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Encountering Jesus: John Remix

As we finished up John’s gospel, we spent one final Sunday surveying some of the major themes from John.  John writes the gospel for us to believe in Jesus and find life in Him.

1.The Cosmological and Historical Threads of John:  In the Prologue, John helps us to see there are two parallel planes that give perspective on the drama of John. The cosmological plane is God’s perspective and necessary for the reader to have in order to fully grasp all that God intends to do. The historical plane is the time, space and place that the story unfolds in. Why is this such a big deal? It’s in this, that we see the sovereign spiritual work of God unfolding in physical time and space. The implication is that as our physical lives unfold in the context of this particular time and space, they do so interwoven with the spiritual work that God is doing. You may feel that COVID-19 is disrupting your life. I won’t argue with that, but it is NOT disrupting God’s plan or work within you. This means that this season isn’t in vain, it’s meaningful. This means that the struggle in our lives isn’t senseless it’s sanctifying. It means that the change in front of us doesn’t have to scare us, but can fill us with hope.

2. The Deity of Jesus on Display: The second theme that we discussed was that of Jesus’ deity on display. John wrote the book so we would believe that Jesus is God. We shouldn’t be surprised to see a number of elements in the book pointing us toward the fact that Jesus is God. We see Jesus’ incarnation. We see Jesus being rejected by His people, but that’s because they failed to recognize Jesus’ divine nature. That’s seen throughout the gospel – Jesus’ preeminence over creation, Jesus’ being the source and giver of life and the multiple references to Him being God. For us to fully embrace all that John is doing in his book, we must see his intent to display the deity and divinity of Jesus to the reader.

3. We Believe and Have Life in Jesus: Given that John wants us to believe that Jesus is God, we should quickly identify his desire that we believe in Jesus. Specifically, our belief is both in the fact of Jesus’ Godhood as well as our need for Him to rescue us from sin. Our belief is meant to align us to God as well as giving our allegiance to God. When this happens, we experience the life that Jesus came to give us. Life in Jesus is eternal life. But eternal is not simply a chronological term, it also refers to the quality of life in Jesus. He gives us abundant life. That abundance is not primarily measured in material or financial ways. Jesus is not a means to an end, He is the end! If all you got was Jesus, would that be enough?

4. We Embrace the Transformational Work of Jesus in Our Lives: The gospel of John highlights numerous transformational works of God in people’s lives. The disciples, John the Baptist, the Samaritan woman, the blind man, Nicodemus, the woman caught in adultery and many more are radically transformed by Jesus! This is the hope of the gospel, that we are transformed from rebellious sinners into sons and daughters of God! That happens because of the transformational work of Jesus! Where is God transforming you? How is God causing you to look more and more like Him?

5. We Have the Role of Witness: Finally, we finished with the theme of our role as witness. As Jesus transforms people, He then invites them to showcase what He has done. From the “come and see” invitation of chapter 1, to “I once was blind and now I see” profession of the blind man, the role of witness runs deep in John. In the same way that these different characters pointed others to the God who had transformed them, we too are to function as witnesses. We’re to point people to Jesus and the work that He does in us. How might God be calling you to function as a witness in this season?

I’d encourage you to reflect and mediate on these questions and what God might be asking or calling of you.

Questions:

1. In what ways do I need to be reminded that God is sovereignly orchestrating His spiritual purposes in physical time, space and place?

2. When have I last marveled at the incarnation?

3. Is my belief causing me to be aligned as well as to give my allegiance to Jesus?

4. Am I embracing or fighting the transformational work that Jesus wants to do in me?

5. Am I playing my role as a witness?