The triumph of Life

For the lesson titled "Life" from January 10–16, 2011

The gospel of John proclaims, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3, citation 2). Those words epitomize this week’s Bible Lesson on “Life.” In fact, John and one of the Johannine epistles, First John, provide seven Scriptural passages for the Lesson, more than from any other book.

The Gospel of John is distinct from the three Gospels that precede it—Matthew, Mark, and Luke present their stories from similar points of view and therefore are called “synoptic” Gospels. John draws on different sources, and some scholars divide this Gospel in two: “The Book of Signs,” chapters 1–11, and “The Book of Glory,” chapters 12–21. The Book of Signs is built around seven “signs,” or marvelous acts, that confirm that Jesus is the Messiah, or Christ. The Book of Glory tells how Jesus is glorified by his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. For example, as he prays for the world, his disciples, and himself, Jesus petitions, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (John 17:1, cit. 2).

The rousing Responsive Reading for this Lesson recounts Lazarus’ resurrection, the crowning “sign” in John. It includes one of the “I am” sayings of Jesus, which are peculiar to this Gospel (John 11:25, 26). The New International Version renders it: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” Science and Health corroborates this: “Truth demonstrated is eternal life” (p. 289, cit. 3).

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Taking my thought higher
January 10, 2011

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