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Excerpt from "The Gospel of John - As Seen Through the Eyes of a Relative Nobody"

Excerpt

(This is part of the Introduction to my first book. I wrote it in 2008 and its still available through our ministry. Many have read it and have found it to be beneficial in their Christian lives. Please contact me if you would like a set of the 2 volume book.)

I often suggest people read John to get a good picture of the Lord. In a way calling it the Gospel of John is a misnomer because, really, it’s about Jesus - not John. John knew this. He is in the book but consistently refuses to identify himself by name. So, this study is about Jesus and His effect on people.

Have you ever read something and then at the end realized that you read it wrong? I have. It caused me to think, “If I knew what the writer was trying to show me I would have read it differently.” Toward the end of the book, John shows us what he wants us to see in what he has written. I often wonder if when the original readers first read it this made them go back and read it again. If so, what a cool way to get the people to read the Bible!

In John 20:31 we see John's purpose statement for this book:

“these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

I’ve recently heard something that has taught me something new that I am still reasoning through: that when first century people heard that word “believe” it sounded like “be living” to them. In contrast, when a person “believes” something in our time it just means that we agree mentally with it.

Biblically, however, to believe something means a lot more. It means to entrust ourselves to it, to literally live it, to identify with it so much that it becomes part of us, therefore we live it out.

So when John says this: “these are written that you may believe” he is saying that he wrote something for the purpose that it would become a part of us and we would live it. This is a lot richer than mere mental assent, isn't it?

“these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Basically, if we break that statement down, John has two purposes here for writing this gospel:

1) “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”

2) “these are written that believing you may have life in His name.”

First, they were written that we would so identify with the idea that Jesus is the Christ, the rescuer, the Son of God. This is so that we would live it out and it would permeate who we are and how we move through our short time on the earth.

Second, they were written so that believing, so identifying with the reality of this, that we would have life (ZOE life) in His name (in terms of Jesus in us).

I have a ministry that takes me into church buildings and connects me with Christians in various places around the United States and, via the internet, all around the globe. Doing what I do and seeing what I see has made it all too apparent that there doesn’t seem to be gobs of life flowing from the body of Christ among our brethren.

I’m not talking about Jesus Himself; I’m talking about us, His body. There is a distinct lack of life in evidence in us, it seems to me.

I believe (live out) what I am seeing as I say it. In other words, I LIVE that grief sometimes and I’m not alone in that - many of us do, chief of whom is our King. Why is this happening?

The culprit is our (earthly) logic-based approach to our supernatural Father and our King. We “believe” but we don't believe. We agree with facts, nod to them and pray a prayer and we’re saved but we don't embrace a Person named Jesus. We embrace facts. We embrace membership to a subgroup of the body of Christ.

We embrace one version of many accurate versions of the Bible but we do not tend to embrace Jesus and become one with Him. We don't identify with Him and in Him is life.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’” (John 4:13-14)

There are at least a dozen more verses like this just in this Gospel that clearly show that Jesus came that we would have HIS life. The Bible is brimming with this truth. He came. He did as He intended to do. We receive Him as Savior.

But then, in the way Christianity is all too often presented and practiced, the life gets drained right out of this experience. Basically, this happens because we go to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for direction instead of the tree of Life. Logic is good but we cannot logic our way into the Life of Jesus. If we could, there would be no reason for the Word of God nor the things the Lord chooses to bring our way. We could just think our way into His life.

Recently I watched some children take turns hugging a woman of God who loves them. They hugged SO BIG that it looked as if they were becoming the woman they were hugging. They were “believing” in her.

“these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

As you read this study and as you read the Gospel of John it would be good to read John 20:31 first. It is my hope that when we do so we won't just come to know some facts better than we already do (which is good in itself) but we will come out of this knowing Jesus better and we will identify more with Him and will BE like Him as He transforms us...pouring His life in us....over us....through us.

How's that for an image and a hope?

I wanna see some power! And not just for the thrill of it. When we see His power in us...over us...through us we know we are on the right track. That's when we know we are WITH Him. Jesus is the focus of this book as He should be the focus of our existence.

For we Christians He IS our life.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, TX 76234

From the Introduction to "The Gospel of John - As Seen Through the Eyes of a Relative Nobody" by Michael K. McInerney

© 2008

(For use with permission)

©2018 by Mike McInerney Ministries