In the gospel of John, here are a few of the questions that I ask as I read a scene:
- How does this scene demonstrate what we learned about Jesus in the Prolog of John? In other words, how does this scene draw our attention to the beginning of the book? Jesus as the incarnate Word, the source of light and life, the one opposed and misunderstood by his own, but accepted by a few; the one who reveals God; the source of grace and truth.
- How does this scene foreshadow Jesus' "glorification" - his death, resurrection and ascension? In other words, how does this scene draw our attention to the end of the book?
- How is Jesus revealed as the source of life? (related to the first question, but a dominant theme in many scenes)
- Do the closing sayings reveal something? In some cases, scenes end with a saying that helps understand the meaning of the scene.
- Are there any symbolic elements? Perhaps more than the other three gospels, John likes to use symbolism in his narratives. For example, John connects the Feeding of the Five Thousand with the Bread of Life discourse.
The picture: St. John, by an unknown French illuminator, 1425.