After - Day 20

John 21:20-25

20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” 22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”24 This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.25 Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

This story ends on kind of a strange note. John inserts himself into the narrative, almost awkwardly, and we see Jesus make a statement that then John feels like he needs to clarify. It is a little strange that this would be added in such an uncomfortable way at the end of this great story of reversal and forgiveness. But here it is, so we should deal with it. 

First, it is clear that John wanted to remind us of his centrality to the story. By reminding us of the last supper, he is reminding us of his favored status amongst the disciples. He was right next to Jesus at the last supper and asked Jesus the seminal question about who would betray Jesus. By stating this, he is telling us that he was not only in the midst of it all, but that he was important.

In verses 24 and 25 we have an affirmation of what was being said was seen as true. And in fact, John reminds us that there is so much more that could be said that it would fill too many books to even read! Here we see the disciple reminding us that there is a much greater narrative that we will never be privy too due to the way that Jesus lived his life, the things that happened, and the volumes it would take to fill us in on everything that happened. 

We need to recognize that this gospel of John, which is at times cryptic and significantly different from the synoptics, is trying to do something for us. Remember, it was written later than all of the other gospels, by a lot actually. And therefore, John’s ongoing decision to lean into the divinity of Jesus, to help us understand the signs and what they point to, and his comment that there was much more that happened, reminds us that there are things we don’t and will never know about the life of Jesus. But what has been shared is true, he testifies and witnesses to that truth here in verse 25. 

So I guess the question for you today is what have you witnessed and can share as the truth of God in your life? Is there something that has been specifically powerful in your life and in your heart throughout your life of faith? How can you share it, and what would your witness be? 

  1. What would your witness be? 
  2. What has happened that you wouldn't necessarily tell anyone? 
  3. How can you help others understand the divinity of Jesus in your life?
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