A Final Thought from Our Study of John

When I was a boy, I read a book about the life of Jesus, and it really got my attention. As I thought about it, and as I thought about this Jesus guy, I really had no problem believing that He was the Son of God, and it occurred to me that I should try to be more like Him, but there was one thing about Jesus that kind of bothered me: He cheated!

To my nine-year-old mind, Jesus cheated when He went to the cross because after all, He was God… and He knew how the story was going to end; that’s cheating! It was almost as if it didn’t count if He knew all the things that He clearly knew before He allowed Himself to be taken prisoner. Gee whiz, I would do the same thing if I knew all that stuff.

Yes, to be young again…

When I was a teen, that attitude stuck with me, in fact, I didn’t really see the implication of this until I was n my 30’s; yes Jesus knew how the story ended, and He went to the cross knowing that the story wasn’t nearly over yet. He would suffer greatly for a time, and then…? Victory, honor, glory, reigning…

John says that he wrote the gospel so that many might come to believe in Him, and many have done so, but how deep is our belief? Ah yes, an uncomfortable question, surely, for some of us might believe like I used to, accepting the basic facts, and still holding something back.

My thinking changed one day when reality hit me like a freight train: Yes, Jesus knew how His story would end… and so do I know how my story ends; victory, honor, glory!

Jesus knew He would rise from the grave, and so will I.

Jesus knew He would ascend to Heaven, and so do will I.

Jesus knew He would suffer for a short time, and so will I.

Jesus knew He would reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, and I know that I am co-heir with Him.

Because Jesus knew these things, He did His Father’s will, will I do the same?

Dear reader, this is where we come to the always inconvenient question: Do we really believe that what we believe is really real?

It is one thing to accept the basic facts on an academic or theoretical level, but will we allow them to affect who we are on a fundamental level? Well, will we?

We will if we really believe that what we believe is really real.

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14 thoughts on “A Final Thought from Our Study of John”

  1. Thank you for touching on this. It has also been my thinking for a long time. A good friend of mine says we teach what we know but we impart who we are. The questions you pose require that I examine not what I know but who I am in Christ.

  2. Don,
    Cheating… ha ha ha! Yeah, how about that? Good one.

    Your post makes me think about Jesus saying, “The work of God is to believe in the one He has sent.” Belief is work?

    I guess I see that when I picture Peter saying, “If it’s You, Lord, command me to come to You.” And then Jesus says, “Come.”

    And I think to myself, “Dang! What’d you go and open your mouth for? Now you know what you need to do.” And I have to admit that’s a practice I’m not practicing: seeing what Jesus is doing (Oh, do you believe that’s God over there doing that?) and then asking Him if I can get involved too–because that means I’ve got to do some work, some belief work.

    Thanks for the push out of the boat 🙂

  3. Wonderful way to end the study in John. And a deep question that qwe truly all must answer. Do I really believe all that Jesus promised, and all He has commanded? Do I my pracitice it? Do others see it alive in my life (salt and light)? Am I making disciples?

    In a couple days I will be taking a look at Psalm 23 on blog site petertgardner.wordpress.com. I know, it’s been studied over and over, we all know this one by heart. But I encourage you to come and take a look at what the Lord has been showing me on this one. It is chaining my perspective as I study it, and I’ve preached and taught on Psalm 23 dozens of times. It fits right in line with he questions you ask here. By the way, Psalm 22 will be in two days.

    Thanks, Don. Love your studies.

  4. “Well, will we?
    We will if we really believe that what we believe is really real.”

    I think we think that God has one advantage that we think that we lack: the capacity, the default, the very being of unconditional love. And, no matter how we excuse ourselves – the fall, original sin, Satan, etc. – I think we have that capacity right now.

    I believe (from what I know and have experienced) that we are each born with the capacity of unconditional love – to receive it certainly and also to give it – simply to “be” it – just as God- Jesus- Holy Spirit “is”.

    So in response to your wonderful post, I wonder this … when we truly believe we are capable of – that we do have the capacity for – unconditional love, then everything is possible and nothing is impossible. And THEN we are real.

    1. Yes, I agree. Whatever we might think we lack, or maybe aren’t yet in the place where we have it yet within ourselves, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and with Him in us, what is it that we lack the capacity to do or to be? Yet sadly, for so many of us, the indwelling of the Spirit has yet to pass beyond a mere academic concept and into reality leaving us somewhat less than “real”, as you put it.

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