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Thursday, April 28, 2011

John 20:30-31 Miracles to help us believe and live

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

(Jesus appearing to disciples on the Road to Emmaus;
James Jaques Tissot 19th century)

Thoughts: The Evangelist tells us why he was writing this book. It is not to record an interesting story, to elevate a cause, to lift up the names of the disciples.  The goal is that we might have life.  He says this many other times- "In him was life" (1:4).  "For God so loved the world...that whoseverer believes...shall have eternal life" (3:16); "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly (10:10).  The goal of telling these stories is that we might believe and have life.  Apparently, this is a reference to Jesus' making other post resurrection appearances not recorded here. The editing creiteria of whether a miracle was worthy of inclusion was whether it inspired belief and  brought life. Today much of our teaching and preaching is only to inform not to inspire or give eternal life.  As the Police said, there can be "too much information." 

Prayer: May I look for things that bring me to belief and life, Lord.

John Calvin Abridged: If the Evangelist did not say this, some would think his account was exhaustive. It is not that other events are unworthy of recording, but these recorded events edified faith.  It is important to know that the Gospel was sealed by a vast number of miracles.  Some may wonder why we have to have miracles at all because we have the promises of God.  But the purpose of miracles is to give aid to faith and to prepare our minds to receive faith.  Miracles without faith or doctrine only would bring a confused admiration- but the object of miracles is faith.  Christ alone has the title "Son of God" for He owns that title not by adoption but by nature.  We obtain eternal life by faith.  When we are apart from Christ we are dead to God, and it is only by His grace alone that we are restored to life. 

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