Sunday, 29 July 2007

Grace unmeasured

Had a great time at church this morning. There's one guy at church called Ken that I find it particularly stimulating to chat with.

This morning we had one of those meandering theological conversations - enjoying Jesus, enjoying the gospel. As part of our conversation, we were speaking on how grateful we are that John's Gospel contains Chapter 21, when Peter is reinstated by Jesus. The Gospel could have so easily finished without that final epilogue - yet it's presence illustrates so clearly that the Christian life and Christian leadership is built all upon grace.

Ken and I went on to chat about how the apostle John was evidently bowled over by grace. It shows in his Gospel and in his letters.

This ties in very closely with something I noticed as I've been working through the early chapters of Acts. I love Acts 8, where Peter and John go to see the new Samaritan believers. Only a few years earlier (Luke 9), John and James ask Jesus to call down fire on the Samaritans when he is rejected in a Samaritan town. But now, following Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension John is in Samaria, humbly welcoming in his former enemies as brothers. So sure is he that the gospel is for the Samaritans that he avoids returning to Jerusalem immediately but spends more time preaching the gospel throughout Samaria (Acts 8:25).

John's grasp of the grace he had been shown evidently saw him see the need to show grace to others. Perhaps John had the Samaritans in mind as he wrote this: 'This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.' (1 John 3:16)

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