Life, and the Book of John



I started reading John at the beginning of November for my personal devotions.  I had been wondering why so many believers hand the Bible to nonbelievers and recommend that they start with the book of John.  It wouldn’t be my first choice of Bible books, or of the gospels, for that matter.  Then God reminded me of John 20:31, sort of the purpose statement for John’s gospel: “These [things] 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.”  And I thought, you know, that’s what knowing Jesus is all about: life. (Heck, that’s what God is all about). With that in mind, I set out to read the book of John and consider this theme of life.  I finished yesterday and thought I’d share some of the verses and thoughts that came up during this study.

Christ is the Source of Life.

“In Him [the Word, Jesus] was life” (John 1:4).

“Whoever believes in Him [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26)

“You [the Jewish leaders] study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.  These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).

“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

“I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“This is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Christ’s life brings light and truth.

“That life [Jesus] was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).

“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:32, 36).

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46).

“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

“The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (John 18:37).

Christ’s life satisfies.

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water … whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 14).

“I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

“Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John  10:10).

The only way we as humans can live full, free, and satisfied lives is in Christ. Knowing and trusting Christ will enable you to live more and more as God intended (even in a fallen world): it will enable you to walk more and more in light and truth, and it will enable you to be more and more satisfied in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.

Maybe that’s why we consider John to be such an important book for unbelievers and even young believers.

To keep this a well-rounded discussion (and so I don’t get accused of preach a prosperity gospel, haha), no one said Christ-life is easy, not even Christ Himself:

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.  Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then He said to him, “Follow Me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them … When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me. (John 21:17-22).