That You May Believe

We’re going through a study of the doctrine of the Trinity and going straight through the Bible to do so. Tonight, we’re going to finish off the gospel of John. We’ve been studying this book to understand the way Jesus saw himself and how his contemporaries saw him as well as some dynamics of the relationship of the persons of the Trinity to each other. Tonight, we’ll be looking at John 20:30-31.

30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

I have been dealing with someone recently who has been saying John 3:16 is enough for salvation and that’s all anyone needs to affirm. Now I do agree that John 3:16 is the gospel in minitaure, but keep in mind that John 3:16 is to be understood in light of the book of John as a whole, which is the way any line should be taken in any work of literature. If there is an interpretation that goes against the whole of the work of John, it is not a valid one. John assumes that you will understand what is meant by the declaration of who Jesus is.

This passage can be seen as the main conclusion of the book. The whole work has been a cumulative case up until the very end when Thomas makes his grand confession. It is the point John wishes to take the reader to. He has written this book so you may make the same confession that Thomas has made.

Some make the mistake of saying that this is written so you may believe Jesus is the Son of God but not God himself. This is the kind of error in the thinking of Jehovah’s Witnesses, not realizing that the term “Son of God” when used of Jesus does speak of his deity. It tells of him as the eternal Son of the eternal Father.

It is also so you may have life in his name. John has had an emphasis on life throughout the book and now he makes the final plea. Have life in the name of Jesus. When we get to the epistles that he wrote, this will be even more striking as we will see the tender heart of one of the ones Jesus named a Son of Thunder.

So where has this book brought us? We saw in the beginning that Jesus and the Father have the same ontological nature. We saw Jesus as the one through whom the creation came about. We saw him coming and dying so that we can live. We see that he is the revelation of God and that he is the one who has come to reveal the Father to us. John has said all of this and now he brings the point home to the readers with Thomas’s final confession and asks, “Can you make that same confession? Are you going to? Are you ready?

Well?

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One Response to “That You May Believe”

  1. Dan Says:

    This passage is a personal favorite due to how it demonstrates the extent of Jesus’s love for his disciples (which could include us by extension). Thomas disbelieved even after Jesus expressly told his disciples he would return, and implicitly impugned the nature of the man he had been spending the last several years following. The fact that Jesus confirmed what had happened and did not even rebuke Thomas for his unbelief amazes me every time I read this passage.

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