Thursday, November 1, 2012

John 21:23-25

Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple [John] would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:23-25)

As John’s gospel closes, he reminds us that, as an eyewitness of Jesus’ earthly ministry, John can verify the truth of what he has written down. And he assures us that he’s only included a small part of all that he saw. There is no way any book could contain all that Christ did! Here’s where we need to go back to the previous chapter to remember why John recorded what he did:

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)

I know I keep harping on this, but this is where we need to add the action of believing to the mental ascent. If we believe what we’ve read in this gospel, we need to put our faith into action. It needs to make a difference in who we are and who we want to become. It should show up in our behavior, and it should be evident to all who know us, live with us, and work with us.

What did Jesus tell us this would look like? He said that people would recognize His followers by their obedience to His Word (John 14). People would see that we abide in Christ, that He is the source of our strength, peace, and joy. They would see our love and devotion, not only to Christ, but to each other (John 15). We would be people identified by our complete and abundant joy (John 16), and by our unity in purpose as we seek to glorify the LORD (John 17). And to me this year, He has specifically told me through this study that I need be demonstrating forgiveness and reconciliation. This has not been a gentle prompting, but more like a glaring spotlight on my own need! There was nothing subtle about it!

And what is it that we are to believe? That Jesus is the very Word of God, the Creator. He is the living bread from heaven, the light of the world, the gate to salvation, the resurrection and the life, THE way, THE truth, and THE life. He is the Son of God and God the Son. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Now that just makes me want to shout “Hallelujah!”

We are finished with this book for now. But it has become such a dear source of wisdom and strength to me, I’ll be back here OFTEN! I’m not sure where I’ll be going next, but I’m open to suggestions. Please pray with me for guidance on where exactly the LORD would have me turn in His Word.

We live in such perilous and significant times. As we see the devastation on the East Coast from hurricane Sandy, and we look forward to the election next week, let’s all be in prayer for God’s hand to be on our nation, that we would humble ourselves and turn to Him, and that our leaders would be godly. Pray for those who have lost so much in the past 48 hours! And, of course, let’s do what we can, as God enables us, to actually provide for needs of those affected.

Thanks for joining me in John!  

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