As you may know, Bruce and I have been working on a family project, off and on, for a couple of years. But the last month or so, we’ve really been working extra hard to finish it. The project is a book telling our family history, beginning with past generations, but mostly about our life together as a family.
Obviously, the experiences we’ve had and the things we’ve witnessed, are the most vivid to us. But the biggest challenge is deciding what to include. If we tried to tell about everything we remember, the book would be cumbersome. In one of those decision times, I remembered what John, Jesus’ apostle said when he was writing his recollections about his time with Jesus.
John said: “Jesus did many other miracles before his followers that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you can believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Then, by believing, you can have life through his name.” ICB, John 20:30,31
John is the only gospel writer who explicitly states his purpose for including what he wrote. “These are written…”
Our family story is important to our family, of course, but in the grand scheme of human history, it’s really insignificant. No one’s eternal destiny is going to hinge on what we write. But John must have had a sense of the importance of what he wrote. He remembered so vividly, I’m sure, the amazing miracles Jesus performed, the searing words he spoke to the hypocrites, the loving message he had for those who were suffering or outcasts by the society. And you can feel the urgency he felt in wanting those who read his words, including us – to believe what he saw and heard.
Jesus had said, the night he ate the last supper with his disciples and was arrested, “I have told you this now, before it happens. Then when it happens, you will believe.”
We always have the choice what to believe. I believe John. I believe Jesus. Let’s eat this meal together as our testimony that we believe.