This is the final study in the book of John: The Book of Life – eternal, abundant life in Christ. The whole book is full of life.
Closing this study, let’s briefly review each chapter, especially related to “life.”
- In the Beginning was the Word, that word was light, but the world did not understand it, so the word became flesh.
- Jesus turned water into wine and then cleared the temple – Jesus has much interest in our continual joyful lives and changed, pure, holy lives.
- “You must be born again.” Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit – regeneration.
- The Samaritan woman – “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst, because it will well up into eternal life.”
- “Whoever believes my word and the one who sent me has life – he has crossed from death to life.”
- After feeding 5,000 men – “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever eats my flesh has life – I will raise him at the last day.”
- “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to mean and drink – the streams of living water will flow from within him or her.”
- “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
- Jesus opens the eyes of the blind man, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming soon when nobody can work.” Life = opportunity to work for God.
- “I am the Gate for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I have come to give life, you shall never perish, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
- Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead – whoever lives and believes in me will never die “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
- Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will remain a single seed… Our life is producing life when we die.
- Washing disciples feet, “A new command I give you – you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
- I am the True Vine, you are the branches, no vine can bear fruit on its own, apart from me you can do nothing – but in me you will bear much fruit.
- Even though you have trouble in the world, “take heart for I have overcome the world.” Our lives are overcoming lives against Satan and sin.
- He chose to be arrested to set us free.
- He was crucified with our old selves to raise us to life.
- He was raised to life to guarantee our eternal life.
- He appeared to the disciples and Mary (first).
- He appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee. Remember the picture?
In this picture, in the first picture, they fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus appeared, and helped them catch 153 fish. Jesus prepared a warm fire for them (they were cold) and breakfast (they were hungry), and continually, when they finished eating, now he asked Peter if he loved him personally and openly – in public for others to hear.
Three times, “Simon, do you truly love me?”
Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my lambs… If you love me, take care of my sheep… If you love me, feed my sheep.”
Why three times? For emphasis? Repetition? Counter-standard? (Remember Peter had denied Jesus openly three times previously just before the crucifixion – now Jesus gives 3 chances to recover from that). Love, love, love – in English and Korean it’s the same word. BUT, in Greek, it is different.
- Eros – love for other sex
- Stolgay – love for parents
- Filial – love for friends
- Agape – divine, unconditional love
- First two sentences, Jesus said, “Agape.”
- Peter replied with “You know I Filial you.”
- Jesus changed for the third, “Do you Filial me?”
- Peter was hurt, “You know all things, of course I Filial you.”
Even though we Filial Jesus, he gives us a huge mission and task – how much more if we Agape love him.
- Feed my lambs = if you have my life, give that life to others, evangelize, be my witnesses to the lost
- Take care of my sheep = help them to continue to enjoy abundant life
- Feed my sheep = continue this again and again.
“Do you truly love me MORE THAN THESE?” may have two meanings.
- “Do you love me more than your other friends, your fish, your boat, car, cash, baby, TV, smart phone?” Are you prepared to give up everything to follow me? You comfort, your stuff, etc? To give yourself to my people, my task?
- “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me?” Reminding him of his previous confession (he’d said, “Even if everyone else falls away, I’ll NEVER fall away” – but he failed).
Throughout the book of John, Jesus questions are 2:
- Do you believe in me? Yes = live eternally
- Do you love me? Yes = prove it by making others live in me and love me, through your sacrifice/service/ministry
In the world, love is the greatest privilege, but also brings the greatest responsibility – it ALWAYS involves sacrifice.
Peter eventually died upside down crucifixion – church history (not Bible) tells us that. But now, Peter is alive in heaven with Christ.
Remember, we do not truly love Christ if we aren’t ready to follow him and take up his task and his cross.
v 20-24: About “the disciple whom Jesus loved”
i.e. Peter said, “Lord, you told me what will happen to me, what about John, what will happen to him?”
Jesus said, “Just mind your own business buddy.”
Of course we must care for and serve and help each other – looking to the interests of others (in humility). But in ministry, we must NOT compare ourselves to others. We do not compare ourselves to rationalize our own commitment to God or to question the commitment or justice of God.
What does Jesus say to Peter? 3 times: Follow me.
First meeting, he said that, and now verse 19 and 22.
- When we meet Jesus first, we start to follow.
- On the journey, we continue to follow.
- At the end, we still follow.
This is present tense, consistent, steadfast, persevering following of Christ – continuing his work in the way he wants it done, not in the way we want it done. Jesus is our example and sample and task. Jesus is our goal.
Hebrews 12:2? “Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”
God bless us all to fix our eyes upon Jesus.
v.25 – Jesus did many other things as well…
Do you agree with this? This is not an exaggeration – this is truth. This world is limited in time and space, knowledge, understanding, power. But, Jesus is infinite – proven as True God by his resurrection. He is unlimited in time, space, works, beauty. Whatever we know of Jesus is limited.
No matter how much we know of him, that is only a small fragment of him (imagine the size of the Earth when compared with the size of the universe).
Whatever we have experienced of him is a fragment of what is yet to experience.
Think of Chonbuk University’s books – think of Harvard University’s. Yet, all books are inadequate to describe Jesus fully.
Let us learn, know, study Jesus more and more. Let us experience, and enjoy him more and more. Let us live his life more and more abundantly.
May God bless us all through the study of the gospel of John: The Book of Life – life that can only be found in Jesus.
“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
May God bless us all with his eternal life.