BEGINNING WITH THE END
John 20:30-31 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 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.
I know a friend who picks up a good mystery book and starts by reading the last several chapters of the book. He tells me that he wants to know the ending so that he can have a better sense and context of the story as he reads from the beginning. For some people and for some books this may be the best approach. But as to mystery books, I just assume start at the beginning. A surprise ending is just fine with me.
Now when we turn to reading the Bible, my friend’s approach to beginning with the ending comes in handy. The Gospel of John, like many other books of the Bible, as a central purpose or theme for the book. Each of the four gospel accounts of Jesus’s life are written by different men. Each has a different background, upbringing and cultural understanding. Their unique person-hood influences the approach they take in tell us about Jesus Christ. They each understand Jesus’s message and each focuses on a different way of presenting his story.
As we see at the end of John’s Gospel, John is writing in order to present the unique and miraculous happenings that surrounded his ministry in the world. Jesus performed many miracles of healing, feeding and foretelling his end that John recounts.
As you begin this Gospel, keep in mind John’s purpose in writing. His goal is for you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life eternal. Also, remember that for over 2,000 years people the world over have read this book and have come to the same conclusion as John. May God help you to know Him, too.