Gene Cunningham - May 22, 2022

These are Written

John's gospel was written with the primary purpose of leading people into a saving knowledge of Jesus and through faith, introducing them into the family of God. But he tells us here in John Chapter 20 why he wrote what he wrote in this book, and it's built around a word that we're going to see in verse 29. This is where Thomas, of course, meets with the Risen Lord, and he realizes that he's been raised from the dead, and Jesus tells him to reach his hand and touch His wounds and recognize that it's him. And Thomas answered and said to him, My Lord, and my God, declaring both the humanity and the deity of Jesus Christ. And Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed is those who have not seen and yet have believed. And that includes every one of us here tonight. It tells me that we have a blessing that none of those who traveled with him will ever have. We often think if only we could have been there, if we could have observed the miracles, if we could have heard the teaching how great our faith would have been, how much more strengthened it would have been, because we've never seen that Jesus is telling Thomas that there's a blessing for those who have never seen that he and the other apostles would never know. Then he says in verse 30, “Truly, Jesus did many other signs.” I want you to notice the word sign because that is a favorite word of John's gospel. There are three different words you can use for miracles one of the words is a word that is often translated wonder, and it talks about the effect of the miracle on the people. They're astounded, they're amazed, they're excited. They're standing in awe of what has happened. That's one of the words that is used. Another word that is often used is just the word miracle, and it speaks about some magnificent work. It talks more about the effect of it. For example, a blind man who's given sight or the dead raised from the grave. And it is speaking more of the effect and the power of the miracle. And then we have the word sign. The word sign is John's favorite word for the works of Jesus Christ. And the reason he uses it is because a sign tells you something about the person who does the work. It's not so much about its effect on the people or the change that it makes in someone's life. It's about the person who performs the work. It's a sign. It has a spiritual meaning and a spiritual lesson behind it. So truly, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book. Verse 31 says, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ Son of God. And that believing you may have life in His name.” John's Gospel is an evangelistic gospel.

From Series: "The Simplicity of the Gospel"

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 All little children begin the learning process in life the same way. They learn by faith. Because they know that they don’t know, they are humble. They have never seen an elephant, or a whale, but if you show them a picture book, they learn to identify whatever they are shown. If they are told, “This is an elephant,” they don’t argue and say, “No, I think that is a chicken.” They believe what they are told because it is in their child-like nature to trust. Only as we grow do we begin to assume a level of knowledge, based on what we have learned by faith. As adults we turn more and more to reason (rationalism) and science (empiricism), where we learn by trial and error. Gradually, we begin to turn away from the faith we had as little children. Here, Jesus is telling His disciples that they need to “turn around, go back” to being like little children. They need to come to Him in simple, child-like faith if they would enter into His heavenly kingdom. The same point was made on another occasion (Mark 10:13–16). When we return to the simplicity of child-like faith, we come to Jesus through His Word in humility. And Peter, the leader of the disciple band, assures us “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5b). It is time for us to turn back to the simplicity and humility of little children and hear the voice of our heavenly Father!

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