Good Afternoon Dear Church,
I hope you are doing quite well today! As you all know, this coming Sunday we’ll be starting our journey through the book of John together. As one author has said, “The gospel of John is a book in which an elephant can swim but a toddler can splash.” It is a book that the most learned of scholars can read, then sit back and, scratching his head, say, “Well, I wonder what THAT means?” Yet simultaneously, a child with only the vaguest understanding of what any words mean at all can piece together that simple but saving sentence, “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) Can we really say this with integrity though? Who did John write for?
Well, we see John’s answer in John 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.” I think it is an all important fact that the word, “believe” here is in the present tense. In other words, it is not only that we might start believing, but that also that we might continue believing. So, the Gospel of John is written for the new Christian who is just starting their journey with Christ, who has been born again, whose eyes are opened by the flash of brilliant glory of Christ. It is for the Christian who is so eager to share Jesus with the world that they trip over themselves with excitement over the good news! It is for the non-believer who desperately wants to know, “Who is this Jesus?”
It is also for the Christian of many years, worn out and worn down by the many sorrows of this present age, whose backs are permanently bowed over with the trials and toils of life, who have been through the ringer and are going back again for a second helping. In other words, John has encouragement and light and life for those of us who are tempted towards a critical spirit, cynicism, discouragement, and melancholy. It is for the person who says, “Is Jesus really enough for tomorrow?”
In other words, the Gospel of John gives us a picture of Jesus that edifies and encourages wherever we are at in our spiritual walk. Who is the Gospel of John for? The Gospel of John is for you.
And this is one of the MANY reasons that I am thrilled to walk through it with you all, starting this Sunday at 9:30.