I love John’s Gospel. Through reading it I came to know the Lord, and I was convicted of my sin and of His righteousness. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through the words of John. I was convinced that what he said about Jesus was true, and if Jesus died for me there was only one response. Jesus loved me to the extent that He gave His all, and He suffered and rose again from the dead that I may live with Him; therefore I would look to Him for eternal life and live my life in total dependancy on Him.
I recognised repentance meant a turning away from things I had previously cherished, and from thereon I should seek to please Him in the way I lived. That was 34 years ago! Those years have flown by, and when I look back on them I realise how inadequate I have been in living as I should, but Jesus is full of compassion and He has blessed me abundantly. He continues to bless and sustain me, and I love Him for the love He gives me.
He did not leave me in isolation, because His Spirit led me to a local Bible-believing church where I was baptised. Being part of the body of Christ brought responsibilities and service. Worshipping and sharing with others enriched my life and that of my family and friends. In God’s provision, as that church closed down, He led me to worship and fellowship at a different church where I have remained.
God has provided for all the church’s needs, and through those who teach His Word and all who support one another the fellowship has been built up into His knowledge and love. We are grateful for all He has done, and continues to do. At this moment we are looking to Him for the provision of a new elder who will be able to take on a leading role of teaching and pastoring.
The Treasures of John’s Gospel
As indicated in the title I’ll be doing this in two parts. There are simply too many ‘gems’ to cram into one article.
Going through the Gospel from beginning to end; for me, the first ‘gem’ is to be found in Chapter 1, verses 12, 13 – ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’
I don’t think there is anything more wonderful than to be given ‘the right to become children of God.’ This is none of our making; it is the prerogative of God. A lot of people take offence, because it is a clear statement of ‘election’ (Ephesians 1:3-5).
Next, we come to the miracle of changing water into wine – the first of Jesus’ miracles. We read that with this sign, Jesus’ glory was manifested, and ‘His disciples believed in Him’. (John 2:11) This miracle immediately established the supernatural ability of Christ. He transformed the material components of water into those of wine through His own power and by His will. No other person ever did such a thing.
Harking back to my first ‘gem’ which tells of God’s children (1:12, 13), Chapter 3, verses 3-8 explains how they are born, i.e., ‘of the Spirit’. Their birth is not a physical one, but it is spiritual rebirth. Their spirit is made alive by the Holy Spirit (6:63).
In the same Chapter we learn that those who ‘believe’ receive ‘eternal life’ (v 15). We find that because of God’s love for the world He sacrificed His own Son so that believers would not perish (John 3:16). What greater love could there be than for God’s Son to sacrifice Himself for those He wishes to save (v 17)?
In Chapter 4 we discover the true nature of worship which is adoration of the Father ‘in spirit and truth’ (v 23). Worship of Him is a constant process, day and night, by those who adore Him – prayer and action combined. They have that privilege, not through any merit of their own, but because God wants them to worship Him in this way.
The feeding of the five thousand as recorded in Chapter 6, verses 1-14 is a truly remarkable miracle. Jesus demonstrated His ability to supply the physical needs of people. He gave them miraculous food as His Father had given manna to the starving Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16:13-31. He used the occasion to highlight the fact that He is the ‘bread of life’ (vs 35, 51), the ‘bread of God’ who came down from heaven to give life to the world (v 33). He said He who comes to Him will never hunger, and he who believes in Him with never thirst (v 35).
In the same chapter Peter confesses Jesus is the Christ, “the Son of the living God.” (v 69)
Jesus said He is “the light of the world” and he who follows Him will have “the light of life” (8:12). Over and again, He claimed He had been with God eternally, came from God and was God – the ‘I AM’ (8:58; Exodus 3:14). He also said He is ‘the good shepherd’ who ‘gives His life for His sheep’ (10:11, 14).
I’ll have to conclude Part 1 here and continue with Part 2 next time.