We have, over the last year or so, at Church, been working our way through the book of John. This past weekend, I wrote this article for our Church newsletter, and thought I'd share my reflections on what we've been looking at...
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name
Life. It’s a loaded word. It’s a word that signifies so much for so many. For some it means freedom; the wide outdoors, fresh air, God’s creation… for others it conjures up images of rosy newborns, nestled in their mother’s arms, for others still, it brings pain, as the word reminds them of what they have lost. Life that was once vibrant and so very alive, is now gone.
But the life Jesus is talking about here is a different kind of life. Its so much more than enjoying God’s world, so much more than the physical start of a new human being in the world… so much more than the opposite of death.
This is life in HIS name, and as Jesus reminds us in John 10, it is life in all its fullness.
This life… the life we know and breath… is just a foreshadowing of what will one day be ours if we believe. This is a life that is marred… yes, it gives us glimpses of the life that God really meant for his people – the joys of time spend with loved ones, walks in the grand outdoors, marvelling at the breadth of the ocean as your toes are licked by the tide… all of these things are little glimpses, but they are tainted. This life is, at times, painful, lonely and hard…
Jesus can promise us abundant life because he knows it: he sits at the Father’s right hand, knows a perfect relationship with God, has the promise of a people of his own who will inherit God’s kingdom with him. He knows what its like to be in a place where there is no suffering, no taint of sin, no guilt, fear, pain or death. And you know what? He left all that. He gave life in all its fullness up, to know life at its worst…a refugee on the run from birth, he was born in a cow-shed, raised in the backwoods of Israel, spent his adult life roaming from town to town enduring peoples adulation one moment and their scorn and mockery the next, and then he was hung on a cross; a painful, agonising death that proclaimed him to those around him not only as a rogue criminal, but an enemy of God.
He knows life – because he has lived it, he has lost it, and he has given it to us. And now he’s been restored and waits to give us his life in all its fullness…
So as we study John together, let’s probe, let’s dig, let’s search and let’s believe… because its when we believe that we can know real life – abundant life – in His name.
Hallelujah: what a Saviour!