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So You May Believe

So You May Believe

30 November 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Jim Stephens

Scripture: John 20:30-31 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. (John 20:30-31 NLT)

In GraceNotes this year we’ve been working our way slowly and I hope carefully through two of the Gospels: Matthew and John. John makes it clear here at the end of Chapter 20 that his very specific purpose in writing this eyewitness account of Jesus’ ministry and death and resurrection is that we who read it may continue to believe and that by believing we will have life—life now and life eternal through faith in his identity and the power of his name.

John doesn’t address as many of Jesus’ teachings and parables, and also doesn’t tell of all the miracles and events, that the other gospel writers covered in their stories. The other gospels are called the “synoptic” gospels because they cover much of the same material, the same events, and teachings.

John’s Gospel is different for a couple of reasons:
• John had, no doubt read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, because those gospels were written much earlier: Mark first, around 55 AD, then Matthew, around 60 AD, then Luke wrote around 60-65 AD. Luke and Matthew had drawn heavily from Mark’s gospel in their accounts. Now John, writing after most of the other eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and ministry had passed on, and having the benefit of the other gospel accounts, writes his eyewitness account in around 85 or 90 AD.
• John wrote not to give a comprehensive account of all Jesus’ teachings and miracles, but to focus his view of the story on one thing: John wanted us to believe that God loves the whole world, and that Jesus is God, present in the world, and that by believing in Jesus as Messiah, Son of God, Son of Man, we could have eternal life through faith in his name.
• I’m so glad that John wrote his Gospel, aren’t you?!

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for loving the world, our world, and us in the world, so much that you sent Jesus to live and die and rise again so that we could have eternal life. Thank you for each of the Gospel stories, and today thank you especially that John wrote this Gospel so that we could believe and that believing, we can have life in his name! Amen!

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