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"these are written"

Posted by Gary Pauley on

"but these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah..."  (John 20:30) 
 
We take for granted that things are written down. So much is written today that we have difficulty discerning texts that are of value and those that are not. The phrase "fake news" reminds us that the line dividing editorial and reporting is sometimes conceptual more than real.
 
Yet, what is written in the past serves as historical artifact and connects us to times gone by. Church records of baptisms and births are sometimes important records of people of the past. From etchings on the walls of catacombs to grafitti still viewable in the ruins of Pompeii, the word is a powerful witness to past events, thoughts, beliefs, and histories.
 
John's desire was that through his history of the public life of Jesus the world would know the Jesus he knew. More than that, he hoped they would come to believe in him in such a way that he becomes their source of life. "Believe" and "life" are major themes of John's Gospel.
 
We are about to finish up our walk through John's Gospel. One take away for me is that the Christian message that leads to conversion is to be the story of Jesus. His life was a walk through Roman Palestine doing what His Father planned for him to do. It is expected that he did the kinds of things that could turn someone away from other worldviews and lesser personalities. John believed that what he saw in Jesus was more stunning, provocative, and more convincing than anything he had ever seen. That is why, as a disciple, he left all behind to follow.
 
As believers we presumably believe the same.
 
So we carry the story. We share what was written. That they might believe.

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