The apostle John begins his account of the gospel of Jesus Christ with this word describing John the Baptist in Chapter 1 verse 7, ” He came as a witness(Μαρτυρία), to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” John the Baptist was a martyr in the true sense of the word. His very life and death was a testimony, a witness that Jesus was indeed the very Son of God come to us in the flesh to save us from our sins.
Both John the apostle and John the Baptist teach us that the faith is worth dying for, “The truth will set you free.” No one would die nor give their life for just an opinion. I certainly believe that the steaks at Texas Roadhouse are comparable to some the most expensive steaks I’ve ever tasted, however I’m not willing to give my life in denying this claim. Very rarely will someone even “give their life for a good person.” However, we will examine some of the witnesses who give an account to who Jesus claimed to be. This is not such a small matter as to taste of a steak or preferred sports team. Who Jesus claims to be is a matter of life and death, even more, eternal life and eternal death.
John tells us why he wrote his Gospel: “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30–31). Life! When we believe that Jesus is the Christ, God gives us life—abundant life, forgiven life, and eternal life.
Historically, the Fourth Gospel is likened to an eagle—an image that suggests John soars to heights of glory and grandeur. That’s because the evangelist paints a stunning portrait of Jesus, who is the bread of life, the resurrection and the life, and the way, the truth, and the life. Life in Jesus. That’s God’s gift to you!
This Lent, our life in Christ will be strengthened as we hear the witness of those in John’s Gospel who journeyed to the cross. Along the way, we’ll meet villains, such as Barabbas and Pontius Pilate, as well as sinners, such as Peter (who denied Jesus three times), Mary Magdalene (who was possessed by seven demons), and Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver).
Please join us for worship as we hear the witness of these people in John’s Gospel:
Ash Wednesday: John the Baptist, John 1:29–34
Midweek of Lent 1: Mary, the Sister of Lazarus and Martha, John 12:1–11
Midweek of Lent 2: Malchus, John 18:1–11
Midweek of Lent 3: Peter, John 18:12–27
Midweek of Lent 4: Barabbas, John 18:33–40
Midweek of Lent 5: Pontius Pilate, John 19:1–16
Maundy (Holy) Thursday: Judas Iscariot, John 13:21–30
Good Friday: John, the Gospel Writer, John 19:25–37
The Vigil of Easter: Nicodemus, John 19:38–42
The Resurrection of Our Lord: Mary Magdalene, John 20:1–18
See you on Sunday and Wednesdays in Lent!
In Christ, Pastor Ottmers