In the opening words of today’s Gospel John quoted Jesus saying, “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.”
With those words John summed up his reasons for writing his Gospel. In the closing words to last Sunday’s Gospel John wrote something like this, “Jesus did many other signs in the sight of his disciples, but they are not recorded here. I have written these things to show that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that by believing in him you might have life.”
So, all the stories in the twenty-one chapters of John’s Gospel converge on those two points. First, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. Second, that by believing in him we have life.
John did not speak of miracles performed by Jesus. He called them signs. There were six in all. The first was changing the water to wine at Cana. It concluded with John saying, “This first of his signs did Jesus at Cana of Galilee, revealing his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
In Chapter Three Nicodemus came by night, and would accord to Jesus no honor above being a teacher come in God’s name. Not believing, he could not be born again.
In Chapter Four the Samaritan Woman came at noon, showing that her heart was open to light. She suspected that Jesus might be the Messiah. He told her, “The water I will give you will become a fountain within you, springing up to eternal life.”
That is a truly beautiful picture. The life of Grace that God has bestowed on you is a playful, life-giving, fountain springing up in your breast.