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When my parents retired they wrote their memoirs. My parents aren’t famous and by most standards haven’t lived particularly eventful lives, but their finished product is among my most precious possessions.
Sometime in the late 80s or early 90s (first century, not 20th) an old man named John sat down to write a memoir of his own. But he didn’t tell the story of his life; instead he told the story of the most remarkable man he had ever known.
John spent three years with Jesus. Then he spent the next fifty reflecting on all he had experienced. So, as he neared the end of his life, he decided to start writing. But it wasn’t an easy task. For one Jesus did and said so much that if everything were written down, “the whole world would not have room for all the books that would be written.” So he used a simple rule to decide what to include and what to set aside. “These [things]”, he said, “are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” In other words, he wanted to call people to faith in Jesus.
This new series, John on Jesus, has three sections. Chapter 12 tells the story of the reactions people had to Jesus – positive and negative. Chapter 14 to 17 tells the story of a long conversation Jesus had with his disciples. Then, in the final section (chapters 18 to 20) he tells the difficult story of the death of Jesus; a story that ended with a great reversal.
What’s wonderful about John’s biography of Jesus is that it is written by someone who knew Jesus so well. And he wrote with clarity and passion about the man he believed was for everyone. Including us.