That You May Believe John's epilogue balances out the prologue to his Gospel and brings it full circle, pointing us back to 1:1 where we were introduced to the eternal Word who took on flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is glorious, and John wrote about Him to show who He is. When we believe in Him as the Christ, the Son of God, we have life in His name.
"Do You Love Me?" What do you do when you sin? Like Peter, we often deal wrongly with our guilt, either trying to ignore it or somehow atone for it. Jesus comes to us as gently as He did to this wayward disciple, reminding us that the gospel is just as powerful to keep us as it was to save us.
The Power of God for Salvation "The Gospel is the power of God for salvation" (Romans 1:16). It is the message that was revealed to the Apostles who saw the risen Lord and that was written down in order "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name."
Jesus is the one who is called "Faithful and True" (Rev. 19:11). Because He kept His promise to lay His life down and to take it up again, "all the promises of God find their 'Yes' in Him" (2 Cor. 1:20). Not only did King Jesus deliver on His promises through His finished work, but as He appears as the risen Lord, He continues to deliver on His promises to this day. He does so through His followers as He has commissioned and empowered them for their gospel-spreading mission.
Throughout His public ministry, Jesus told His disciples repeatedly that He would be crucified, buried, and be raised the third day. John reports two scenes at the empty tomb, and two fulfilled promises that once again reveal the majesty and authority of King Jesus.
The writer of Hebrews says that our Lord Jesus Christ left the glory of heaven and took on humanity "that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." He did this by tasting death Himself. Yet, even the grave could not hold the Son of God. The King who conquered death offers us eternal life in Him.
The cross is the culmination of the mission for which Jesus was sent by the Father, and for which He willingly came into the world to accomplish. To those who are still dead in their trespasses and sins, the cross of Christ is the sad end to a misguided idealist. But to those who have eyes to see, it is the height of glory as God's plan of redemption is completed in the death of His Son.
Even as Jesus is delivered over into the hands of wicked men to be crucified, His majesty and authority are displayed as He fulfills multiple prophetic Scriptures concerning the Messiah. He leaves no doubt that He is indeed the Christ, the Son of God, and as such, the only Savior for men and the King of kings who is worthy of all glory.
God's love for sinners was displayed in detail as His Son was rejected and condemned. Jesus was neither a victim of circumstances, nor what some have called 'cosmic child abuse,' but the One who declared His own authority to lay down His life and to take it up again. Because He was willingly condemned to suffer and die, there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
As Jesus is led before Pilate, it becomes clear very quickly that it is not He who is on trial. He is the sinless, sovereign, supreme King, and His kingdom is not of this world. It is a kingdom defined by truth-the truth that sets men free. Pilate's response to Jesus was typical of the unbelieving world...how will you respond to the King?
Many think that Jesus was a victim of circumstances; a good man who found himself embroiled in controversy that led to a sad end. But nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus displayed His authority over nature, sickness, sin, and even death. Once again He displays His authority by orchestrating His own arrest.
It seems that almost everyone in the world (and in the church) is constantly calling for unity. Unity among Christians is indeed not only God's desire, but His command; and it is one of the primary requests the Lord Jesus is bringing before the throne of grace on behalf of His own. But what exactly does this unity look like, and what is the basis for it? Jesus answers these questions and more in the third and final request of His high priestly prayer.
Christians are to be “in the world, but not of the world.” That statement stands true, and the basis for it is found in this wonderful request from the Lord Jesus on our behalf. He asks the Father that we might be sanctified, or set apart, from the world for the express purpose of reaching that world with what they desperately need and only we can give them: the truth that can set them free.
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