Friday, October 18, 2013
Revelations of Jesus Christ began after his resurrection from the grave, not only in the book John would write on the topic. To have Jesus Christ revealed to the world, and to His own church, was something both were in desperate need of, as are we today. The book of prophecies and visions John would pen are often studied today with a focus on predicting latter day events, or for studying the history of political power in the world over time. But these ideas, while present, are not supposed to be the key message revealed in this text. Jesus Christ is. The book we find most difficult to understand was first and foremost intended to be a book that revealed Jesus Christ more fully to the world. This should be the first goal in its study, not a by-product of what is found within. The Pharisees had already proven the point to John throughout his gospel to us, that interpretation of scripture without Christ, leads to an improper understanding that will allow those who claim to be the leaders of God’s church, to kill God Himself, in order to maintain their incorrect understandings, and their leadership over the people. It is always Satan’s kingdom that craves power and subjugation, and God’s who wishes only the freedom to love others and find joy in the loving.
Jesus had a humble birth in this world, though He was honored as a King. He grew up in the trade of a carpenter in a region not known for anything holy. He ministered for three and a half years and revealed the will of God His Father on earth to show love to all He encountered. He died and was raised from the dead. After this, his physical appearances were limited. The nature of Christ that was the Son of God was not something readily apparent in the life He lived upon earth. But this nature was the more important one, and was the one which John would focus on now. Christ was no longer in this world. He had ascended back to the side of His Father. He was home. And the home He went to, was something none of us understood, or knew anything about. The whole of the Old Testament pointed forward to His first appearing and hope of a Messiah. There were some scattered prophesies about heaven and the ultimate restoration of God’s Kingdom past the end of time. But the majority of the Desire of Ages was to see our hopes fulfilled in His first ministry to us, that of Messiah. But now, Messiah had come and gone. What was left to write in the New Testament was about the new hope and new focus of Jesus we would need to know. It had come time, to reveal to the world, what was coming, and a new Revelation about the nature of Christ as God, not merely as the son of Man.
This effort would be even less appreciated by the remaining Jewish leadership. It was bad enough to have to contend with the Man Jesus Christ. But now to have to see His Divine side revealed was not an idea they relished. In addition, John would be describing what God is like. John would describing the Only God, the real God, this God which does exist, as opposed to all the prior deities that lived in pagan forms of worship, now revealed to be false. In the book of Revelation, as is consistent with the entirety of scripture, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit would be discussed and revealed as working in concert for our salvation. These three who were united and one in the mission of our redemption would be fully discussed. There would be no mention of Diana, or Zeus, or Apollo, or Odin, or Thor, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or a Great Spirit, or Druid Nature worship, or any other form of past or present alternatives to the truth of Jesus Christ. There were no other Gods, despite what Satan had propagated into the various forms of worship around the world. And so in the revealing of Jesus Christ, would also come the unmasking of His enemy. All of the false forms and false gods that have in common the worship of self; would also be revealed, in contrast to the revelation of the truth and life of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ as our God would be revealed to us. John would in the course of this new book reveal to the best of his ability what God looked like, in the form of God, rather than merely in the form of Man. John would write about concepts that would be hard for man to understand. For any finite being, would find it difficult to put into words something that knows no limits. But the messages intended for John to reveal to us had an author. As John opens His book of Revelations, he begins with attributing where the source of these writings would originate from. Not from his imagination as many would like to believe, not from hallucinations induced by hunger or non-ideal conditions of the Roman prison colony at Patmos where he had been banished to, after the Romans failed to kill him boiling him in oil. No, the source of these revelations had a home as he would begin to describe in chapter one, and verse one … “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” - Notice first, that God the Father was the author of these revelations. God the Father gave these messages to Jesus Christ, in order that Christ could reveal them to His servants (angels and men), about what was to shortly come to pass. In this designation of time, there is an urgency, and an immediacy that argues that this message will have relevance in the timeline of the readership. Christ then sends the message to John via an Angel tasked to take it to him. The progression of the message begins with God the Father, is passed to God the Son, and is delivered to John via an Angel tasked with its delivery.
John continues in verse 2 … “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. [verse 3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” John recorded the word of God, not his own inclinations, or his own ideas, or his own interpretations of what was revealed, but rather, just as it was delivered to him. In this book to follow would be the testimony of Jesus Christ. Everything that John saw, he would transcribe to print. And so, John offers the reader the idea that just in the reading he will be blessed. For again the time is at hand, the meanings contained in this book are both prophecy, and currently relevant. They have meaning both here and now, and in the near future. John tells us, that the same words may be interpreted in more than one way, but continued to remind us, that all meanings must be derived in the context of a revelation of Jesus Christ.
With this opening, John sets the stage of where the message comes from, and to whom it is being delivered. He continues in verse 4 … “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;” - John opens with a message for 7 key churches, that are located in Asia. Notice first these churches do not include the countries of Rome (Italy), or Jerusalem (Israel). They are in Asia, or plainly stated the rest of the world. The message or revelation of Jesus Christ is no longer just to be offered to the traditional descendants of Abraham. The revelations of Jesus Christ as God, are to be freely available to His followers around the world. The number seven denotes perfection in the kingdom of God, it is a form of symbolism to signify to us, a state of perfection that exists in a universe we have little understanding of. So when John opens his greetings, He is in effect, saying He is greeting the perfect church of the real God, Jesus Christ, those who follow the Truth and the Life. He does not include in this greeting, other churches, other gods, or even traditional descendants of Abraham. Followers of Christ alone, can be included in the church of God. A failure to recognize Christ, by definition excludes one from membership in the church of God the Father.
Next John reveals in this first greeting an aspect about God which finite man has a hard time understanding; that God exists outside of what we understand about space and time itself. John uses the words … “from him which is (present tense), which was (past tense), and which is to come (future tense)”. Christ existed before His human origin, and before our creation, and before our understandings of the big bang, and before anything we call a start of time or space. As God, Jesus Christ exists in the present, in our reality, in the space and time we call “now”. And as God, Jesus Christ will exist in the future, past our own deaths, past the death of this world, past any boundaries we could imagine in time or in space. This idea makes time irrelevant where it comes to describing God. Jesus, for our purposes, has no beginning, nor does he have any end. He exists past both of those conventional ideas we are bound by.
Next John offers us the location that this message came from the throne of God. He further clarifies that there are 7 spirits who are before His throne. Seven being a symbolism for perfection, this implies that the perfection of the Holy Spirit is before His throne. John’s use of the words “and from” state that the greetings of Grace and peace are joined by the Holy Spirit as well to the church of God the Father. John continues in verse 5 … “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, [verse 6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” John further states his greetings are joined by Jesus Christ as well. He then begins to describe Jesus as being the faithful witness. In this Christ was a faithful witness to the will of God, the love of God, and the law of God. Christ was forever showing the love of God to us, and telling us that in each and every miracle, His Father’s will was fulfilled. Jesus is further described as the “first begotten of the dead”. In this Jesus’s resurrection offers us hope that because of His gift, we too can be raised from the dead. Not just from our physical state but from the dead of a life of selfishness, chained to self-service, this is a state He can raise us from as well. The leadership of Christ is to be above the kings of this world, even kings are to owe their service to Christ.
John then states that what Christ has done for us, is to turn us from the slaves of self-service, into kings and priests unto God His Father. We join with God in serving others, and in so doing we become kings of service, and priests of service, all for the benefit of others – just as Christ has done for us. We are not to be glorified or worshipped, but instead our service and our love to others will be His glory. John rightly attributed glory and dominion for ever to Christ alone. Just in these first few verses, John inexorably ties Jesus Christ to God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to claim to worship God the Father, if one denies His Son, or His Spirit. The 7 churches are not perfect because they commit no sin, or need no savior; instead they are perfect because they acknowledge their need of Jesus Christ as their only hope of being saved from the slavery of self. Modern day Muslims, and Jews, still claim to serve the same Father God we Christians do – but they deny the divinity of His son – and in so doing keep themselves from being identified with the source of their salvation. This choice of separation leaves them with no-one to break the chains of their selfishness, and offer them the life God so longs to see them live. His door stands open, but their denial of His Son, leaves them no savior to save them from themselves. It is not enough to worship only part of God, we must accept the whole of God if we are to see the Truth, and experience His Life.
John continues with the message of God the Father in verse 7 … “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” – Perhaps ironic that in the seventh verse is the most important point of the entire book – Jesus Christ will be returning to this earth. Further the manner of His return is described, He will be coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him. The return of Christ is to be from the sky, in like manner as He ascended. And His return is not to be a secret, but one that will be witnessed by the entire world. It will be seen also by those who pierced Him. This could be both spiritual (those who deny His divinity, or deny their need of Him to save them from themselves), or it could be literal if those who were responsible for His death are raised to see His triumphant return, to finally and fully know the proof of what He had told them, and what they knew in their hearts to be true, but would not accept to be true. All kindreds of the earth shall wail, implies that in every people of every land, there are many who do not wish to see Him return. They are more happy with their lives as they are. They do not wish a change. They do not wish His freedom. To see the Truth of His returning is to recognize their lives will not be allowed to continue indefinitely in the evil they have embraced. But even so, Amen, even so, John wishes for Christ to return.
John continues to write the message He has heard, the revelation of Jesus Christ from the Father God Himself as he continues to describe Christ in verse 8 … “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” First, as has been the case all along, Christ is the Alpha (or the genesis or beginning) of our salvation. He is also the Omega (or ending, or finisher) of our salvation. We are saved because He loved us before we knew Him. We are drawn by this love to Him. We are granted the freedom to decide whether to accept this love or not. And having accepted, it is by the power of His love, that He changes us from who we were into who He intended us to be. The Father again identifies Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending of our way of salvation. He again states that our concepts of time do not apply or constrain God, He is beyond them. And finally, He states the Truth that all power is in the hands of God and Christ. He is the Almighty. There is no limit to the power within Him. He is able to save us, from what we are powerless to save ourselves from.
This revelation of what God is like, what Christ is like, in the form of God was stunning. Then and now, the idea the God is beyond our ideas of time, is hard for us to grasp. But then and now, the idea that Christ is powerful enough to save us, and is the main point in the true religion of God is consistent throughout the entire Bible. Here John affirms it once again. What has changed between the Old and New Testaments of Christ, is that one pointed forward to His mission as Messiah. And the other points forward to His mission as God and Redeemer. The church of God has been identified as belonging to the rest of the world now. It is not constrained by the history of Judaism. Nor is it tied to the power of the Roman empire. It is not bound to political power, or historical bias, it belongs to those who see the need to be saved from themselves by the power of Jesus Christ.
False gods have been eliminated. And self too has been denounced. In these texts of revelation of Jesus Christ, is found no reference to how we save ourselves, either on our own, or in partnership with Jesus. We have no role in that other than to accept His gift of our salvation. Jesus is identified as Alpha and Omega, not man, not self, not us. This revelation was hard for former Jews to accept, it is no less difficult for us today. Too many wish to take the reins in their own salvation, too many wish to keep some measure of control in how they are saved, and in so doing keep self at the center of their purported “Christianity”. They leave Christ to the side, and continue to rely on self, and on their own actions to validate their salvation. Instead of finding the true change that full submission brings. In this, they would find actions natural, instead of labored. They would find rest, instead of burden. But to find it, they must join the true church of Christ, and follow Him, not themselves.
And this was only the beginning of the revelations John was to reveal …
Friday, October 4, 2013
Mary Magdalene had fulfilled her gospel commission to take the message of hope to the new Christian church (the eleven remaining disciples). Her message given to her directly by the Savior “should” have engendered hope, given courage, and inspired faith. This was the first revelation Christ made to us of the completion of His work to save us from ourselves and our sins. The first revelation of His love to us after rising from His grave; was to pause His own work and take time to comfort the grieving Mary with His words of profound love. We were to see His Father as our Father. We were to see His God as our God. Jesus was alive, not dead in a tomb. His work to pay our penalty for the sins we embrace was completed and He was on His way to His Father to see our salvation confirmed. Mary had done as Christ had asked. But her message bore no fruit. She had done what Jesus Himself had told her, her new life had begun, because of the gift of Christ, but even though she had done what she was commissioned to do, her words were not heeded. Such is the arrogance of those who are determined to pre-judge the messenger as unworthy or unreliable, rather than to hear the word of God thru whom it was given. Mary should not have been judged by her former life, for now through the light of Christ’s gifts, her former life was passed away, and her new life had begun. The words Mary brought from the mouth of Christ Himself should have been judged on their own merit. For His words were a fulfillment of the mission of the Messiah, and everything He had taught them could have been brought to mind, if they had simply been willing to hear it. But they were not.
The closest men to Christ, His most ardent followers; were not immune to chauvinism, prejudice, and despair from what they saw with their eyes, and believed to be the only “facts” that could exist. They had seen Christ crucified. They had seen Christ, nailed and pierced. They had seen Christ, laid dead in a tomb. These things they had witnessed or been told, and these things they believed. They knew them to be certain. Their hopes in the rabbinical view of an anti-Roman kingdom had been shattered. Their faith had been shaken. Their despair in their own actions taken during the killing of the One they claimed to love more than life, were now only a source of tremendous guilt. They had accepted the idea that His body was gone from the grave, for they had witnessed that themselves. But they only believed this was simply yet another act of Roman or Priestly cruelty, not anything more. Despite the personal testimony of Mary Magdalene, they remained unconvinced. They had a scriptural understanding, and personal witness, that formed a set of “facts” that could not be undone by the faith that lay within them. Like us, they needed, their preconceptions wiped away. Like us, they needed a revelation of Christ, that would change “how” they think, and “how” they “see” the world and the reality of the Truth of Christ. And Christ would offer them exactly that.
It was the same day as the report of Mary. It was the evening. They had gathered again on this Sunday night in the upper room, for fear of the Jewish leadership. They believed the Jews would persecute and kill them for their former association with Jesus. But in truth, the Priests who had already heard the testimony of the 100 Roman soldiers; were not looking to silence them for what they “used” to know, but for what they might now discover. Now that the Sabbath had ended and soon the people who had gathered at Jerusalem would be returning home from the worship of atonement, the Priests would have more time to focus on these last remaining loose ends. But the disciples feared from their entanglement with the past. They assumed it was because of their association with the slain Lord that they would be sought out next. They had no idea, it was because He was arisen, that they had now become even more dangerous to the legacy of control the priests wished to maintain over the people. Had the priests known that His own disciples did not believe He was alive; they would not have killed them. They would instead have put them all on public display and made them testify as to their certainty that He was dead and gone. This would have boosted the credibility of the Priests, and destroyed any hope of an early Christian church. Their certainty despite the word of Mary, and the witness of 100 other Roman soldiers, would have been welcomed by those who oppose the gospel. The irony was thick.
But Christ had a revelation in mind, to wipe away the misplaced fears of His disciples. He would change their thinking in an instant. He would alter their future in a moment. And He would restore in them the hope for an early Christian Church meant to shake the very foundations of power in the world around them. John records in His gospel in chapter 20 beginning in verse 19 … “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Notice first, John specifically points out that the doors were shut, likely locked, possibly barricaded. The idea there was to keep the angry folks out, and keep the folks inside safe. They had gathered there for fear after all. Jesus does not knock on the door from the outside of this situation. Christ is no longer to be confined or limited by the structures of men. Christ is now freely able to show to us His divinity. As such He appears in the midst of the secured room. And His first words are the same ones they know, and have heard Him say on similar occasions when miraculous events had occurred – “Peace be unto you”. The very first personal revelation of Christ to those men there is to relieve their fears. Once again Christ addresses our most pressing needs. Once again Christ demonstrates what it means to love another and not Himself.
Christ does not enter this room with the righteous judgment He is equipped to condemn them with. They have all failed miserably during His trial and murder. None of them stood with Him. None of them offered Him comfort. All of them did nothing, though all of them had claimed devotion to the point of sacrificing their own lives for Him. He does not begin His conversation with them, by demanding that they acknowledge their failures, and seek forgiveness before He “allows” them to join in His ministry of saving the lost. As with Mary, He does not hold them accountable for their very acts of failure committed only a short while ago. Instead He does not even address these failures. For their sins, like Mary’s, and like ours, have ALREADY been forgiven. He does not seek perfection in His servants before they are allowed to serve. Instead He offers perfection as a gift that will come to them over time as they learn to submit their will to His own. In this regard, John continues in verse 20 … “And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” He is the Life. He changes fear into joy. He reveals that death is no boundary with which He will be contained, and that instead He is master over the grave and beyond it. He shows them Himself, His wounds that prove He is no ghost or aberration, but the physical Man they know and love. He reveals again to men the Truth of Himself. Truth is found in Christ alone, not in the failed interpretations of scriptures the disciples had clung to only moments before. The Truth had made them free. Scripture could now be interpreted in the Light and the Truth of Jesus Christ, never again outside of Him.
John continues in verse 21 … “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Jesus was calling them to be sent into the world. Notice the goal of the follower of Christ is NOT to seek isolation from those in corruption who need to be saved. Instead He sends His own into the world, like His Father had sent Him. These men were not to be evangelists by profession, but by example. They were to be living ambassadors of Love. They were to demonstrate what it means to Love others to a world who was in such desperate need of Love. Christ did the will of His Father, as we are to do His will. These men were to heal the sick because it is the will of Christ, as Christ healed because it was the will of His Father. Christ held back love from no man or woman or child or senior citizen. He gave Love to all who He encountered. He sought out those in the MOST need of Him, He did not make them come to Him first. Christ took the initiative and went to them. Christ was sent to the world. He came to bring Life. He did not sit still and make those who might have an interest in Life, come figure out where He was and find Him. Instead He brought Life openly into the world and imparted it everywhere He went. He did not allow prejudice to keep Him away from Samaritans, Romans, or the most grievous sinners. Instead He welcomed them all like the precious children of His that they are.
Jesus does not ask them to become preachers and teachers by trade. He does not tell them to collect money so that their ministries have the finances to be successful. He does not tell them to worry about money at all. For Christ did not rely on finances to do the will of His Father. Money was not a concern at all where Christ was involved. But people were, and people are. To bring Love to those in need was the commission He was enrolling His erring disciples into. It would be the sharing of love that would bring perfection into the world, and into His own followers. It would be Love that alone which would offer the motivation to change, and the power of Christ to effect it. John continues in verse 22 … “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: [verse 23] Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Notice that the power of Christ, in His Spirit, was not something they inherently had within them, but was instead a gift to them and to us, like everything else that has to do with our salvation. It does not come from within us, but as a gift. The receiving of the Holy Spirit was done here, not at Pentecost. That later day was a manifestation of a gift that had ALREADY been given. This is an important realization and revelation – salvation had already been accomplished – these gifts and revelations were a publication of an event that has ALREADY transpired.
Verse 23 is an echo of this sequence of events. For those who accept the message and love of the good news of Christ; they have ALREADY been forgiven. It is time to tell them this incredibly good news. The disciples themselves had not asked for forgiveness for their own failures as yet, but Christ had already forgiven them, and was now inviting them to join Him in ministry to the world. He was not giving them bags of gold to finance their ministry or end poverty, but instead was breathing into them His Spirit to perfect the Love of others within them. Love would be enough to make their living examples a ministry that could not be contained. Those who accepted what they said about salvation being the gift Christ had ALREADY given; their sins were ALREADY forgiven. Those however, who like them, only moments before had rejected the good news of Christ, retained the lack of hope that comes with refusing the forgiveness Christ ALREADY offers, would retain that hopelessness. We choose to retain our own sins, not because we are forced to by our own weakness, but because we choose to by pushing away the freedom He so longs for us to accept. Those who will not hear, or accept the gift and revelation of the Truth of Christ, are dooming themselves to the slavery of their own beliefs. Their sins are retained by their refusal to let go, and accept the gift of His salvation and freedom. Christ had changed the minds and perceptions of His disciples in that room that evening because they did not continue to reject the idea of His divinity after they had seen His revelation to them. They let go their fears of the past, and were made free from the Truth of His presence.
Only God could forgive sins. Christ could forgive us, because He is God. He was not telling His disciples they had the power of forgiveness, He was telling them they had the honor of revealing the forgiveness of Christ to the world. Those who would hear the gospel would find forgiveness of Christ already active in their minds and hearts. Those who would reject the gospel of Christ would leave themselves with no hope of forgiveness, for none was left who could grant it. This was His most powerful revelation to those men in the upper room – that He was the sole source of our salvation – it would be His gift to us, and nothing we could do for ourselves. For self is always the enemy of our own salvation. For the ten men, and Mary, who were there, faith was once again renewed and affirmed and put into action. Thomas however, was missing at this event. Perhaps he had been out to find food. Perhaps he had an errand to run. But Thomas was not present to personally witness this revelation of Christ to the others. And Thomas was not able to accept this testimony based on the word of others alone. He needed a personal revelation as well. John chronicles the response of Thomas beginning in verse 24 … “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. [verse 25] The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Thomas had heard the message of Jesus being alive now twice; first from Mary, now from the other ten. But Thomas could not take the good news of the gospel just on the testimony of others, he needed more. He too needed a personal revelation in order to be sure. He wanted to believe. He wanted like the others to be so sure. But he was not. So even though the ninety and nine had been assured, the needs of the one still searching sheep aroused the attention of the One who meets every need, and loves every soul. John continues in verse 26 … “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” Notice first, there was nothing significant about the day of the week in which Christ appeared. The first time was on Sunday to affirm the testimony of Mary to his followers. This time it was on Monday a little more than week later to meet the needs of Thomas. This time, just like the first, the doors were secured again, and Christ enters the room anyway appearing the midst of them. Once again, He offers His greeting of peace to them all. This time Thomas was there to hear it for himself.
Now it was time to give Thomas the faith he would need, now it was time to give Thomas the revelation he had required. John continues in verse 27 … “Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” Christ wanted to insure that Thomas too, would be certain. Christ wanted to blow away every doubt, and every remaining shred about “how” Thomas thought. Thomas needed to “know” and Christ was there to insure that he did. Thomas responds in verse 28 … “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” No more doubts lingered in Thomas. He now addresses Christ not as his friend, but as his Lord, and his God. The divinity of Christ is no longer even a question in the mind of Thomas. He is convinced with a faith no one will ever be able to take from him in the future. But there is a greater Truth that must be revealed to them all. John continues in verse 29 … “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” The revelations of Christ are not all to be seen. The most important revelations of Christ will be experienced in the lives of those who believe. It will be the freedom from the slavery to self and sin, that is the experience of revelation we will still be able to witness for ourselves. This gift of salvation is not theoretical, but experiential. It is personal to each of us. It does not come in a corporate block, but in a one-on-one method.
The men in that room all needed to hear from Christ that His revelations were not limited to those who could “see” Him, but to those who would choose to believe in Him. That message was recorded not only for the Greeks of his day, but for us who would read these words, never having seen the person of Jesus Christ, but would be able to discern His revelation to us in the form of the salvation He brings us as His gift. Now to see Christ, we need only look at the acts of love and benevolence offered unselfishly to those in need. It is there that we see Christ reflected to the world. It is in the Love we show to others that we find Him today. When it is we who show this kind of unconditional love to others, it is we who reflect Him. When we Love without judgment or condemnation, instead loving alone to the point of redemption, it is we who join with Him, we are sent, as He was sent.
It is not our former lives that dictate our worthiness to share in His ministry. It is not our financial acumen or wealth that enables us to minister for Christ. It is our willingness to submit our own will to His, and our willingness to reflect His so great love to others through us. John seems to recognize that there are too many miracles to contain in His gospel, or perhaps any gospel. He pens this epilogue in verse 30 … “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: [verse 31] But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John offers us His insights into the proof of the divinity of Christ. But more, he offers us the revelations of God who walked our earth, and lived a life of perfect love. God is love. His kingdom is comprised of those who love. It was for love that He saved us. It was for love that He wishes to take us home with Him. It was for love that He was given to the world. It will be only love that sees the world redeemed, and us with it. Love is the only answer that can finally and fully defeat evil.