Sunday morning’s adult bible study was about the true account of Jesus Christ in the gospel of John. Pastor Giardino defined a “gospel” as “an account of man’s perspective infused with the Spirit of God.” Further, Pastor said, “there is a harmony of the gospels”, they link together “because they are inspired by God.” Using mounting evidence throughout his historical account in his gospel, John wants the reader “to believe Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God.”
Deut 19:15 tells us that two or more witnesses are required before a sinful matter can be brought to a court of law. The testimony of one cannot. So the bible is a law book, a judgment book. “Salvation is the same way”, Pastor Giardino explained, how many witnesses are needed to prove Jesus Christ is the Son of God? In like manner, Jesus said in Matt 18:16, “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” The Gospel of John provides the proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Notice the exchange in John 8:13-18: “The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” Jesus said that he himself and the Father both bore witness of him.
“The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” John 1:7 Pastor Giardino asked if anyone in the congregation knew how many times the word “believe/belief” occurred in the gospel of John. It took quite few guesses before anyone was close. “Believe/belief” is mentioned 101 times in John, more than any other book in the bible. (Acts=47 times, Mark=17 times, Matt=11 time, Luke=5 times.) “What can be concluded from this”, Pastor suggested, is that John’s main purpose was to get us to believe in Jesus Christ.
Before telling us the next word that is seen many times in the gospel of John, Pastor Giardino reminded us that John is the disciple that Jesus loved, the one with a special relationship with Christ. This is so much like King David, who loved God and liked to tell people about truth. Thus, “Truth/true” is the word mentioned 121 times in Psalms, the most in the bible. And in second place, no surprise here, is the gospel of John, where “Truth/true” is mentioned 55 times. (Luke=14 times, Matt=11 times, Mark=7 times, Acts=7 times.) So just like David, John liked to write about truth and love. Later in chapter 8 of John, Jesus reveals further truth, that He is nor only the Son of God, but is God; the pharisees did not understand.
Interesting side note: During our lesson, our pastor lamented the change in Christian music on the radio stations in Rochester. Christian music has changed from truthful old hymns to shallow contemporary Christian music. Because of the issue of money, radio station owners have changed formats.