For the last two years, we have been studying the book of John. Tonight we come to the end of this study. What a wonderful book and study this has been! Even though we covered all twenty-one chapters, literally verse by verse, we could have just as easily explored a ten-year study of the same book and still not explored all the riches contained within. For me personally, it has been one of the most enlightening studies I have ever traveled.
Tonight, even in his final words, John does not disappoint. He concludes this book with so much glory I am finding it difficult to plumb the depths of my limited ability to describe it. First, we will see the freedom that comes from just focusing on Christ! Next, we are going to take a moment to see how easy it is for us to misunderstand scripture. Third, we will consider what it means for God’s witness of truth to be IN US! And fourth, we will see the greatness of God! Our poor human language is no match for these glorious truths!
But let me touch on one point from the lesson right now concerning our freedom in Christ—a wonderful freedom that comes when our focus is completely on Christ. In these verses we begin with a scene where Peter is walking ahead with Jesus, and John is following them from behind. Peter asks concerning John, “Lord, and what about this man?”
Putting this scene in context helps us to understand the meaning more. Jesus had just prophesied the exact nature of Peter’s own death by crucifixion. Now Peter, seeing John following behind them, essentially asked Jesus what was going to happen to John by comparison. Jesus replied, “If I want him (referring to John) to remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me.”
Isn’t that interesting? This is a wonderful lesson full of peace for us. Here we see that God’s sovereign WILL over each of our lives is ordained to play out differently by the Lord. He is in complete control over each and every life. He is the Great Shepherd caring for His sheep. Proverbs 20:24 says, “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way?” I like the Living Bible Paraphrase for this verse, “Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?”
Solomon is saying that it is not for us to compare the journey of our life, the length of our life, or the ministry of our life, to anyone else’s life! We can simply understand that God IS accomplishing His purpose in our life AND everyone else’s life! We have a tendency, like Peter, to compare what we are doing for the Lord with what others are doing. But the Lord’s word to Peter is a good admonition for us as well. The path that the Lord has purposed for others is not for us to focus on. What a freedom this is to just be sensitive to the Lord’s leading in our own life—we can be free to focus on Christ and follow Him!
[The topic being covered by satellite Bible studies may be different.]