Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word
1In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2He existed in the beginning with God.
3God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4The Word gave life to everything that was created,*1:3-4 Or and nothing that was created was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything.
and his life brought light to everyone.
5The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.*1:5 Or and the darkness has not understood it.
6God sent a man, John the Baptist,*1:6 Greek a man named John. 7to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14So the Word became human*1:14a Greek became flesh. and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.*1:14b Or grace and truth; also in 1:17. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.*1:16 Or received the grace of Christ rather than the grace of the law; Greek reads received grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,*1:18 Some manuscripts read But the one and only Son. is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants*1:19 Greek and Levites. from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”
21“Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” he replied.
“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”*1:21 Greek Are you the Prophet? See Deut 18:15, 18; Mal 4:5-6.
22“Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”
23John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”*1:23 Isa 40:3.
24Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”
26John told them, “I baptize with*1:26 Or in; also in 1:31, 33. water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”
28This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
Jesus, the Lamb of God
29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.*1:34 Some manuscripts read the Son of God.”
The First Disciples
35The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39“Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”*1:41 Messiah (a Hebrew term) and Christ (a Greek term) both mean “anointed one.”).
42Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”*1:42 The names Cephas (from Aramaic) and Peter (from Greek) both mean “rock.”).
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses*1:45 Greek Moses in the law. and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
47As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
48“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
49Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
50Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.*1:51 Greek going up and down on the Son of Man; see Gen 28:10-17. “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.”
The Wedding at Cana
1The next day*2:1 Greek On the third day; see 1:35, 43. there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.*2:6 Greek 2 or 3 measures [75 to 113 liters]. 7Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
9When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10“A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
11This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.
Jesus Clears the Temple
13It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”*2:17 Or “Concern for God’s house will be my undoing.” Ps 69:9.
18But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.
Jesus and Nicodemus
23Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
1There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,*3:3 Or born from above; also in 3:7. you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.*3:5 Or and spirit. The Greek word for Spirit can also be translated wind; see 3:8. 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.*3:6 Greek what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You*3:7 The Greek word for you is plural; also in 3:12. must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man*3:13 Some manuscripts add who lives in heaven. “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. has come down from heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.*3:15 Or everyone who believes will have eternal life in him.
16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave*3:16 Or For God loved the world so much that he gave. his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.*3:21 Or can see God at work in what he is doing.”
John the Baptist Exalts Jesus
22Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.
23At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. 24(This was before John was thrown into prison.) 25A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew*3:25 Some manuscripts read some Jews. over ceremonial cleansing. 26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
31“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.*3:31 Some manuscripts do not include and is greater than anyone else. 32He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! 33Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
1Jesus*4:1 Some manuscripts read The Lord. knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2(though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.*4:9 Some manuscripts do not include this sentence. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,*4:20 Greek on this mountain. where our ancestors worshiped?”
21Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”*4:26 Or “The ‘I Am’ is here”; or “I am the Lord”; Greek reads “I am, the one speaking to you.” See Exod 3:14.
27Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
34Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe*4:35 Greek white. for harvest. 36The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
Many Samaritans Believe
39Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
46As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. 47When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
48Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
49The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
51While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.
Jesus Heals a Lame Man
1Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,*5:2 Other manuscripts read Beth-zatha; still others read Bethsaida. with five covered porches. 3Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.*5:3 Some manuscripts add an expanded conclusion to verse 3 and all of verse 4: waiting for a certain movement of the water, 4for an angel of the Lord came from time to time and stirred up the water. And the first person to step in after the water was stirred was healed of whatever disease he had. 5One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God
16So the Jewish leaders began harassing*5:16 Or persecuting. Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
19So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
24“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
25“And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.*5:27 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. 28Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
Witnesses to Jesus
31“If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. 34Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. 35John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. 36But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.
39“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
41“Your approval means nothing to me, 42because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. 43For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God.*5:44 Some manuscripts read from the only One.
45“Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”