Speaker: Jerry Cisar
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ….
If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons,
even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.” – C. S. Lewis
John’s Gospel wastes no time before demonstrating that testifying to others, asking them to come and see Christ for themselves, is as natural to what the church is as breathing. The other gospels wait until the middle before disciples are sent into the mission field. Not John. It may help us to understand why John does this if we understand John’s purpose.
You’re probably familiar with doubting Thomas, the one who, after hearing about how Jesus appeared to the others, said, “Unless I see the nail marks and put my fingers where the nails were, I won’t believe” (John 20:25). Well a week later, Jesus shows up again.
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:28-31)
John’s intent is to provide people with enough truth about Jesus that they might see Him for themselves when they hear his Gospel. John also knows that all disciples must participate in some way in this spreading of the faith. So John begins this Gospel telling us how faith in Jesus spreads from one person to another through the very encounters that in all likelihood led him to faith (the early church believed that John was the unnamed disciple in the accounts we are studying this week).
Join us this Sunday as we explore 2 key ways that people come to faith in Jesus, and also learn from John how people can encounter Jesus for themselves as we explore John 1:35-51.