The Gospel of John provides a powerful account of the life and identity of Jesus Christ. Throughout this gospel, Jesus is identified in several ways that testify of his identity as creator, redeemer, and the eternal Son of God. The following are examples of claims made about Jesus and by Jesus regarding his identity in John’s gospel:
- In John 1, Jesus is described as the Word who was in the beginning with God and who was God. “All things were made through him” (Jn. 1:3, ESV).
- In John 6, Jesus is the bread of life.
- In John 8, Jesus is the light of the world.
- In John 10, Jesus is the good shepherd. Jesus claims to be one with the Father.
- In John 11, Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
- In John 14, Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. He is the only way to the Father.
- In John 15, Jesus is the true vine.
Each of these claims about Jesus’ identity could absorb an entire sermon series, and these aspects of his identity speak to his deity and to his humanity. The Gospel of John leaves the reader with no uncertainty regarding Jesus’ identity. He was in the beginning with the Father, he was God, he still is God, and there is salvation in no other. Jesus is fully God and fully man.
In 1:14, John describes the incarnation when he writes, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” From creation to his incarnation, John’s Gospel describes Jesus as the eternal Son of God through whom salvation is made exclusively available. With the various metaphors and insights provided to describe Jesus throughout this gospel, we might think it difficult for the conclusion of John’s gospel to add anything further. Yet, in a peculiar way, John concludes his gospel with a most beautiful commentary on the life of Jesus.
A Most Beautiful Commentary on the Life of Jesus
Toward the end of chapters 20 and 21, John repeats himself in his commentary on Jesus’ life. In John 20:30-31, he writes, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
In John 21:25, he writes similarly, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
As we have already seen, John has spent his entire gospel including details that reveal Jesus’ deity and humanity. By the time we come to chapters 20 and 21, you would think there is little left to add. However, John concludes his gospel by repeating an incredible statement that speaks to the immense impact of Jesus’ life. Despite the many miracles and testimonies contained throughout his gospel, John suggests the world is not big enough to contain enough books to adequately describe the full impact of Jesus’ life. In writing this, John is not challenging the sufficiency of scripture. Scripture contains everything we need, but John is saying that the incredible impact of Jesus’ life and ministry cannot be fully detailed this side of heaven. Only heaven itself is big enough to reveal the full glory of the life and ministry of Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Gratitude for the Life of Jesus
As we move towards Easter, we have much for which to be grateful. Jesus has come, he died, and he has risen. For those of us who confess Jesus as Lord, our sins have been forgiven, and we have the privilege of enjoying his presence for eternity. Easter is a yearly reminder that Jesus is alive, and therefore we are alive in Him, and we will one day rise again if the Lord tarries.
We can rejoice for all that Jesus has accomplished for us, but we also have great anticipation for the future because as the angels told the apostles in Acts 1:11, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Jesus’ ascension was not the end of the story. He is alive today, and when we look at his ministry being carried on throughout the world, countless books are continually being written that testify of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. These books are not sacred scripture, but they are testimonies of the ongoing ministry of Jesus through his church.
Your Life’s Story
What story is your life writing? Is it a story focused on you, or will it be another incredible account of the life-changing power of Jesus? How does Jesus’ life, resurrection, and imminent return impact your life and work?
When we go to work on Monday, we should be exhibiting the same character we demonstrated in the pew the previous Sunday. Our lives as Christians should be consistent reflections of the love and character of Jesus. We will encounter countless people who are broken and enslaved to sin, but Jesus has the power to rewrite their story. He can invade their lives and set the captives free, but he is looking for vessels through whom he can carry out his ministry on this earth. Thankfully, he has not left us alone, but he has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us for the work of ministry. There are countless books yet to be written containing stories of the life-changing power of Jesus.
As we approach Easter, I encourage you to give Jesus the pen to your life and allow him to write a beautiful story to describe what he has done in and through you, one that only heaven will be large enough to contain. Your life can be a most beautiful commentary of the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.