25) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.John 21:25 (KJV)
This is an interesting verse in tone and message. It sounds conversational for in it John engages in a form of hyperbole (“I suppose”) and yet the message of this verse conveys an immense truth.
Can the world contain in book form a record of all that Jesus did? It is an interesting question. If man wrote down all of the things that Jesus did, that is every act, are there enough pages of books in the entire world to contain all of that information?
No, for Jesus has done more than all the books in the world can contain. Why is this so?
Because God’s acts and nature are far too immense to be confined to books. If the attempt were made to record all of the things that Jesus did into books we would run out of ink before we even scratched the surface.
When we refer to recording what Jesus did, the works are truly endless and we cannot record all of them in detail in writing.
Please note that I am not saying for a moment that the Bible (scripture) as it has been preserved for centuries and as it is inspired by God and ordained by Him is missing something for it is not in the slightest. The Bible is fully complete and sufficient for all of man’s problems for all time. Scripture is fully sufficient.
What John (and I) am doing here is trying to prove a truth by supposing the above question.
When I say we cannot record all that Jesus did, I mean that we cannot record all that He did because His ways, acts and nature are infinitely detailed. There are two major reasons for this claim.
First, Jesus’ miracles, attributes and truths are far too profound to ever be fully described. As we shall soon learn, God is unsearchable, He is infinite in everything that He does. Who He is, that is His very nature, is infinite and eternal yet our knowledge is limited in this life. We simply cannot write all of that which is infinitely deep.
Second, we cannot possibly record everything Jesus did in books because Jesus operates outside of time. In fact this applies to all that He does. You see, everything God has done and will do from creation to revelation is gloriously and profoundly infinite and intentional. This includes His early ministry. What Jesus did on earth applied to not just the moment but to all time and eternity.
Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross for example, was not just a single act for a single moment in time. No, it was for all time and its ramifications and impact have and will continue to be felt throughout all of human history for the cross still saves.“When we contemplate the unsearchable nature of God and the endlessness of His works it gives us the utmost motivation and desire to know, praise and worship Him.”
Thus, when we ask if we can record what Jesus did, it is really not a matter of what He did, but of what He is still doing.
Jesus is still saving men and women every day because of what He did on the cross and through all that He did while on earth. So yes, we can write of what He has done and learn what it means for us. That in itself is truly magnificent yet we can never write down all of the millions of testimonies of lives changed and saved because of what Jesus did.
In fact, if we attempted to write it all down we would not be able to finish because His work is not complete. He is still saving sinners to this day because of what He did on the cross. Additionally, His ways work in ways we cannot comprehend fully this side of heaven.
When we contemplate the unsearchable nature of God and the endlessness of His works it gives us the utmost motivation and desire to know, praise and worship Him.
As we live to be more like Jesus in thought, deed, word, heart and mind, we slowly begin to comprehend, if ever so slightly and slowly, the unsearchable depth of His character and glory.
It is immeasurably comforting to know that we have a God that is beyond the limited faculties of the human mind. It makes the desire to love and know Him more that much sweeter. We are naturally all the more curious to learn about things that are beyond our comprehension. The infinite provides us with a sense of awe and wonder.
This is the opposite of many things in life, for you can learn much in this life yet knowledge ultimately cannot satisfy us. Nothing in life is truly unsearchable and infinitely glorious like God.
You can go to school and learn any subject, yet you can become bored with the subject or learn everything you’d like to learn.
Or you can learn a trade and climb the ladder, yet when you reach the top, wherever that may be, you can become stagnant. You wind up desiring a deeper and newer knowledge that you know you cannot get anymore from your current vocation.
You can learn about other people yet sometimes what you learn will disappoint you and you will not want to learn anymore about them.
Learning about God is the total opposite of all of these examples. We never reach a plateau in learning about God. There is never anything we will learn about God that is scary or evil, nothing that will let us down.“We are naturally all the more curious to learn about things that are beyond our comprehension. The infinite provides us with a sense of awe and wonder.”
Learning about Him is the greatest and most glorious pursuit in this life. It is no wonder that all the books of the world cannot contain information of all of the works that He did on earth.
Therefore then the pursuit of learning about God and how to be like Him that makes the Christian life worthwhile and joyful. It is also truly meaningful to have a knowledge of God and to grow in knowledge of Him. There are many benefits to it.
18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.2 Peter 3:18 (KJV)
Seeking to learn earthly knowledge is commendable yet we must strive to learn about God, His commands, and His ways. When we do this we learn about what truly lasts and what is truly valuable. By knowing God we also grow in grace.
2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:2 Peter 1:2-3 (KJV)
The knowledge of God also provides us with peace. Additionally, when you learn and know about God He gives you all of things that pertain unto life and godliness.
Knowledge of man, systems, the universe, people and more, all of it is useful to some extent but none of it pertains unto true life everlasting and to godliness.
Grace, peace, godliness and all things that pertain unto life are given unto us through the knowledge of God. Nevertheless none of these are the most important thing that a knowledge of God provides.
3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.John 17:3 (KJV)
Knowledge of God is life eternal. That is the most important thing that a knowledge of God offers.
This knowledge refers to saving knowledge, that is understanding the gospel, the good news that God sent His son Jesus to live, die and rise to life again for the sins of all men. This is life saving knowledge.
Saving knowledge is knowledge that teaches us about the only cure from sin. It is knowledge of the way, the truth and the life. This truth, the only truth, is that all who will confess, repent and believe in Jesus shall be born again as new creatures in Christ, fully redeemed for all eternity, justified and sanctified to be like Him. Saving knowledge is that knowledge which all other benefits of learning about God spring from.
That reader, is true knowledge. No other knowledge, not of other religions, not of man, not of philosophy, gives life eternal nor can any man-made system of knowledge cure us from our sinful condition.
It begs the question then, why Christianity? Why not another religion? Aren’t they all the same? No, two things that both say they are true cannot both be true, only one can be true. What is more, we believe not in religion but in a person, the only one who ever returned from the grave, Jesus, the only name under heaven whereby man must be saved. Knowledge of Jesus presents us with the only ultimate truth in this life.
Yet like any knowledge, if one does not act upon it and apply it, then its benefits are useless. Knowing that Jesus died for you on the cross and that He took your sins upon Himself to be your substitute to pay for your sins is a knowledge that must be acted upon. You must apply it to your soul in order to leverage it.
Acting upon this knowledge means you must make a decision to follow Jesus by confessing your sins to Him and believing in Him. Reader, have you ever done that?
If yes then you have known and know the greatest truth you will ever know. Once we know that truth, that we are born again and saved from hell and our sins, then we may begin to grow in knowledge of Him forever more. This is where the benefits mentioned before that come from learning about God (grace, peace, godliness and things that pertain unto life) come into our lives.
But how do these things enter into our lives? What is more how do we continue to learn about God once we are born again? If He is unsearchable how can we even fathom anything about Him?
17) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,Ephesians 1:17-18 (KJV)
Knowledge of God does not only provide eternal life when acted upon, it also provides us with clarity and a new vision. It lets us pursue ever greater knowledge of God.
When we become Christians our eyes are enlightened and we see clearly for the first time. We see others as not people to step on but to love. They are seen as they really are, as souls in need of the very knowledge and savior we have come to know and cherish. We also become wise (the spirit of wisdom) and we begin to know the riches of His glory. This is the beginning of us continuing to learn about God and all that He is.
13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13 (KJV)
We see things with an eternal perspective and we have a Godly desire to learn about our savior because we love Him. This is all because He has given us His Holy Spirit which gives us the desire to serve Him and learn about Him.
14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.I Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
You see, when we were unsaved we were in our natural state. We are all born into this world corrupt and inherently sinful because of Adam’s sin. Consequently we were blinded to the things of God.
We cannot discern and learn of the things of the Spirit of God until we come to God for salvation. This is because we do not have the Spirit of God in us until we are saved.
16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?I Corinthians 3:16 (KJV)
When we become saved and redeemed it is then that we can begin to know about God and can begin to learn to be more like Him because the Holy Spirit aids us in that glorious pursuit. This is the essence of sanctification, or becoming more like Jesus.
8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;Ephesians 3:8 (KJV)
In this verse Paul mentions how preaching is the telling of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Our pursuit of knowledge of God as Christians is endless for Jesus is unsearchable. This is again why all the books of the world cannot contain all that Jesus did.
Paul refers to what Jesus is and to His attributes as riches. Riches are treasures, they are precious. Knowledge of God and consistently learning more about Him and how to be like Him each day is like mining for silver, gold and all manner of precious jewels. Why is this so?
This is because, as we have seen, knowledge of God has eternal ramifications and benefits. Man’s knowledge, while at times certainly important and complex, pales in comparison to learning about God for God’s riches are eternal.
Just as knowledge of salvation must be acted upon, so must we desire and strive to learn and be more like God.
In fact, learning about God and being more like Him are not mutually exclusive, you cannot have one without the other. How does the Christian learn about God and be more like Him? As we have seen we must rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We must also read God’s word. We must study it, comprehend it and apply it.
8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.Joshua 1:8 (KJV)
Meditate on God’s word continuously, for this will make your way prosperous and will provide you with good success. Again, we see the benefits of applying what we have learned about God to our lives.
16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
God’s word is our manual for learning all about Him. Note, while knowledge about God can provide material benefits, the prospering and good success (which Joshua refers to) are measured by being more like Jesus and by relying more and more upon God. This is how scripture and learning and study about God profits us.
Notice that we “observe to do according” that is we act how God commands us to act. We love others as ourselves and love Him with all of our heart. As James also states…
22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.James 1:22 (KJV)
We must live out a life in service to God. The subsequent experiences of putting God’s word into action allow us to grow in knowledge of Him.
Relying then on the Holy Spirit and studying the Bible are critical to our learning of God. To those I would also add that attending church, prayer and socializing with Godly friends, mentors and family are also vital to the learning process and to growing in the knowledge of God.
To conclude let us turn our attention to Romans…
33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.Romans 11:33-36 (KJV)
Why can’t all that Jesus did be written in all the books of the world? Because He is everything, both literally and figuratively. Of Him, through Him and to Him are all things.
All is of God, mankind, the universe, kingdoms and empires, relationships, everything is of Him.
Through Him are all things. It is only though God that man can be saved, only through Him that our eyes can be opened, and only through Him that we can receive true knowledge and be enabled to continually learn about Him. He is everything.
And to Him are all things. To our salvation, to lives saved and changed, to Him be all of the glory! To Him is everything. Reader, do you know this? Do you know Him? Are you learning more about Him each and every day? Is He everything to you? May it be that we all proclaim, learn about and serve the God who is everything. Amen.