Thursday, October 18, 2012

John 20:30-31

I cannot believe we are almost at the end of the Gospel of John! There is only one chapter left! So you would think John would not throw in these final verses we find in John 20 until the very end, because they look like a closing:

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)

John was very selective in the things he chose to include in his gospel, because there was so much material to choose from. Everything he chose to include in here was written with that one purpose in mind: that we might believe!

In this instance, he specifically refers to the fact that Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of his disciples. So, in addition to appearing out of nowhere in His resurrected body, He performed other miracles before them. They were eyewitnesses!  In fact, John says Jesus performed MANY other miracles. But THESE, that are recorded in John so we might BELIEVE!

You might be wondering now, why I’m making such a big deal out of this. Well, the reason I chose to study John at all this year was because of the visit we had late last year from a dear young woman, who told us that she really did not have a belief system anymore. She wasn’t sure what she believed – and I don’t think she thought it mattered WHAT she believed. She seemed convinced, like so many in the world today, that we all are worshiping the same God anyway. You see, she had been hurt by the church. She felt rejected by the very people who should have been loving her, after she divorced her first husband. She felt judged. And so, she turned away.

It made me so sad to see. And I wanted to turn her focus away from all those sinners in the church, and back to Jesus. Only Jesus is perfect. Only He never lets us down! John’s gospel completely focuses on Jesus – who He is and what He accomplished. It’s the gospel written to promote believing. That’s why, whenever someone is new to the faith, or is still in a state of seeking, we generally point them to start their Bible reading in his gospel. If you want to know who Jesus is, this is the book that says it best. John wanted us to BELIEVE CORRECTLY “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing [we might] have life in His name.” Peter concurred with John:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Biblical believing is not just giving mental assent to a set of facts. It is a commitment to, reliance upon, and trusting in Christ alone. It is the kind of believing that causes one to worship!  

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