John 1

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 107–8


timeline

Introduction

John began his testimony in a different manner than other Gospel writers. Rather than starting with Jesus’ genealogy, Annunciation, and birth, John focused on the premortal Christ as the “Word of God” and divine Creator. John 1summarizes many of the themes developed in the rest of the book. It testifies of Jesus Christ’s divinity and His central role in our Heavenly Father’s plan.

Prayerfully study John 1and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 15–17, 29.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for John 1.

John 1:1–3. Jesus Christ was a member of the Godhead before He came to earth.

(15–20 minutes)

Take a baseball (or other ball of a popular sport in your area) to class. Ask:

  • How much is this ball worth?

  • How would the value of the ball change if it were signed by members of a world championship team?

  • How might knowing the history of something increase our appreciation of its value?

  • Could this principle be true of people as well as objects?

Have students read John 1:1–3looking for who is described. Ask: How does knowing this history increase our understanding of His importance?

Give students the following true-false test to help them understand the Lord’s premortal greatness.

  1. 1.

    Jesus created this earth.

  2. 2.

    Jesus created worlds without number.

  3. 3.

    Jesus was the firstborn spirit of our Father in Heaven.

  4. 4.

    Jesus was a God before He was born on this earth.

  5. 5.

    Jesus was the one who established the covenant with Abraham.

  6. 6.

    Jesus was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

  7. 7.

    Jesus appeared to Moses in the burning bush.

  8. 8.

    Jesus helped the children of Israel escape from Egypt and parted the Red Sea.

  9. 9.

    Jesus gave the Ten Commandments to Moses.

  10. 10.

    Jesus is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament.

Correct the quizzes with the class (all the statements are true) and discuss any questions they have. Share the following quotation from Elder James E. Talmage:

“We claim scriptural authority for the assertion that Jesus Christ was and is God the Creator, the God who revealed Himself to Adam, Enoch, and all the antediluvial patriarchs and prophets down to Noah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of Israel as a united people, and the God of Ephraim and Judah after the disruption of the Hebrew nation; the God who made Himself known to the prophets from Moses to Malachi; the God of the Old Testament record; and the God of the Nephites. We affirm that Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the Eternal One” (Jesus the Christ, 32).

Ask students: Why do you think the Creator of the world would choose to come into mortality as a baby born in a humble manger? Have students read 1 Nephi 11:14–22and share their feelings about God’s love as shown in the birth of Jesus Christ.

John 1–3. The Lord’s titles teach us about His life and mission.

(25–30 minutes)

Bring a loaf of bread, a lightbulb, a glass of water, and a rock to class. Ask: How are each of these objects symbolic of the life of Christ? (You could use John 4:10–15; 6:48; 8:12; Jeremiah 2:13; and Helaman 5:12to show how these objects can symbolize Christ.)

Have students read John 1:1–3, 14; the Joseph Smith Translation of John 1:1–3, 14; and Doctrine and Covenants 93:8–10, looking for why John calls Jesus Christ “the Word.” (Possible answers include that Jesus is the “messenger of salvation” [D&C 93:8], that He personifies the gospel, that He carries out the word of the Father, and that He created the earth under the direction, or word, of the Father.) Have students look quickly through the first three chapters of the Gospel of John searching for titles for Jesus Christ, and write them on the board. (The following list is included for your convenience and is not comprehensive.)

Encourage students to watch for titles of Jesus as they study the New Testament and consider what each one teaches about the life and mission of the Savior.