Life in His Name
John 20:30-31 is the author's purpose statement for writing the Gospel of John, a recap of the entire Gospel of John, and a perfect summary of the book.
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written 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）
This article will provide a general review of the entire Gospel of John, focusing on the following questions: Jesus’s attributes - who is He? Jesus’s deeds - what did He do? Relationship to me - How can I believe in His name and have eternal life?
I. Jesus’s attributes - Who is He ?
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”（John 20:31）
The Christ in the New Testament Greek Bible is what the Old Testament Hebrew Bible called the "Messiah," which translates as “the Anointed One,” it includes three positions: King, Priest, and Prophet. The Bible usually refers to the "Messiah" (Christ) as the Savior!
The Old Testament has many prophecies about the Messiah.
Prophet: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to Him.”（Deut 18:15）
King: “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish His kingdom. … Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever.”（2 Sam 7:12-16）
Priest: “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."”（Ps 110:4）
The New Testament clearly states that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah (Christ): He is a descendant of Abraham, a son of David (Mt 1:1); He is the King of Israel (Mt 2:1); He is the High Priest according to Melchizedek (Heb 7:17-21).
How does John's gospel proof that Jesus is the Christ?
In John 1, when Andrew followed the Lord Jesus, he first found his brother Simon Peter.
“Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”（John 1:40-42）
When the Lord Jesus called Philip, Philip went to his good friend Nathanael, and though he did not explicitly mention Christ, the implicit meaning of Philip's words to Nathanael was clear.
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."”（John 1:45）
In John 4, Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman, and He stated bluntly that He Himself is the Christ.
“The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am He."”（John 4:25-26）
“I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."”
"If you do not believe that I am the Christ," the word "Christ" was added in the Chinese translation, "If you do not believe that I am..."
NIV，“if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be…”
NKJV ，“if you do not believe that I am He…”
"The One" implies "Christ," or even God Himself.
Likewise, Jn 8:28 is another declaration of the Lord Jesus that “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.”（John 8:28，NKJV）
Then, in John 11, the Bible clearly states from the mouth of Martha that Jesus is the Christ.
“"Yes, Lord," she told Him, "I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who was to come into the world."”（John 11:27）
Finally, the Lord Jesus Himself claimed to be the Christ with certainty. He prayed to God the Father, saying
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”（John 17:3）
In addition, the most common title Jesus used for himself is "The Son of Man," which appears seventeen times in John's Gospel. "The Son of Man" is derived from the Old Testament book of Daniel and is the title of Christ Messiah.
“"I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”（Daniel 7:13-14，NKJV）
The Lord Jesus is not only the Christ, the One who promised to come; He is also the Son of God。
Son of God means that He is the One who has the same attributes, the same category, the same authority, and the same essence as God, and He is the Son of God who has the same honor and glory with God.
Which verses of John's Gospel deal with the fact that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God and has the attributes of God?
John's Gospel is filled with such passages! The purpose of John's Gospel is to prove this point, and all of John's Gospel is selected, organized, and structured to highlight this core: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He is the second person of the Triune God, and He is God!
The Gospel of John records seven witnesses who testify to the Lord Jesus.
1. John the Baptist：“I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”（John 1:34）
2. Nathanael: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
3. Peter: “We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”（John 6:69）
4. Martha: “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”（John 11:27）
5. Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”（John 20:28）
6. John: “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”（John 20:31）
7. Jesus himself: “I am the Son of God.”（John 10:36）
John's Gospel begins with, The Word is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”（John 1:1）
This Word, who was in the beginning, is Jesus Christ. For--
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”（John 1:14）
Therefore, Jesus Christ, who is the Word, who is the only begotten Son of the Father, who is the Creator, who came down from heaven and is still in heaven.
“Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”（John 1:14）
“Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."”（John 1:49）
“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.”（John 3:13）
When Jesus called God "My Father", the Jews understood the true meaning of this.
“For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”（John 5:18）
There are countless passages in John's Gospel where Jesus calls God "My Father" and He calls Himself "The Son" (the Son of God). For example, John 5 repeats the words "Father" and "The Son" over and over again.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”（John 5:19-23，NKJV）
In John 9, the Lord Jesus healed a man who was born blind, and then He asked him, saying
“"Do you believe in the Son of God?" He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.”（John 9:35-38，NKJV）
The response of the man born blind to Jesus is a testimony to the divinity of Jesus, for the healed man "worshiped Jesus," and Jesus accepted his worship with openness, as only God can accept human worship.
The divinity of Jesus is most explicit in the declaration of the Lord Jesus Himself in John 10. “I and the Father are One.”（John 10:30）
In John 14, when Philip asked the Lord to show the Father to the disciples, the Lord Jesus said to Philip that
“Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?”（John 14:8）
In John 17, the Lord Jesus prayed to God the Father. “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.”（John 17:5）
Jesus Christ shared all the glory with God the Father before there was a world; and the glory of God cannot be shared with any other person, thing, including angels.
“I am the LORD; that is My name! I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.”（Isa 42:8）
Of course, the most important testimony about the divinity of the Lord Jesus, coming from the mouth of man, was the extraordinary confession of Thomas, the doubter of the disciples, which became the climax of the testimony of John's gospel.
“My Lord and my God!”（John 20:28）
The famous seven "I am" declarations of Jesus in the Gospel of John must be mentioned in connection with what the Lord Jesus is.
1. “I Am the bread of life.”（John 6:35）
2. “I Am the light of the world.”（John 8:12）
3. “I Am the gate for the sheep.”（John 10:7）
4. "I Am the good shepherd.”（John 10:11）
5. “I Am the resurrection and the life.”（John 11:25）
6. “I Am the way and the truth and the life.”（John 14:6）
7. “I Am the true vine.”（John 15:1）
Anyone who reads the Gospel of John cannot ignore the significant theological meaning of the word ἐγὼ εἰμί ("I AM"): "I AM" is the name of God.
“Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"”（Exod 3:13-14）
In John 8, when Jesus Christ said, "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58), He was clearly and unmistakably declaring, "I am the LORD God! "
This is the statement of Jesus Christ concerning the highest pinnacle of His deity and eternity!
II. Jesus’s deeds - What did He do?
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”（John 20:30-31）
The Greek word for "miracle" is σημεῖον, which translates into English as Sign.
The so-called "sign" means "mark", "sign". When you are driving on the highway, you will see signs of gas stations or food from afar. These signs are not gas stations or restaurants per se, but they tell you that there are gas stations or restaurants in front of you, so that you can see them from afar and go there for gas and food when you need them.
Similarly, the writer of the Gospel of John calls the miracles of the Lord Jesus "signs", meaning that they invariably point to the Lord Jesus Christ who performed the signs and wonders.
Some count a total of thirty-five miracles performed by the Lord Jesus in the four Gospels. 1
1. （turning water into wine）（约2:1-11）
2. （healing an official’s son）（约4:46-54）
3. （delivering a demon in the synagogue）（可1:21-27；路4:31-37）
4. （healing Peter’s mother-in-law）（太8:14-15；可1:29-31；路4:38-39；）
5. （First miraculous catch of fish）（路5:1-11）
6. （cleansing a leper in Galilee）（太8:2-4；可1:40-44；路5:12-14）
7. （healing a paralyzed man ）（太9:2-8；可2:1-12；路5:17-26）
8. （Healing a lame man）（约5:1-16）
9. （healing a withered hand）（太12:9-13；可3:1-5；路6:6-11）
10. （healing a centurion’s servant）（太8:5-13；路7:1-10）
11. （raising a widow’s son in Nain）（路7:11-17）
12. （casting out a blind and mute spirit）（太12:22-32；路11:14-23）
13. （Calming the storm of Galilee）（太8:23-27；路8:22-25）
14. （restoring a demon-possessed man）（太8:28-34；路8:26-37）
15. （healing a woman with a hemorrhage）（太9:20-22；可5:25-34；路8:43-48）
16. （raising Jairus’ daughter from dead）（太9:18-26；可5:22-43；路8:41-56）
17. （healing two blind men）（太9:27-31）
18. （casting out a dumb spirit）（太9:32-34）
19. （feeding the five thousand）（太14:13-21；可6:32-44；路9:10-17；约6:1-14）
20. （walking on the water）（太14:22-33；可6:45-51；约6:15-21）
21. （freeing a Canaanite woman’s daughter from a demon）（太15:21-28；可7:24-30）
22. （healing a deaf and mute man）（可7:31-37）
23. （feeding the four thousand）（太15:32-38；可8:1-9）
24. （healing a blind man at Bethsaida）（可8:22-26）
25. （healing a demon-possessed boy）（太17:14-21；可9:14-29；路9:37-42）
26. （finding a coin in a fish’s mouth）（太17:24-27）
27. （healing a man born blind）（约9:1-7）
28. （healing a woman crippled for eighteen years）（路13:10-17）
29. （healing a man with dropsy）（路14:1-6）
30. （Lazarus is raised from dead）（约11:1-44）
31. （cleansing ten lepers in Samaria）（路17:11-19）
32. （Healing blind Bartimaeus）（太20:29-34；可10:46-52；路18:35-43）
33. （cursing a fig tree）（太21:18-22；可11:12-14）
34. （restoring Malchus’ ear）（路22:49-51）
35. （the second miraculous catch of fish）（约21:1-13）
1. Edwin A. Blum, “John.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, ChariotVictor Publishing, A division of Cook Communications, 1983）
The Gospels clearly record thirty-five miracles, and there are believed to be many more signs and wonders performed by the Lord Jesus that are not recorded. For example, Matthew 8 contains the following passage.
“When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Him, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.”（Matt 8:16）
It is mentioned here that "many demon-possessed" demons were cast out, and the Lord "healed all who were sick," which contains many miracles.
Thus, the last words of John's Gospel are “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”（John 21:25）
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book.”（John 20:30）
John apparently did not record all the miracles performed by Jesus, even though of the thirty-five miracles recorded in the four Gospels, John's Gospel selectively records only eight. And the eighth miracle is recorded in chapter 21, which is generally considered to be a supplementary postscript， the end of John's Gospel up to John 20:31, so tradition says that John's Gospel records a total of seven miracles of the Lord Jesus.
1. （Changing water into wine）（约2:1-11）
2. （Healing an official’s son ） （约4:46-54）
3. （Healing an invalid at the pool of Bethesda ）（约5:1-18）
4. （Feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes ）（约6:5-14）
5. （Walking on the water of the sea of Galilee）（约6:16-21）
6. （Healing a man born blind ）（约9:1-11）
7. （Raising Lazarus from the dead）（约11:1-45）
The Israelites saw too many miracles during their exodus from Egypt and their subsequent forty years of wandering in the wilderness, but most of them died in the wilderness because of their unbelief. The people saw the sun rise and set, the seasons change, and the day and night cycle every day, and they called these miracles they saw every day as nature.
The apostle John calls these miracles "signs", but what he emphasizes is not the miracles themselves, but that they are not only related to the person who experienced them in that generation, but that they point to the Eternal One. Therefore, these signs emphasize the more important theological meaning behind them, which invariably points to the Lord Jesus Christ who performed the miracles!
As the apostle John commented purposefully in John 2, after recording the miracle of the Lord Jesus changing water into wine.
“This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.”（John 2:11）
The miracle of turning water into wine did not only relieve the host ’s embarrassment of "running out of wine" and bring them the joy of plenty of good wine, but it also emphasized that the Lord Jesus is the true satisfaction and joy of life. The words "You have kept good wine until now" immediately remind one of Paul's words. “However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him."”（1 Cor 2:9）
At the same time, the Canaanite wedding feast prefigures the future wedding feast of the Lamb, and the joy and contentment of the Canaanite wedding feast points to prosperity and peace in the kingdom of Messiah. Therefore, true joy and contentment can only be found in Christ, which is the truth about regeneration immediately following the third chapter of John's gospel.
The miracle of the healing of the minister's son is not only about the fact that the Lord Jesus healed the minister's son in that moment and place, and that He has the power to heal remotely across space, but it also shows that the Lord Jesus is the Lord of life, and He does not only give physical life, but He gives eternal life. This eternal life can only be obtained by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The minister's son was healed and the minister's entire family was saved. This minister's faith journey became the basic procedure for personal salvation by grace: hear, seek, believe, be saved, preach!
The miracle of the healing of the sick man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years, Jesus asked the man, saying “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6， NKJV）
This patient's thirty-eight years of physical paralysis were accompanied by his spiritual paralysis of loneliness, resentment, self-pity, and despair, as well as his soul paralysis of not knowing the true God and living in sin. When Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be made well?
The pool of Bethesda is full of "blind, lame, and blood-dried" patients, which is a reflection of all kinds of sinners in this world, and people need healing of their souls and bodies, and people need to pay attention not to the pool of Bethesda, but to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Physician of the Kingdom of Heaven!
The real significance of the miracle of the five loaves and two fish is not only that Jesus fed the 5,000 or even 10,000 or 20,000 people in the area with the five loaves and two fish, but also the next lesson of Jesus about the bread of life.
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”（John 6:35）
The miracle of the Lord walking on the sea was not only that dark night when Jesus saw the disciples in great distress and walked to the boat that was swaying in the gale, but that the disciples and believers today should trust completely in the Savior Jesus Christ who said, "It is I, do not be afraid" (Jn 6:20) in the midst of the storms of life!
The miracle of the healing of the man born blind was not only the healing of a blind man who had been blind since birth, but a declaration that the Lord Jesus is "the light of the world" and that whoever follows Him "will not walk in darkness" (Jn 8:12). (Jn 8:12) He will open the spiritual blindness of the world and heal the eyes of the heart blinded by Satan, so that man may "turn from darkness to light and from Satan's power to God." (Acts 26:18)
The miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead was not only a one-time resurrection of His beloved friend Lazarus from the dead after four days of death, but the resurrection of Lazarus was a clear proof of the resurrection of all people in the future. More importantly, the Gospel of John proclaims that Jesus is the Savior Christ who "is in me and has life in me" (John 11:25).
Unbelievers, liberals, and even some so-called Christians deny the historicity and authenticity of the resurrection of Lazarus, not on the basis of the inerrant words of the Bible, but on the basis of the reasoning and logic of "how can a man be resurrected after four days of death", and infer the impossibility of Lazarus' resurrection.
Brothers and sisters, the inerrancy of the Bible is the bottom line that Christians must uphold. If you let someone say that there is an error in the Bible, even a tiny one, immediately someone will find hundreds or thousands of errors in the Bible, so that the Bible immediately becomes full of holes, which is the trickery of Satan the devil.
What else did the Lord Jesus do?
Of course, the greatest miracle recorded in John's Gospel is the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Himself. Jesus himself prophesied his death on the cross and his resurrection many times.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”（John 3:14）
“Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”（John 2:19）
“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be.”（John 8:28）
“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”（John 10:18，NKJV）
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”（John 12:23-24）
“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”（John 12:32）
The death of Jesus reveals that He is the "Lamb of God" who "takes away the sins of the world" (Jn 1:29) and fulfills His mission of atonement. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus reveals His power to "give and take" (Jn 10:18) over the powers of death, fulfilling His mission of salvation.
III. Relationship with me - How can I have life through faith in Him?
“But these are written 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）
This is the purpose statement of John's gospel: "that you may believe", "and that you may believe", ... and thus have life.
What is life?
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”（John 1:4）
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”（John 10:10）
“I am the way and the truth and the life.”（John 14:6）
Life is in Jesus Christ, and He is life. He came not only to give life, but eternal life.
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”（John 17:3）
So, eternal life is an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, a relationship that is like the branch and the vine, the branch must be connected to the vine in order to have life.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”（John 15:5-6）
There is only one way to build an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, and that is through "faith"! The word "faith" is so important that it is repeated hundreds of times in John's Gospel. "Faith is also the central word in one of the most important verses in the entire Bible.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”（John 3:16）
If John 20:31 is the statement of purpose of John's gospel, then John 3:16 is the central proclamation of John's gospel!
This concludes the message of the book of John in a nutshell -
Jesus Christ is the only heavenly ladder to heaven, (Jn 1:51)
Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father, (Jn 14:6)
To know Jesus Christ, whom God sent, is eternal life! (John 17:3)
Rev. Yunsheng Ren
Translated by Dr. Wang Ping