John has recorded only a selection of Jesus’ miraculous signs. John 1:3 tells us, ″Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.″ Paul tells us, ″for in him all things were created . . . in him all things hold together.″ (Colossians 1:16-17).
It should be no surprise therefore that this Jesus is able to suspend the laws of creation-His laws-and exercise His authority over the created order, disease, and death. The signs that John has selected and recorded serve to support Jesus’ purpose in performing all those miracles while on earth: to point people to His identity as Messiah; the Son of God and the Saviour of the world (vv. 30-31).
Each verb in verse 31 has a twin aspect. ″Written″-John has recorded both the words and verifying works of Jesus. ″Believe″-all biblical faith has a conviction and commitment. Think of Noah and Abraham: they had a conviction that God had spoken to them and they matched that conviction with commitment. Noah built an ark; Abraham left his home and eventually was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Here the conviction is that Jesus is divine, just as Thomas has concluded. ″Have life″ (v. 31)-the nature of eternal life is qualitative, a new life of knowing God (John 17:3); it is also quantitative, going on forever.
That’s why John wrote-words and works; conviction and commitment; and life of new quality and quantity. John’s aim was to promote belief-new belief in the place of unbelief; and continuing, maturing belief in the lives of disciples
In A Study in Spiritual Power, an appreciation of E. J. H. Nash, who did so much to evangelise public school boys in England, he is quoted as saying, ″The difficult part of Christian work is not leading people to Christ, but nurturing them in a faith that lasts.″19 John writes in order to do both.
19E. J. H. Nash, A Study in Spiritual Power (10Publishing, 2011), 35.
How has your faith matured through reading John’s gospel?
What commitment do you need to make to match your conviction that Jesus is the Son of God?