Life in Christ Caused by Reading the Gospel of John
 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus didn’t just appear to the disciples to prove His power and divinity, He still had work to do. There were over 500 different people that saw Him after He rose from the dead. He showed up on the coast of a lake, in locked rooms, and of course in the original garden where He was buried.
Thomas, for whatever reason, missed out on some of those. In the end, he was surely feeling left out as everyone else was excited but he just couldn’t believe what they were saying. He wasn’t doubting because he was weak in his faith or because he didn’t like Jesus, he was doubting because he was like most of us when we hear unbelievable news.
John told the stories from his gospel for years and years in a culture that valued memorization and repetition. Eventually, it must have occurred to John that Jesus was going to take longer to end the world than any of them suspected. When he wrote this down, looking back, there were too many memories to count that didn’t get into his book.
That was ok. The point of the book wasn’t an exhaustive history of Jesus, but just enough to help you believe in Christ and have life in His name.
Jesus said Himself that the scriptures point to Him. The scriptures are good, but it’s Jesus that gives life. In that context, take some time in this new year to read through big chunks of scripture. It takes about 2 hours to read through the whole Gospel of John. We had a party once where everyone sat around the room and each person read a chapter. Every single person said they heard something amazing and new that night.
John’s goal, inspired by Jesus, was to help us read and have life in Christ’s name. Audiobook, phone app, whatever, we can read it and we can do it!