The Structure of John 12 - Conclusion of Jesus' public teaching.

  • You can view or print a pdf of the structure here: The Structure of John 12
  • It contains my translation of the passage, highlighting key words and showing the structural features discussed below.

For a fuller notes, and a video of me teaching this in much more detail see:

This passage forms a conclusion to what is commonly called the “Book of Signs” (John 1–12), matching the prolog in chapter 1.

In John 1, Philip introduced Nathaniel, an “Israelite in whom there is no guile” to Jesus, and here he introduces Gentiles.

But the most pointed parallel is with the ideas of:

  • Jesus being the Word
  • Jesus is the light, shining in the darkness
  • He comes to his own, but his own receive him not.

Structural elements

The passage is highly structured, with both formal and informal chiasms. It can be broken down into seven segments, although the central ones are someone fluid:

  1. Mary Anoints Jesus (1–11)
  2. Large Crowd Welcomes Jesus on a Donkey (12–19)
  3. Some Greeks appear—the hour has come! (20–26)
    • Notice the pattern of three statements, with the third taking us to a climax
  4. Now is the hour (27–32)
    • Three more occurrences of the “pattern of three’s”
  5. Choose to walk in the light! (33–36a)
  6. Most refused to believe (36b-43)
  7. Jesus’ Final Challenge (44–50)