The Gospel Of John Is On Believing!
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.
John could not end his book without bringing the Resurrection miracle to his own readers. We must not look at Thomas and the other disciples and envy them, as though the power of Christ’s resurrection could never be experienced in our lives today. That was why John wrote this Gospel—so that people in every age could know that Jesus is God and that faith in Him brings everlasting life.
It is not necessary to “see” Jesus Christ in order to believe. Yes, it was a blessing for the early Christians to see their Lord and know that He was alive; but that is not what saved them. They were saved, not by seeing, but by believing. The emphasis throughout the Gospel of John is on believing. There are nearly 100 references in this Gospel to believing on Jesus Christ.
You and I today cannot see Christ, nor can we see Him perform the miracles (signs) that John wrote about in this book. But the record is there, and that is all that we need. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”(Rom. 10:17; and note 1 John 5:9-13). As you read John’s record, you come face to face with Jesus Christ, how He lived, what He said, and what He did. All of the evidence points to the conclusion that He is indeed God come in the flesh, the Saviour of the world.
The signs that John selected and described in this book are proof of the deity of Christ. They are important. But believing in miracles does not save sinners; they are saved by believing on Jesus Christ. Many of the Jews in Jerusalem believed on Jesus because of His miracles, but He did not believe in them! (John 2:23-25) Great crowds followed Him because of His miracles (John 6:2); but in the end, most of them left Him for good (John 6:66). Even the religious leaders who plotted His death believed that He did miracles, but this “faith” did not save them (John 11:47).
Faith in His miracles should lead to faith in His Word, and to personal faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus Himself pointed out that faith in His works (miracles) was but the first step toward faith in the Word of God (John 5:36-40). The sinner must “hear” the Word if he is to be saved (John 5:24).
There was no need for John to describe every miracle that our Lord performed; in fact, he supposed that a complete record could never be written (John 21:25). The life and ministry of Jesus Christ were simply too rich and full for any writer, even an inspired one, to give a complete record. But a complete record is not necessary. All of the basic facts are here for us to read and consider. There is sufficient truth for any sinner to believe and be saved!
The subject of John’s Gospel is “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” He presented a threefold proof of this thesis:
- Our Lord’s works,
- Our Lord’s walk, and
- Our Lord’s words.
In this Gospel, you see Jesus performing miracles; you watch Him living a perfect life in the midst of His enemies; and you hear Him speaking words that nobody else could speak.
Either Jesus was a madman, or He was deluded, or He was all that He claimed to be.
While some of His enemies did call Him deranged and deluded, the majority of people who watched Him and listened to Him concluded that He was unique; unlike anyone else they had ever known.
How could a madman or a deluded man accomplish what Jesus accomplished?
When people trusted Him, their lives were transformed! That does not happen when you trust a madman or a deceiver.
He claimed to be God come in the flesh, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. That is what He is!
John was not content simply to explain a subject. He was an evangelist who wanted to achieve an object. He wanted his readers to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved! He was not writing a biography to entertain or a history to enlighten. He was writing an evangel to change men’s lives.
“Life” is one of John’s key words; he uses it at least thirty-six times. Jesus offers sinners abundant life and eternal life; and the only way they can get it is through personal faith in Him.
If sinners need life, then the implication is that they are dead. “And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Salvation is not resuscitation; it is resurrection (John 5:24). The lost sinner is not sick or weak; he is dead.
This life comes “through His name.”
What is His name?
In John’s Gospel, the emphasis is on His name “I AM.” Jesus makes seven great “I AM” statements in this Gospel, offering the lost sinner all that he needs.
Eternal life is not “endless time,” for even lost people are going to live forever in hell. “Eternal life” means the very life of God experienced today. It is a quality of life, not a quantity of time. It is the spiritual experience of “heaven on earth” today. The Christian does not have to die to have this eternal life; he possesses it in Christ today.
The ten disciples were changed from fear to courage, and Thomas was changed from unbelief to confidence. Now, John invites you to trust Jesus Christ and be changed from death to eternal life.
If you have already made this life-changing decision, give thanks to God for the precious gift of eternal life.
If you have never made this decision, do so right now!
He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has eternal life [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.”
John 3:36 (AMP)
Father, thank you for the resurrection of Jesus and the promise of our own eternal life through faith in him. Thank you also for John and his faithful record of the works and words of Jesus. May we not only believe and receive but also share this clear record of life with others.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Transformed