30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
The author says, this is just a sampling of the things that Jesus did – he could not possibly write them all down. We sometimes forget that – although the gospel writers recorded many things that Jesus said, each of them chose from things that they could have said in order to make the points they felt needed to be made, for the people of the church. Mark wrote first, then Matthew and Luke. They are believed also to have had a common source, a book of Jesus’ miracles and sayings, called “Q”. The Gospel of John was written later, as we said, probably not by the Apostle John, but by someone writing what he had told them. But he wrote these things with a specific purpose in mind, that the people of the church to whom he wrote might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Perhaps they were threatened by people around them, or among them, who said that Jesus was something else – a spirit and not a man, or a man and not the Son of God, or a rebel, or a teacher – All that Jesus was must be included if we are to understand who he is. And for us, he lives today – he was a man, who walked the dusty roads of Galilee and Judea, even Samaria; he ate with tax collectors and sinners; he taught the people; he interpreted the scriptures like a good rabbi; he challenged authority; he felt compassion; he wept for his friends; and he died on the cross – he was the Son of God, who performed miraculous signs; healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the seas and the wind; prayed to the Father; and rose from the dead. We believe through the witness of those who were there, those who told the story. Unlike Thomas, we do not get to see the wounds, but we see the difference meeting him made to the lives of those disciples, and we believe. Through believing in him we too have life in his name.
That was the gospel that John wrote, and this is believed by some to have been the end of the original writing, or perhaps, a conclusion to the information in chapter 20. But if it was originally the end, then the author comes back to write a post-script, something he could not leave out! We will approach chapter 21 tomorrow!