John 20:30-31 The Gospel according to John.
Introduction: This is the beginning of about a 3 year journey through the book of John. I expect to bring some 150 sermons from this Gospel. In this sermon we shall examine the book as a whole, its title, its author, its uniqueness, and its purpose. Normally one would expect that to begin a study of this kind you would begin with the first words of the book. I believe that the best start is to examine the purpose of the book. This purpose is clearly stated by John himself in our text.
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
Let us learn from this text:
The book bears the title “The Gospel according to John”. We shall now undertake to understand this title. We learn from this title that what we are about to read is good news for the word Gospel indicates good news. The apostle Paul by inspiration of God defined for us the Gospel. It is how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This book then is about the Christ. We may expect, based upon this title, that he will tell us who the Christ is and about what he came to do. The title also informs us as to who wrote this book.
II. About the author of this book. Vs. 30 “in the presence of His disciples”
The author of this
book is John the son of Zebedee. He is
one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus.
His mother’s name was Salome.
Salome is believed to be the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus. This would make John a first cousin to Jesus
and also kin to John the Baptist. He is
referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved.
This title indicates his very close personal relationship with
Jesus. It was John whom Jesus asked to
take care of his mother. John out lived
the other 12 disciples and his book was the last of the Gospels to be
written. John was most likely in
III. About the uniqueness of this book Vs. 30 “not written in this book”
Our text indicates
that John did not write all the things he had seen. He ended his book with this
statement “the world itself could not contain the books”. John wrote only those things which he needed
to report in order to accomplish his purpose, which we shall examine in some
detail in a moment. John’s Gospel
contains no parables and only seven miracles five of which are not recorded in
the other Gospels. His book is unique in
the fact that there are a number of personal interviews recorded. Jesus spoke with Nathanael, Nicodemus, the
woman at the well, the nobleman of
IV. About the purpose of
this book. Vs. 31 “ye might believe”
John’s purpose of writing this book is stated simply and briefly. He wrote it that those who read it might believe. John wanted, more than anything, for all people to believe in Jesus. He does not concern himself with the parables which teach us about the
John wanted those who read this book to believe that Jesus is the Christ. The word Christ means “anointed”. The prophets of the old testament foretold the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah they said would come and suffer and die for our sins and would be raised again from the dead. Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. John does not focus on the miracles as proof for as I have said before he only recorded seven. He does not focus on the prophecies which Jesus fulfilled. His focus as proof is the personal conversations Jesus had with certain men and women. He relies on the witness of men and women who met Jesus and were changed. These people such as Nicodemus met Jesus and believed in Him. Today we rely on personal experiences with Jesus to help persuade men to believe in Jesus as the Christ the savior of men.
John wanted men to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is indeed God. He is not “a God” but The God. The first thing John reports in his book concerns the fact that Jesus is Divine. It is not necessary for you to understand all about the deity of Jesus in order to be saved. You must simply believe that he is the savior of all mankind. You must believe that He will save you if you repent and trust in Him.
John wanted all men who read this book to believe so that they might have life. John would quote Jesus in this book when He said “he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live”. Life can only be had through the name of Jesus.
Conclusion: The Gospel according to John was written that men might read it and believe in Jesus and be saved. Will you believe the things written in this book? Will you believe in Jesus Christ that he is indeed the Christ the savior of men? Will you trust Jesus Christ as your savior?