Thursday April 16, 2020
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
If you have read through the other three gospels, you may have noticed that John’s account of the life of Jesus is surprisingly light on detail and action. John doesn’t include a proper genealogy, a birth narrative, the sermon on the mount, or any of the parables of Jesus. As far as miracles go, John only includes seven, what he calls signs, with each of them revealing something different about Jesus’ character and nature. For someone who was supposedly in the inner-circle of Jesus, we might wonder why John’s account is so much different than the others?
A few things will help us to understand John’s gospel a little bit better. First, it is important to remember that John’s was the last of the four to be recorded. Mark, Matthew, and Luke, probably in that order, had all been written and widely circulated for several decades before John wrote, so their accounts were already accepted and widely known by John as well as the early church. Therefore, John had the benefit of being able to be more selective, not rehashing the same information as the others but filling in some of the gaps and providing a bit of insider information to a few specific moments in Jesus. Nearly half of his writing was focused on the last 10 days of the life of Jesus, with nearly a full third recording the dialogue of just a few hours on the night before Jesus’ death.
As he tells us right here in the end of chapter 20, John by no means ever set out to write an exhaustive biography of the life of Jesus. John most certainly had an agenda, but it was not at all hidden. The reason he wrote what he did was “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” It can be a bit of a fun exercise to think about all that John and the disciples witnessed. They spent countless hours over the course of three years watching Jesus’ every move, hanging on His every word. There was no one who could have known Jesus better than His disciples, and among the disciples there was no one who knew Him better than John. If there was ever any question about the true nature and identity of Jesus, John was the ultimate authority.
Think of it this way: if I came out today and claimed to be the second-coming of the Son of God, those who know me best would not hesitate to put that nonsense to rest. You would probably not be surprised to learn that things haven’t been all sunshine and roses here at the Kish house these last 6 weeks. If I even began to imply or suggest in any sort of public way that I felt that I was God’s anointed or some such, in a very nice but very direct way, Meagan would be the first to say, “You know what, Dan has been under a lot of stress these last few days, regardless of what he is saying right now, I can guarantee you 100% that he is no a sinless savior.” Then, if she weren’t so nice, she could start to list off some of my recent not-so-godly words and actions to solidify the point.
John, of all people, was in the best position to confirm or deny that Jesus was who He said He was. If Jesus were merely a wise teacher who captivated the masses with quaint stories and pithy sayings, John could have set the record straight, saying “look, I know what you’ve heard, but Jesus never claimed to be anything more than a man; you are sadly mistaken.” Instead, John emphatically says, “Yes!” Jesus is the Christ, Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is the Son of God! All that you have heard, all that has been written and told to you, all of it is true! And because it is true, you can have life when you believe in Him and place your trust in the name of Jesus!
Prayer for Today:
Lord Jesus, our finite, limited minds are only able to comprehend You to the degree to which You have chosen to reveal Yourself to us. There is so much of You that we can never know this side of heaven. Yet, what we do know is that You are the life-giving God. Help us firmly cling to You as our only source of life, to believe in Your name. We thank You for the gift of Your word and the truth that it is, and we ask that You would help us to hide it deep within our hearts. In Your matchless name we pray, Amen.