Summary: New life is found in Jesus the Christ, which is one of the major themes of John’s wonderful Gospel.
Jesus, The Life
December 8, 2002
Rev. William Huegel
“In Him was life and the Life was the Light of Men.” John 1:4
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6
Billy Graham knows where he is going, because of his life in Christ. In January 2000, leaders of Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, “We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.” So he agreed.
After wonderful things were said about him, Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, “I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.
Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of each passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his other pocket. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat by him. He couldn’t find it. The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.’ Einstein nodded appreciatively.
“The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry. I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’
Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.’”
Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am, I also know where I’m going.” Billy Graham knows that he has eternal life in Jesus.
“In Him was life!” In Him – in Jesus - who is the eternal Word, who was with God in the beginning and who was God, who made everything that ever existed – in Him, was life! This is a major theme of the Gospel of John. For example, notice these familiar passages from the book of John.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 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 3:14-16
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life , but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36
In John 4 there is the wonderful story about Jesus going through Samaria and stopping to talk to a very needy woman at Jacob’s well. This woman did not seem to have a good reputation in town. She had been married and divorced many times. The man with whom she was now living was not her husband. It was a hot day and Jesus was thirsty, and so He asked her for a drink. During the course of the conversation with this woman, Jesus offers her a drink of spiritual water from which she will never thirst again. Jesus says, in John 4:14 “but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This theme is brought up again in John 10, which is the Good Shepherd passage. “Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:7-10) The only thing that Jesus, the Good Shepherd wants for us, His sheep, is that we might have life to its very fullest.