John 21:1-25

Living a life, so that others believe

John 21:1-25
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John 21:22
We are at the end of John's gospel. We have unpacked chapter 21 in our sermon this week, and I just want to focus on one verse. In verse 22 Peter asks Jesus a question. He wants to know if John is going to live forever or until Jesus returns? And Jesus answers “if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:22).

John is almost repeating what he says about the purpose of his book. In John 20:31 it says “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”.

As we worked our way through John over this year, we have come back to this verse again and again and again. The whole of the gospel is written that we might believe. That's our question as we draw to a close and head towards Christmas. How's your belief?

Are we following Jesus? Are we aware of the love and the care and the compassion that God has for us? What does it say in probably the most famous verse in John's gospel, John 3:16 “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”. And then in John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” That knowledge is intimate, it’s relational.

Do you know God? Do you know how much God delights in you? How much he cherishes you? I don’t know what this year has been like for you. It's been a challenging year for many and it's easy within those challenges to think. If God really loved me I wouldn't be going through this challenge. And yet, again, John's gospel is being very clear, Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). The challenges don't mean God doesn't love us, they are just part of life. The cross declares God does love us.

In my own walk with Jesus, I have to keep coming back to chapters 18, 19 and 20 of John's gospel: Jesus’ trial, crucifixion and resurrection. When I look again at the cross I realise how much God loves me, that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one without sin, would become sin on the cross for me that I might have freedom.

I just want to remind you again, God love us, God is for us, God has poured out his Spirit on us and lavished his grace over us. I want us to live in the good of that. Because I know that when I live in the good of that, that love, that grace, that affection; affirmation and acceptance begin to flow out of me towards others. It impacts my marriage, impacts my parenting, it impacts the sort of colleague I am, the sort of neighbour I am, the sort of customer I am.

And that's God's heart for his church. That there would be a community of people who are so aware of God's love for them and God’s compassion for them, that that love and compassion would begin to pour out on their community. That's my prayer for this Advent. That as we become more aware of God's love for us, the world, our community, our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, would become increasingly aware of our love and compassion for them. And from that will come conversation and discussion that would give us opportunity to share our faith.

You see, we are all called to write a gospel. We are all called to live a life that speaks of the love of God. That our lives would say to others, I have lived my life that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing you might have life in his name.


  1. In what areas of your life would you like to follow Jesus more?

  2. Spend some time allowing the Holy Spirit to remind you of God’s love, grace, affection, affirmation, and acceptance for you and for that intimate personal relationship to impact deeply all that you are and do.

  3. As you live more aware of God's love for you, pray that from your life flows an increase of love and compassion for your community, friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, and that there will be greater opportunities to share your faith.


Father God,

Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that we have looked at him through page after page of John's gospel. Thank you that we will fix our eyes again on him as we approach the celebration of his birth. Lord, help us to follow you in a way that causes others to follow you.

This Everyday Devotions was written by Simon Elliott, our Lead Elder.

If you would like to listen to the whole of this week’s sermon on John 17:1-26 why not download the Everyday Church App or visit our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions has also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.

Follow our Everyday Devotions Playlist for some songs to help you worship God in Spirit and truth this week.
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