Much of the history you read is in summary form. “Washington crosses the Potomac.” “Japan surrenders ending World War II.” “Elon Musk set to buy Twitter.” But history books don’t have the bandwidth to tell every back story or every detail that led to the headline. I get the same sense when reading what the Apostle John pens at the end of his gospel account. John 21:25 says “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
That’s the way John ends the gospel. It’s his way of saying, Jesus’ remarkable life and ministry was even deeper, more significant, and richer than what was written. John’s desire was to point people to Jesus the Messiah. That’s why he picked the miracles and the particular historical events to be in the Gospel of John. I believe that if his desire was to focus on Jesus’ compassion, perhaps other stories would have been recorded. If it was to demonstrate Jesus’ leadership style, maybe other encounters would have been chronicled.
However, God directed John to write with a specific purpose. He says it himself in John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these 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.”
Here are two takeaways. First, be encouraged. Your life is not a headline. It’s full of twists and turns and stories and highs and lows. Taken all together, you, my friend, have a full and robust life. Don’t be discouraged. Remember, your history and your final pages have yet to be written. Secondly, when referring to my illustration of John’s Gospel, his purpose was that you would believe in Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, the One who gives life. Have you believed yet?