18th February 2014

The Journey 

“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.”
John 20:30-31 (NIV) 

John’s gospel is an odd book. Most writers tell us the purpose of their book upfront: ‘This book is going to provide you with 100 recipes you can make within 5 minutes’ or, ‘In the chapters to follow the reader will be introduced to the basics of woodwork’. But John, rather curiously, keeps his powder dry; he doesn’t immediately declare his hand, rather he only informs his readers of the purpose of his book near the end. Why does he wait for 20 chapters packed with incident and drama before telling us his purpose? 

Is it that John understands fully well what it takes for people to come to faith? That people will come to believe in and trust Jesus only by being drawn into the story of the community of Jesus? It takes time, as we listen to and ponder on the gospel narrative, to gradually make it our own story. 

In the opening chapter of John’s gospel individuals are repeatedly told to ‘come and see’ (John 1:39, 46). This is so much more than just telling people about Jesus by handing out a tract; it means ‘come and live’, ‘come and experience’, ‘come and be a part of the community of Jesus’. This is what the disciples did, and it was only towards the end of the story that they came to truly believe. 

How do people come to believe? By ‘coming and seeing’. By responding to an invitation to come along to church, to meet with the Christian community and explore this Jesus. So why not be like Andrew, who brought his brother to see Jesus (V.41-42), and invite someone along to church.?

And remember that the invitation doesn’t demand that the person believes at the beginning of the journey, simply it beckons them to come and enter the story; to embark on a journey with the Christian community, and who knows, maybe they too will come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing, have life in his name.   

Father, please give me the heart and the opportunity to invite someone I know along to church, so that they can come and see Jesus. May they receive a warm welcome from the Christian community and find an environment in which they can journey to faith.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting time:
Saturday 2:30pm
Local Congregational Contact:
Martin Ryan
Phone:  020 8202 3998
Email:   martin_ryan@wcg.org.uk

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