; never once gave into temptation; lived 100% according to His purpose and the will of God for His life; had no hidden life; secret dark thoughts;

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