Saturday, January 28, 2017
The Gospel of Belief
Every one of the gospels is different. It takes no seminary degree to see that one. Even a schoolboy reader sees it. Mark, the first gospel written, seems like one written under the mandate, "Hurry and get it done before He comes again!" Matthew is written for Jewish Christians. It is presented from the perspective of a teacher. The gospel of Luke is for the world. It is evangelistically written with the book of Acts in mind. John is significantly different than the other three. It does not follow the same chronology and a lot of unique teaching sections are included.
The window through which I have always read the gospel of John came to me via a seminary professor from long years ago who taught us that it was "the gospel of belief." Its pages are filled with those who encounter Jesus. Some chose belief. Some chose unbelief. The word "belief" pops up early and its theme is sounded throughout the writing. And finally, just in case someone read the whole thing and missed it, the Word says, "But these things are written so that you come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31) Nowhere is the imperative of believing in Jesus sounded more clearly than in John's gospel.
We live in a world where the Biblical imperative about believing in Jesus is sorely compromised. Too many affirm the importance of belief, but also declare the object of belief is not the important thing in the equation. Believing is what is important. It is a thought not found in the Word of God. And strangely enough, the church of today often is reticent to proclaim Jesus and the way of believing in Him. It does this because its ears are too attuned to the voice of common consensus and its mind too set on being politically correct. What the world may not want to hear and accept is clear in the Word. Believing in Jesus is not an option, but an imperative.