A few years ago my husband, brother-in-law, and I were traveling to upstate New York for a wedding. We chose our flight based on the usual criteria—scheduled arrival time and cost. Our economical choice required us to drive from Northern Virginia to Philadelphia and from there take a non-stop flight to our destination. The flight was originally delayed due to bad weather—not the airline’s fault as all flights were delayed. But then a series of events snowballed. First, when the time arrived to board, the gate attendants did not announce the flight. Apparently the speakers were malfunctioning. Also, we were waiting for our flight call in an area where we could not see the gate because of the crowds, and missed the boarding. Admittedly, some fault may have been ours (by not continually staring at the board), but then we learned the flight was overbooked from the outset. How convenient that we and several others did not board! We quickly scheduled another flight to a town several hours from our destination. Bad weather delayed that flight also. When that plane finally arrived at the gate it had to refuel. Refueling required a ladder. No ladder was to be found. In fact, finding the necessary ladder took 1½ hours. When we finally boarded, the captain announced his apologies, but concluded with, “We know that you have a choice when you fly. Thank you for choosing …” (I will spare the airline in case any of you work for them!) Yes, we had a choice to fly this airline, but had we had all the facts from the beginning, perhaps our choice would have been different! And, we ended up missing the wedding entirely.
We probably all have similar nightmare travel stories. And we find ourselves wishing that we’d had all the relevant facts when we made our initial choices. Most often, we don’t. If someone had said, your plane will be stationed at a terminal lacking a ladder, a necessary component to refueling, we may have made a different decision. For any choice we make, having all the facts would be nice.
In a few weeks I will begin co-teaching a study on the gospel of John. John knew that there was a choice that everyone has to make. His purpose in writing the gospel was clear—to present all the necessary facts to make that choice.
“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
John presents his case as a lawyer would. (Perhaps that is why his is my favorite gospel book—having been a lawyer myself, and married to one!) In making a legal argument in a brief, a “fact” section is always included. The fact session has all the necessary evidence to support the argument. The judge must then decide if the evidence is sufficient to rule in favor of that argument. John’s gospel presents the “facts” to support his claim—that Jesus is the Son of God. At the conclusion, we, the judge or jury, must reach our conclusion. Was Jesus a mere teacher or prophet? Or was He, as John claimed, much more. Was and is Jesus the Son of God?
John knows that this choice matters more than any other. Unlike many of our daily decisions, this one has eternal consequences. We need to understand the choice and the consequences for choosing. We have a wedding to which we have received a personal invitation.
Throughout the Scriptures, Jesus is described as the bridegroom. Those who make the choice to believe He is the Son of God become part of His bride when He returns. That is a wedding I don’t want to miss.
“I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb’” Revelation 19:6-9
In a few weeks, I will begin this journey combing through the evidence. I will include some of my findings in my blog. I never tire of reading this beautiful love letter and invitation to us. Reviewing the evidence—the many signs and wonders—always confirms my faith.
If you live locally (Northern Virginia), please consider joining us on Wednesday evenings beginning on September 26th at 7:00. The link to register is here: https://www.mcleanbible.org/events/womens-wednesday-night-study
If not, you can read John’s Gospel along with us and listen to the teachings on Facebook live. I will keep you posted on how to follow along as the date approaches.
Alternatively, or in addition to, consider going through the new Bible Study I co-authored. Regardless, dig into the Word this fall. You will not regret it!