This writing touches on the number one book of the Bible commonly recommended for people of little or no “faith.” What we call the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books comprised by numerous authors over a few thousand years. I pray this short article will give you a strong desire to check out the Bible book of John for yourself—and thereby find out how much God loves you individually.
The book of John (the last of the four gospels, or eye witness testimonies of Jesus’ closest 12 disciples) paints a one-of-a-kind picture of who Jesus was when He came to earth the first time.
Dr. David Jeremiah writes this in his introduction, from The Jeremiah Study Bible, regarding the Bible book of John: “We thirst for a deeper sense of meaning to our lives…Jesus simply said, ‘Here it is. Here is what you have always longed for but never put into words…There is life in His name—eternal life that will sustain us forever and life for today that well refresh and renew us in the middle of the journey.”
I’m going to focus this writing on Jeremiah’s phrase “life in His name…will refresh and renew us in the middle of the journey.” I’ll excerpt “refresh” and “renew” phrases from the books of John, from my favorite Bible translations. My hope is not to teach you Christian principles as such but rather to give you a taste of Jesus, as described in the Bible book of John.
These following verses are taken from The New Testament in Modern English—better known as the J.B. Phillips version:
“ ‘It is not that you have chosen me, but it is I who have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and bear fruit that will be lasting; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.’ ” JOHN 15:16
Even as a person with a heart of prayer myself for many years, I admit this is a fantastic promise, “whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” That involves a spiritual process—not necessarily just using the words in the name of Jesus.
These verses are taken from The Message—a very popular contemporary language paraphrase (one put in the words of the one’s—or one person in this case—doing the translating, such as the J.B. Phillips version used earlier):
“ ‘The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.’” JOHN 3:34-36
Think about that Bible promise from God to you—that you can get “in on everything, life complete and forever.”
“Jesus said, ‘Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet…’ ” JOHN 6:43-46
That’s one of the reasons Jesus was tortured to death, was buried in a rock tomb, and rose from the dead—to put people “together, setting them on their feet.”
“ ‘You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don’t make judgments like that. But even if I did, my judgment would be true because I wouldn’t make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent me, the Father.’ ” JOHN 8:14-18
Numerous Bible characters—and Jesus himself—didn’t talk about spiritual truths “out of the narrowness of” his “experience” but said and did only what he heard the Father say and do.
“ ‘…God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about. I say this with absolute confidence…’ ” JOHN 8:49-51
Here’s another fantastic promise from the Bible book of John just for you, “God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about.”
“ ‘Righteous Father, the world has never known you, but I have known you, and these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. I have made your very being known to them—who you are and what you do—and continue to make it known, so that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them.’ ” JOHN 17:24-26
Ultimately Jesus made the “very being” of God the Father “known”—who he is and what he does—“so that” the Father’s “love for” Jesus “might be in” us.
This verse is taken from The New Living Translation—a closer-to-the-original languages version than the original Living Bible:
“ ‘You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.’ ” JOHN 16:24
We ask in prayer so that we’ll “receive, and will have abundant joy.”
These verses are from The Amplified Bible—a study Bible that adds definitions and synonyms (other words that mean the same):
“ ‘[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].’ ” JOHN 14:14
Jesus represents all that “I AM”—an Old Testament expression for God that means whatever we need God is on our behalf.
“ ‘I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.’ ” JOHN 15:11
In closing, I’d like to say that the Bible book of John is written so that the joy and delight of Jesus “may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” What encouraging words of promise to us!