You May Have Life In His Name
Read John 20:30-31 (ESV)
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.
According to John, how can we have eternal life?
When a writer sits down at a keyboard or puts pen to paper, they have a specific reason for writing. It’s called the author’s purpose. A reporter writes a piece in the newspaper to inform the people of a current event. A novelist writes a work of fiction to inspire and entertain. I am writing to you to help you have a deeper understanding of Scripture as we look closely at a certain passage each day.
The Gospel writers each had a distinct purpose for writing their account even though they each focused on the same subject—Jesus. Matthew wrote primarily to the Jews. His purpose was to show them that Jesus is the promised Messiah and he used significant portions of Old Testament Scripture to prove his point. Mark wrote primarily to Gentile Christians to provide them with an accurate biography of Jesus with a theme of discipleship throughout. Luke set out to write “an orderly account” (Luke 1:3). Luke diligently recorded more details than the other accounts and wanted to “compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us” (Luke 1:1) He wanted all people, both Jew and Gentile, to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all people.
In today’s verses, John explained his purpose for writing his account. He knew he couldn’t write down every single sign or wonder that Jesus ever did. He said in John 21:25 that “were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” Instead, John carefully selected the miracles that best presented Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God so that his readers would put their faith in Him and receive eternal life.
As we’ve studied John’s Gospel account thus far, we noticed this emphasis. John opened with a bold statement of Jesus’ preexistence: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God” (John 1:1). He also focused on John the Baptist’s prophetic testimony that proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29). In just the first chapter, John made sure that his readers know that Jesus is one with God and that he is the Lamb of God they were waiting for. The Lamb who could take away the sins of the world once and for all.
John recorded Jesus repeatedly telling the people that He came to give them life. Most famously 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.” But also in John 10 when He compared Himself to the door of the sheep and the Good Shepherd. He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus reassured Martha that Lazarus would rise from the dead yes, but that He is “the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
It is my hope and prayer that as we have worked our way through John’s Gospel you have seen that Jesus truly is the Son of God and that He really is the Messiah, our Savior. If you have never placed your faith in Him, what are you waiting for? “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). In Christ, you can have life in His name. I urge you—believe in Christ and receive everlasting life today!
Lord, I know that I have sinned against You and without You, I am dead in my sins (Ephesians 2:1). But I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God and because I believe in You, I know that I will have everlasting life in Your name. Amen.
Reveal: Like John’s purpose for writing his Gospel account, our life’s purpose should be to tell others that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Tell someone you know how to receive everlasting life today.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford