I am the resurrection and the life - John 11:25


There is something about the structure of John that seems special. Can you elaborate?


Thanks for your question. The structure of every book of the Bible is exceedingly special; they all point to Christ. Please see, "Introductions and Overviews" below.

John too is very special. It has numerous special structural features. Please see, "Overview of the Book of John" below. Moreover, the book itself forms what is called a chiastic structure. Briefly, a chiasm is a poetic device that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and / or emphasis. Please see, "What are Biblical Chiasms?" below.

The book of John contains numerous chiasms. Two which I believe best assist in answering your question are:

(1) The book's overall chiastic structure:

  • A. The first days of Jesus' life (John 1-10)
    • B. "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11; i.e. John 11:25)
  • A'. The last days of Jesus' life (John 12-21)

(2) The chiastic structure of John 11:

  • A. Mary anoints Jesus (John 11:1-2)
    • B. Message sent to Jesus (John 11:3-16)
      • C. Lazarus is dead for four days (John 11:17-19)
        • D. Martha comes to Jesus (John 11:20-24)
          • E. Martha emphasizes her faith in Jesus (John 11:22-24)
            • F. "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25)
          • E'. Martha emphasizes her faith in Jesus (John 11:26-27)
        • D'. Martha comes to Jesus (John 11:28-32)
      • C'. Lazarus resurrected after four days (John 11:33-45)
    • B'. Message sent about Jesus (John 11:46-47)
  • A'. Mary anoints Jesus (John 12:1-3)

So, the amazing structure of John is not by accident. Jesus being the "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) is "a" focal point of his entire gospel (cf. John 1:4; 3:16; 5:21, 26; 6:39; 14:6). John empathizes this fact again in the book of Revelation (cf. Rev. 1:18; 2:8; 22:13).

He is risen, He has risen indeed! He is life, He is life indeed!

Related Links:

Introductions and Overviews of the Books of the Bible
Overview of the Book of John
What are Biblical Chiasms?
We Believe in Jesus

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).