These last two verses of the book of John could easily be overlooked as just the way John closed the chapter and his gospel. But when you think about what he said in these two verses, there is still a message we can take away and learn.
It is my belief that nothing written in the bible is without a meaning and a purpose. Likewise nothing that happens in the lives of the people of God is without a plan and a purpose, even and sometimes especially the bad things that happen.
So these couple of verses also tell us something in what they say as much as in what they do not say. Let’s have a look and a think about these words for just a few minutes.
Testimony of John
John says the following in these two verses.
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
First John is testifying that he was the eyewitness to all the things Jesus did. And we know that many times when Jesus went apart from the masses or went off to do certain things He typically took with him Simon Peter, James and John. So first of all we know that the testimony of John concerning the many things Jesus did was not second hand and was not passed down from other people. He was there and saw it with his own eyes.
In his words that, “… We know his testimony is true…” We can indeed trust the words John had to say because he was there. And we also know there is a blessing on those who believe without seeing, (John 20:29) who believe the testimony of a trustworthy source, such as John. So we are blessed when we receive and believe his words.
Many Words Written
John also says in the final verse that there were many other things that The Lord did and if all those things were written the world could probably not contain the books that would be written.
This is a great understatement! When you consider that the accounts of the life of Jesus spans the gospels, and these can be read in a relatively short period of time, how do they possibly capture all that The Lord did during His time on earth? The period of His ministry ran for a little more than three years and it does not take three years to read about the life of Jesus in the bible.
But the bible was never intended to give us a blow by blow, minute by minute account of everything The Lord did. It couldn’t. The news services of today look at every possible detail of an event and every angle and then analyse them to the point of boredom. The bible was never intended to be like the daily news, but it is absolutely as relevant or even more relevant than the news of the day because it teaches us the way of life.
The bible gives us an account of the life of Jesus with all the information we need to understand what is needed for us to find salvation. There is enough detail in the gospels and the following letters about Jesus and His ministry to allow every person to find the way to be saved.
That is the key and the purpose of the visitation of Jesus. He came to set us free and to provide the way of salvation. We do not need a world full of books about the life and times of The Lord to achieve what is important, which is to come to Him and be saved. In fact if there were a world of books it would complicate rather than assist. Where would you start the journey to salvation? How would you find the necessary truth in a sea of books? It would be nearly impossible.
But in the Bible, and especially the New Testament we see the life of Jesus, the message of the Gospel and the path set before us in a way that we can follow and so be saved, not through what we do, but through what Jesus did for us.
Besides all of this we should listen to the words of Solomon who tells us that we should not have “many words” and that they are a problem more than a help. In Ecclesiastes 5:7 he says, “For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.” Vanity, waste, uselessness is the domain of many words.
The bible is deliberately succinct to enable us to understand. And The Lord does not want to see or hear us waffle on with lots and lots of pointless words, as Jesus himself showed when speaking about prayer. He said in Matthew 6:7, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
The Bible has everything we need. We do not need anything added to it. It is all there if you are willing to look for it. And if you cannot find what you need, pray and The Lord will show you the answer. He wants His people to understand the truth. He wants you to find the true path of salvation and to be free from sin, free from law and able to walk in the Spirit and walk in love as Jesus walked in the love of the Father.
This now ends my studies in the Gospel of John. In the next post we will begin looking at the book of Acts.
(Picture sourced from stock.xchng taken by Billy Alexander)
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