20:30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
We've talked about the theme of light and darkness in John's gospel. We've talked about the theme of Jesus reaching out to and loving everyone regardless of nationality, religion, gender etc... We've talked about Jesus being the great I Am: I Am the bread of life, the water of life, the Word, the light of the world, the door, the good shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Messiah, and before Abraham was, I AM.
What we haven't touched on a lot is what the major theme of the book is. The one consistent thread that is woven through the entire gospel is the theme of believing.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"This is the work of God, that you believe on the One He has sent". John 6:29
In fact here is a staggering statistic for you. The word 'believe' occurs 229 times in the new testament, 86 of those occurrences are in the gospel of John. 86 times in only 21 chapter John talks about believing. That more than 4 times per chapter. Now as John is nearing the end of his account of the life and ministry of Jesus he just lays it out. He says I did not write this all down in an effort to tell you everything Jesus did. I have one goal and purpose. I wrote down what you need to know in order to believe in Him and by believing to have life in His name.
Those words are not a conclusion of chapter 20 but an intro to chapter 21. As we will soon see chapter 21 is about men who lost their faith, not faith in God or Jesus, but faith in the possibility that they could still be His.
Every place where I have been a pastor I have encountered people who are still hanging around the edges of faith, encouraging their children and grandchildren and everyone else to believe but deep down have lost hope that Jesus can rescue them from themselves, from their past, from their failures, and from their guilt.
The common denominator is that they are all basing their hope or lack of hope on the reflection in their mirror. John desperately wants to smash the mirror and have us turn to the Light, enter the Door, see the Lamb, eat the Bread, drink the water, and leave ourselves in the care of the Good Shepherd. He knows all about it, whatever it is, because He's been around longer than Abraham and He has it all covered.
Happy are those who believe. Happy are they who find their life, their worth, their hope in Him...
See you tomorrow