Thursday, November 7, 2019
This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. John 21:24-25
Marco Polo, the famous Italian explorer of the late Middle Ages, ventured to the Far East where he lived for 17 years.
After returning home, Polo spent the remainder of his life writing articles and speaking to anyone who would listen about his travels. His wild stories of glorious empires and fantastical creatures sounded more like fiction than fact, and most people considered them gross fabrications.
On his deathbed, after finishing his volume, The Travels of Marco Polo, priests came into his room and urged him to repent of his lies so he could receive the last rites of conscience. According to tradition, Polo refused, saying to the priests, “I never told you the half of it.”
I love those words.
The apostle John effectively says the same thing as he puts the final touches on his brief biography of Jesus. In fact, whenever I read John 21:24-25, I picture John coming to the end of his scroll, putting down his quill, sitting back in his chair, and just reminiscing quietly for a long time.
Think of all the things he heard and saw firsthand. He was with Jesus for the better part of three years. He ate countless meals with Him, walked countless miles with Him, and shared countless conversations with Him. He saw Jesus heal beggars, confront religious leaders, and confound masses of people with His teachings.
In light of this, the question facing me at the outset of this brief devotional was how to do justice to such a monumental book in so short a time. John had a similar struggle, except that his question was how to do justice to such a monumental life in so short a book!
Miraculously, by the inspiring work of the Holy Spirit, he accomplished it.
What he left behind when he rolled up his scroll was an honest, eye-witness account of God. It isn’t all there is to know – not even close. It certainly isn’t all we wish to know. And it isn’t all we will know one day. But it’s what we need to know most of all.
And don’t forget that.
As we close this brief study of John’s gospel, don’t walk away with the sense that you understand everything or that you can simply move on to something else.
You don’t move on from this gospel. There is no higher peak of theology. That’s the beauty of having an infinite God behind this revelation. We can study Him our whole lives and always discover something more!
John didn’t need to write a library full of books in order to give us a lifetime supply of discovery. He gave us that in just his opening line, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
I hope your love for our Lord has grown through this study. Knowledge is profitable. Historical understanding is helpful. But John wants us to see God’s love and to love Him as a result. Jesus really is God, He really is alive, and He really is good.
May our lives serve as a reflection of those precious truths today as we await the soon-coming return of our great and glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.