April 12, 2021

The Book

by Dr. Oliver Wagner

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe…and through believing have life in his name.”
John 20:30-31
That’s a great verse! The author of John’s Gospel pauses in the midst of sharing resurrection stories and tells us why he writes and what he hopes his writing accomplishes in the lives of his readers. As Steve Martin told a verbose John Candy in the classic comedy “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, “Here’s a suggestion: When you’re talking, have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener.”

Why were these things about Jesus written? So that we readers of this book might come to believe “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.” This book is meant to help bring us to faith!

We may ask “why does such faith matter?” Or better, “what benefit comes with our beliefs?” Again, John is intentional and answers our question: believing in Jesus fills you with life.

That’s what the Easter story and season are about….LIFE in the name of Jesus. Life (the Greek word is “zoe”) that is new, full, abundant and eternal. For this Christ came. John 1:4 reads “In him was life and the life was the light of all people.” In this same gospel Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25) and again, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (14:6). When others turned away from following Jesus, Simon Peter said he would remain with him because, “You have the words of eternal life.” (6:68) In John’s gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the life-giver.
Thank you, Eternal Word, for taking on flesh and dwelling among us. Thank you for revealing your grace and truth, light and life, in your life, death and resurrection. Thank you for those who wrote down these amazing signs so that we might read and come faith with all of its blessings. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com