What intrigued my attention was the post here and the answer by user25930 listing a lot of passage from New Testament about tribulation, end of days and second coming of Jesus Christ but he could mention only one passage from Gospel of John (John 14:3) which states that - "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

So, in the Gospel of John, there is no mention of tribulation, end of days or to says the Coming of Jesus in glory in the clouds.

Eschatology was so central to first century Christians and also to Jews of those time. This also was core to Evangelist preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.

I am particularly curious concerning the reasons behind omiting this subject altogether in the Gospel of John.

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    @NigelJ A focused question about an entire book is just as good as one on a specific verse. There are many other questions on the site about entire books
    – b a
    Nov 15, 2019 at 12:22
  • You might find John Aston's, Understanding the Fourth Gospel and the related essays, John's Gospel and the Intimations of Apocalyptic edited by Catrin Williams and Christopher Rowland, interesting as they speak to the apocalyptic nature of the Fourth Gospel. Nov 15, 2019 at 19:36
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    Perhaps John thought eschatology was so important that he'd write another whole book on the topic :-)
    – cdjc
    Nov 19, 2019 at 18:43
  • The real question is not whether John's gospel teaches eschatology, but rather how it understands the term. John's approach is unique in many ways, this particular aspect being merely one of them. Thus, God's kingdom comes only through baptismal spiritual rebirth (3:3-16), so as to avoid damnation (3:17-21), its nature being of another world altogether (18:36-38). The judgment and resurrection unto eternal life are detailed in 5:21-30, 6:27-69, 10:9-11, 10:27-30, 12:24-25, 12:31-33, 12:46-50, 16:8-11, 17:2-3, etc.
    – Lucian
    Aug 19, 2021 at 2:35
  • Synoptic One of the tags listed is "synoptics." However John is not one of the synoptic Gospels; only the other three are synoptic. This is because they are mainly historical and biographical in nature. The Gospel of John is of a different genre. Its style and essence is more theological (or some would say apologetic/philosophical) See John 20:30-31 for the purpose of his writing this book.
    – ray grant
    2 days ago

4 Answers 4


I found just the right theological journal article Eschatology in John's Gospel for your question, authored by W. Robert Cook (Western Seminary, d. 2015), published in Criswell Theological Review (1988). The article addressed:

  1. The apparent "discontinuity between the eschatology of the Synoptic Jesus and the eschatology of the Johannine Jesus"
  2. Additional verses in John that are eschatological

The main point of the journal article is to explain how the Gospel of John presents eschatology "Christologically" as well as emphasizing the "already fulfilled" dimension more than the "not yet completed" (as in Revelation). At any rate, if we believe John to write both the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, it makes sense to separate the 2 dimensions into two books, where each book will have a different focus. Also, since the other gospels were already in circulation, why repeat the treatment that other books already cover? The Gospel of John is known to have a very different narrative strategy than the Synoptics, so once John decided on that strategy combined with the goal of presenting Eschatology described above, it makes sense that it comes off to us very differently, yet pointing to the SAME Jesus from another angle.

From the conclusion:

When allowed to speak for itself, the text of John's Gospel has a significant eschatological message for the church. There is no question that it is multi-dimensional in that it speaks to both the "already" and the "not yet" of Christian revelation. It also includes reference to both I the above and the below, the heavenly and the earthly. Further, John points out the implications of eschatological truth for both the believing and the unbelieving. One may reject the implications of eschatological truth, but that person may not escape its ultimate realities.

Eschatological truth in John is basically Christological. For the most part it issues from Jesus' teaching and, to a large degree, focuses upon him. Whether the subject be death, heaven, judgment, eternal life, resurrection, or Christ's return, he is directly involved.

Finally, eschatological truth in the Gospel of John is preeminently practical. It is immediate and fundamental, bearing on everyday life. The possession of eternal life transforms this life and the life to come from mere existence to ultimate meaning and significance (12:25). The haunting and destructive fear of both physical and spiritual death are remedied in Jesus Christ (5:24; 11:25-26). Death will not have the final say because he will raise each one who believes in him (6:39-40, 44). Hope, which provides life with perspective and focus, is ours in the anticipation of being with him and beholding his glory in heaven (14:3; 17:24). God's wrath (judgment) is the assured but not necessary anticipation of all who reject Christ (3:36). His return offers relief to the troubled and faint of heart (14:1-3).

As John records elsewhere in response to our Lord's promise, “I am coming soon," so we repeat with the church through the ages, "Come, Lord, Jesus" (Rev 22:20).

  • I am writing this comment with gratitude to you for providing me a helpful resource on "Eschatology in John's Gospel". This is very helpful and insightful. Thank you once again. Nov 19, 2019 at 13:36

The answer to this is a fairly simple one if you keep in mind John's purpose for writing.

John 20:30-31 (KJV) 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John's gospel is written so as to bring a person to Christ. It records the details that will bring a person to accept the two-fold nature of Jesus as the Christ (The Messiah) and who is also the Son of God. That means his purpose is primarily evangelistic in nature.

The synoptic gospels are not primarily evangelistic even though they have been called gospels.

Matthew paints a picture of Jesus as King and it deal with the postponement of the literal Messianic kingdom. That is why Matthew records the most about eschatology in the Olivet discourse.

Mark paints a picture of Jesus as the suffering servant with links back to the suffering servant songs in Isaiah. As a doulos (slave) there would be no need for a genealogy. By tradition Mark was written to people in Rome so it also records very little eschatology.

Luke was written to show Jesus as the Son of man. In Luke's prelude he also points out that historical accuracy is his goal so he includes more details than Mark but not as much as Matthew when it comes to the subject of eschatology.

Another aspect of all the gospels is that they are partially directed at individuals who already claimed to have a relationship with God and so Jesus clarified that having a relationship with God meant having a relationship with Jesus. That means some of the content is directed at people who were supposedly already saved and therefore it is not referring to how a person gets saved. Getting this part wrong can lead one to easily mistake the role of works in salvation.


John has a new interpretation not found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke of the kingdom of God. Chapter 18 verse 36. The kingdom is not of this world. Jesus says this to Pilate only in John. The gospel of John was the theological answer to explain away the failed “this generation” prophecy of the second coming found in the others. John also does not include the prophecy Jesus gave to Caiphus that the high priests he was being judged by would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.

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    Dec 21, 2023 at 4:44

So, in the Gospel of John, there is no mention of tribulation, end of days or to says the Coming of Jesus in glory in the clouds.

Because it would overreach. Jesus' ministry was not in heaven. It was on earth.

John's writing is the most discerning. Too much splendor would only further highlight Jesus' embarrassing death.

There is the usual misconception about Jesus; an endeavoring man who purposely delivered the world from sin, instead of a withdrawn man who acceded to the pressures of a messiah-hungry crowd.

The damage had already been done and the ascension wouldn't fix it.

  • @NigelJ That John wrote nothing about the ascension is even more remarkable. He did not present a cosmic agenda but focused on quality.
    – Ilyadovi
    Nov 15, 2019 at 17:59
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    @NigelJ Instead of leaving a comment like that, why not suggest Ilyadovi try to include a quote from the book of John (or somewhere else)? Nov 15, 2019 at 21:32
  • Welcome to BHSE! Please make sure you take our Tour. (See "?", upper right). Re: Questions and answers, we'd like to see Biblical text to analyze. Thanks. Nov 15, 2019 at 21:32

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