Day 180: The Purpose of this Book

John 20:30-31 :

Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Well, we’ve arrived at the end of the book of John and in this book, the purpose was given near the end rather than at the beginning. Some possible questions about the book of John are answered in this short purpose statement.

If you were wondering why certain stories that we find in the other records of Jesus were left out of this one, we find out here. It says that Jesus did many other signs that they saw that weren’t recorded here. Then he explains that these things were recorded with a specific purpose.

It is important for us to consider the purposes of the different accounts of Jesus because they help us to understand their proper interpretation. Take the book of Matthew, for instance. That book seems to stress Jesus as a Jewish King more than it tries to help us to “believe” and “have life in his name”. It’s not that John doesn’t show Jesus as the King or that Matthew doesn’t show Him as one we should believe in, it’s just that they have different primary purposes.

Matthew starts with a genealogy and John starts with a preamble. The genealogy links Jesus to David’s line, the preamble explains who did and didn’t believe in Jesus. Right away you get a different feel between the books, but, as we know, we absolutely need both of them to get a full picture.

I was considering why John wrote the purpose of the book at the end. As I think about it, He was really explaining the purpose all along, but perhaps putting it here stands as a test for the reader. It’s kind of like a final exam. The question is: “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?” If you do, you have life in His name. That’s Christianity. That’s how we start out. Prominent people today say that believing isn’t important, but we can see here that it is entire purpose of this book.