That You May Believe
The Gospel of John is unique to say the least. It is very different than the synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke) in its pattern and structure of the events that occurred in Jesus’ life. Do not misunderstand me. The essence of John’s gospel is the same as the other three: Jesus committed no sin, was crucified for our transgressions and He rose from the dead to grant us salvation!However, the means by which John gets to the end is interesting when compared alongside the synoptics. For instance, Matthew, Mark and Luke record several parables Jesus told. John does not record any of the parables we read of in the other gospels. Does this mean that the synoptics are false? No! Rather, John’s focus is elsewhere and he tells us what his purpose in writing in towards the end of the book: “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name”(Jn. 20:30-31).
John records only 7 miracles of Jesus. Jesus, of course, performed many more mighty and awesome deeds as recorded in the synoptics but John only lists seven particulars for a specific purpose. He wants his audience to know that they have more than enough evidence in these miracles he calls “signs” to fully believe and trust Jesus. John acknowledges that Jesus did many more than what he recorded but the things he did write were powerful enough that it would prompt one (or it should) to acknowledge Jesus as God and to submit to His will. Let’s appreciate the fact that what John undertook served not only for the benefit of those people in the 1stcentury but it has also served us tremendously. I wonder, however, how many of those that received John’s message found the evidence that he had gathered and witnessed himself to be satisfactory. How many people have we known and talked with that refuse to find the evidence in the bible enough for their lives? How many souls are living today who reject these signs and they beg for more? My question is what more could they want? What else is lacking in scriptures that we could possibly want?
This was the attitude of the rich man in Luke 16. Finding himself in Torment after passing from this life, he pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers who are still alive on earth. Abraham tells him that they have Moses (The Law) and the prophets. Yet the rich man says that will not be enough but if they see a dead man from the grave they will believe. The rich man is like so many people today. We have the answers we need and the evidence (proof) we so desperately crave in the Bible which is the word of God. Yet, when we read it and hear it, we refuse to submit to it and adhere to God’s command because it’s just not what we thought it would be.
The signs John recorded, if received for what they were, could turn a skeptic into a believer of Jesus. Those who would acknowledge the truth and believe in Jesus as the Son of God would have access to eternal life. You see to live in this world does not mean having a full home, a full stomach and a full heart of whatever we so desire. To truly live is to know Jesus as the Son of God, to love Him and seek Him just as He loves us to the point, He died for us. If we really want something more than that then my friends, I have to ask what more could one possibly desire that for the everlasting love of God? If we choose to reject God’s love for us, then we will regret it forever as the rich man did. He learned the hard way. He lived as his heart desired on the earth and he was not satisfied with God’s word. Being in Torment, he wishes he could return and make amends, but he can’t because it is too late. Hell is truth seen too late! There is still time for us. Have you looked at these signs and these evidences? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Have you submitted to Him so that you may live forever? Don’t make the same mistake the rich man did. Obey Jesus and serve Him all the days of your life.