Day 20 of the 21 Day Challenge
The resurrected Lord’s announcement to his disciples is “Peace be with you!” (19,21,26) I would also argue that when Jesus calls Mary by name, he offers her peace as well. A result of the resurrection is Peace. The victory over death is ultimately what will bring reconciliation and peace to the entire world. God’s redemption agenda is ultimately made possible because the grave couldn’t hold Jesus. Peace, or as the Hebrew word “Shalom” means “Peace, Wholeness.” That wholeness, not previously available because of the brokenness of sin, is made possible in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (see also, Colossians 1:20)
My thoughts for today turn to John’s Gospel as a whole. John gives a summarizing statement to his writing: “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.” (20:30-31)
John’s intention of writing is so people would believe in Jesus Christ and have life in his name. We’ve gone through quite the journey to get to this point. John has painted a beautiful picture of who Jesus truly was. The question is for those who have gone through this text, if you haven’t responded to Christ, will you now? Will you believe in Jesus and respond to that belief in obedience? Will you seek out a community of believers (a church) who will cultivate and encourage that belief in Jesus?
The time to respond is now. Thomas, he wouldn’t believe until he touched the wounds of Christ. But Jesus tells us “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (29) Jesus is talking about me. I haven’t seen him, but I choose to believe. He’s talking about the Church over the last 2000 years, those who believe, even though they do not see. The Bible teaches us that one day, “every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2) The question is, will you believe in response to this Gospel? Will you believe in Jesus now or later? Jesus offers us an incentive for believing now, blessings. He does not elaborate specifically of what that blessing is, but with the help of Peter, we see that that at least one of those blessings is joy. 1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Are you filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy? Do you want to be?
Genuine joy is available to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
We’ve been reading the book of John with a few questions in mind: what does John reveal about Jesus, what do we learn about Godliness from the text, how does it apply to our world and how does it apply to our life.
In summary, we learn that Godliness is Jesus, and Jesus is Godliness. When we want to know what a God-honoring manner of life looks like, we look to Jesus. What John ultimately reveals about Jesus is that Jesus truly is the Messiah the Son of God. The Gospel of John is an overwhelming discourse on the character, nature and identity of the Messiah.
Ultimately, the application for all of us is belief. There is nothing of benefit here for those who do not choose to believe in Jesus. The New Life in Jesus is available for those who believe. If people refuse to, there is no life in him, period.
What will our response be to the Gospel of John, is it faith and belief?
We have one more day left in our reading. It’s hard to believe that our 21 day challenge is nearly over. My hope and my prayer is this:
Heavenly Father, you have given us your Word in human form, in the person Jesus Christ. I’ve spent 20 days reading of Jesus Christ, who he was, where he went, what he said, what he believed, what he endured and who he kept in his company. I’ve read of miracles and the wonderful miracle of the resurrection. I choose today and each and every day to follow, to believe in you and your Son, Jesus Christ. Because I believe I know that I have life in Jesus. May I be formed into his image and into his likeness. May my ways be conformed to His ways. I desire to believe in more than my word only, may my whole life be conformed to Jesus’ way. I pray for those who are on the brink of believing but want to see the scars of Jesus. I pray for those who desire more proof. Let the word of God lived out in your church be enough evidence of the Savior. Let the church be a witness to your love revealed in Jesus Christ. I pray this, and for my fellow believers to hold strong in the faith, in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
3/5/2011 09:57:38 am
Jordan, All of your posts have been verry good, This one is outstanding !
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.