THE PURPOSE FOR JOHN’S GOSPEL

Scripture Reading:  John 20:30-31

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”  (John 20:30-31)

John’s stated purpose for writing his book reflects the major themes found throughout his gospel account of the life of Jesus.  First, John’s desire is for us to know that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah.  He uses many Old Testament quotes and shows how Jesus fulfilled these prophecies about the Messiah.  In the prologue of the book (John 1:1-14), John establishes the fact that Jesus is God who came in the flesh.  He came into the world to be the Light that enlightens men and women to God’s truth.

Second, John recorded some of the many miracles Jesus performed.  These miracles were authenticating signs that the many things Jesus said and claimed are true.  John wrote that Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in his book.  He carefully chose the miracles of Jesus which he included in his book to back up Jesus’ claims to be God and to authenticate His teachings.

Third, throughout the book John emphasizes the importance of believing in Jesus.  Faith is essential for salvation.  Of course the best known passage of faith is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  As John concludes the writing of his book, he states:  “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

Fourth, John speaks often of God’s gift of eternal life through His Son Jesus.  He makes it abundantly clear that eternal life is not something we earn or deserve; it is a gift from God which is to be received by faith.  The gift of eternal life is the gift of God’s Son, Jesus: “And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

These themes are essential for a proper understanding of God’s great plan of redemption.  We must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He came to accomplish salvation for His people, those who believe in Him.  John wants us to have assurance of our salvation.  He later wrote three Epistles (I, II, III John) and the book of Revelation, all of which were written to lead us to assurance of salvation.

Lord Jesus, I know You are the Christ, the Son of God.  I believe that You are the only way to eternal life.  Thank you for the gift of eternal life and for the assurance of my salvation.

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