11 Nov Enough to Believe – Words of Grace – November 11, 2022
I have concluded that what the Apostle John wrote in his Gospel is enough for me, and anyone else who reads it, to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
Put another way, if I or anyone else reads the Gospel of John and still needs more information or proof that Jesus is the Son of God, then the real issue is that we simply do not believe. That is not to say that there is no hope for us of ever believing, but that if we come to believe it will be because something has happened to us and in us, and not because we have discovered new evidence.
John himself wrote that there is enough in his Gospel to lead someone to believe in Jesus. He said that Jesus did more signs than those recorded, but these signs are sufficient for faith. He said that he wrote as a witness, and that his testimony is true.
So, what did John give us that we may believe? The final sign that he recorded is the resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and the remaining eleven disciples. The resurrection followed the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and these events should be seen as one singular sign. Jesus put it this way earlier in his ministry, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). That’s what happened and that’s what is recorded. They destroyed his body on the cross, it was buried, and on the third day, he arose.
Now the question is two-fold. Can we believe this testimony, and do we believe it?
We can. The Gospel of John is an eyewitness account of the events and teachings it contains (John 21:24). This testimony doesn’t have to be believed, but it can be.
While reading chapter 20 about the resurrection and appearance of Jesus, I was reminded of how credibly the account is presented. John did not make up a resurrection account. He does not claim to have seen the actual resurrection event happen. He does not put forth any other witnesses who said they saw it happen. At first, that bothered me. How can we believe in a resurrection that no one saw take place? But then I realized that John was simply being honest. Rather than tell people that he rolled the stone from the entrance of the tomb, waited all night for Jesus to arise, and then saw him come to life, John simply tells the truth. My confidence in what he wrote is strengthened by what he did not write.
What John did write is that he saw the empty tomb and Jesus alive. Jesus appeared to him. John believed.
I believe, too, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
I believe that my belief is based on a historic reality and a credible testimony. What is written is enough. But the real reason I believe is that God has opened my mind and my heart to faith. How did that happen? By the power of the Holy Spirit (what grace!), and by reading the Gospel of John (another grace!).
Friend, you have enough to believe. Do you? Take up the Gospel of John and read it, asking God to lead you to believe. I believe he will.