‘And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can *come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more (John 6:65, 66).
Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” Then Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (vv. 67-69).”’
Jesus spoke many words, and John the Apostle described Him as ‘the Word.’ – the very Word that spoke the world into being (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 11:3). His word and words are powerful beyond measure. Nine times in Genesis 1, we find the formula ‘God said’. God spoke each phase of His creation into being.
We who love Jesus, cherish His words, and many of us commit certain of them to memory. We have our favourites, and perhaps the most loved is: ‘“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”’
I have set out below a selection of what for me are His memorable words, and I’m not surprised that many of them are found in John’s Gospel. John was one of three disciples who were members of an inner circle, which was very close to Jesus (cf. Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-9). Toward the end of his long life, John recalled some of Christ’s words, and recorded them in his gospel, in the hope that readers might come to believe in Jesus (John 20:30, 31), and to have eternal life.
As you would expect, every extract has been taken from at least one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and I have arranged them in that same order.
Matthew 4:4 ‘But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”’
Matthew 5:3 ‘“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”’
Matthew 5:10 ‘“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”’
Matthew 28:18-20 ‘And Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.’
Mark 1:14, 15 ‘Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”’
Luke 2:49 ‘And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”’
Luke 22:42 ‘…. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”’
John 3:3 ‘Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:16 ‘“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”’
John 6:35 ‘And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He who believes in Me shall never thirst.”’
John 7:37, 38 ‘On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,”’
John 8:12 ‘Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”’
John 10:10 ‘“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”’
John 11:25, 26 ‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:43 ‘Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
John 13:34 ‘“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”’
John 14:6 ‘Jesus said to Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”’
John 19:30 ’So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit’
Do you have a favourite? And, if so, what is it? That’s a hard one to answer, but for me, it is the very last on the list, “It is finished!”
For me, it has the greatest meaning; since it records the moment of completion of all the works of Jesus while living on the earth. He had done everything that had been required of Him by His Father to fulfil the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17). Jesus gave absolutely everything He had to give – He gave Himself, as the perfect Man without sin (Hebrews 4:15) in order to accomplish the salvation of His elect.
He could have given no more. He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8) and suffered the most horrendous death on the cross. He placed His faith in His Father, whom He believed would raise Him from the dead (Acts 10:40). Not only did He raise Him, but He exalted Him (Philippians 2:9) to sit at His righthand in heaven (Acts 5:31). There He mediates for His saints (1 Timothy 2:5), and at their resurrection He will draw them to Himself (John 12:32).
In the Greek language of the New Testament, the phrase “It is finished!” is one word [tel-eh’-o], and it means to ‘bring to an end’, and ‘paid in full’. Jesus completed His ministry, and He paid the price for our salvation (cf. Galatians 4:5), i.e., He redeemed us, and set us free from sin and the penalty of everlasting torment (Luke 16:28; Revelation 14:9-11). He has made us to be inheritors of eternal life (Matthew 19:29), and we shall dwell with Him forever in His new earth (Revelation 21:1).
“Praise Him! Praise Him! All you saints.”
* “Come unto Me.” – The Words of Jesus.