Be Alive: Get to Know the Living Savior

I veered from my Bible reading plan because I wanted to be in one of the gospels over December, and because the plan had not taken me through John in the last few years.

Warren Wiersbe divided his commentary on John into two books, the first being Be Alive (John 1-12): Get to Know the Living Savior.

Each of the four gospels presents Jesus from a different aspect. John’s gospel portrays Jesus as the Son of God.

John shares different titles for Jesus: the eternal, incarnate Word of God (“Much as our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is God’s ‘Word’ to reveal His heart and mind to us”–p. 20); the light of the world; the eternal Son of God; the lamb of God; the Messiah, long promised and prophesied in the Old Testament; the king of Israel; the Son of Man; the good shepherd, the water and bread of life, the door.

When John shares some of the miracles Jesus did, he “seeks to share the inner meaning—the inner significance—of our Lord’s works, so that each miracle is a ‘sermon in action” (p. 38). “Our Lord’s miracles were testimonies (John 5: 36), giving evidence of His divine sonship; but they were also tests, exposing the hearts of the people (John 12: 37ff.). The same events that opened some eyes only made other eyes that much more blind (John 9: 39–41)” (p. 44).

One theme through John’s gospel is Jesus’ “hour.” Throughout, Jesus says His hour was not yet come. Then it was at hand, then it finally culminated in His death for us.

Another theme is that Jesus loves and came to die for the world, not just the Jews.

One of John’s major themes is that Jesus is the Savior of the world, not simply the Redeemer of Israel. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1: 29). “For God so loved the world” (John 3: 16). The Samaritans rightly identified Him as “the Savior of the world” (John 4: 42). He gave His life for the world, and He gives life to the world (John 6: 33). He is the Light of the World (John 8: 12). The universal emphasis of John’s gospel is too obvious to miss. Jesus will bring the “other sheep” who are outside the Jewish fold (John 10: 16; and see 11: 51–52) (p. 190).

The crowds at first flocked to Jesus for His teaching and His provision. They hoped He would throw off Roman oppression and set up His kingdom. Some believed and became loving followers of Christ. Many began to fall away when He spoke of the cost of discipleship and when it became clear that He was not the type of Messiah they had envisioned.

The Pharisees were supposed to be experts in the law of God, but they missed the Savior portrayed in the law.

When a person starts to resist the light, something begins to change within him, and he comes to the place where he cannot believe. There is “judicial blindness” that God permits to come over the eyes of people who do not take the truth seriously. (The quotation of Isa. 6: 9–10 is found in a number of places in the New Testament. See Matt. 13: 14–15; Mark 4: 12; Luke 8: 10; Acts 28: 25–27; Rom. 11: 8.) It is a serious thing to treat God’s truth lightly, for a person could well miss his opportunity to be saved. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isa. 55: 6)” (p. 194).

John’s gospel is a full and rich portrayal of Christ. There is so much in it, I am not surprised Wiersbe took two books to cover it. I look forward to the next one.

8 thoughts on “Be Alive: Get to Know the Living Savior

  1. I *always* find your blog to be worth the time to read and really think about your words. No quick skimming to just get through it. Thank you!

  2. I have come to really enjoy Wiersbe’s commentaries. I spent a lot of time in Colossians this year and his was one of my go-to resources. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and rich blessings in the New Year, Barbara!

  3. Good word here Ms. Barbara. Sometimes, God will lead us in a different direction, put us on a different path of discovery, to show us what He wants for our lives. I think you just took one of those “Divine Detours” my friend. Sounds like it was a worthwhile one. 🙂

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