As John draws his gospel account to a close, he writes the following:
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24-25)
John was an eye witness of the Christ. He heard the teachings of Jesus. He saw the Lord’s miracles. He walked and talked with our Saviour daily. He was with Him on the night He was arrested and tried, and he saw Him on the cross. On the third day, he glanced into an empty tomb where the body of Jesus had been, and later that day, he saw and heard the resurrected Messiah. Over the next month, he sat at Jesus’ feet being instructed and prepared to teach the gospel of Christ to the world. When John wrote about the life and work of Jesus, it wasn’t a second hand account—he had detailed and intimate knowledge that only an apostle could give. His testimony is true, it is trustworthy, it is God inspired Scripture.
John’s gospel is a detailed account of the ministry of Christ. He tells us that Jesus is the incarnated Word. He chronicles 7 miracles of Jesus. He focuses on a few of the Lord’s discussions with the Pharisees. He includes some of Jesus’ teaching, and spends a lot of time looking at the betrayal and suffering of Christ on our behalf.
Despite all this detailed content, John tells us that there is so much more that could have been written. When we read the gospels, we’re reading but a fraction of what Jesus did. I am not saying we are lacking anything. God word is sufficient, we’ve got all He intended to give us. And yet Jesus did much more beyond what is recorded in the Bible. So, where do we go to find the rest? We don’t. There is no record of it.
John comments on these unrecorded works in our text. He says,
…if they were written one by one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
We acknowledge that this was written in a day when books were rare. He exaggerates to place emphasis on the work of Christ. Literally, it would be possible for all Jesus did to be recorded, had someone with knowledge of His works set out to do so. But, consider this: in a ministry spanning just over 3 years, Jesus did A LOT!! He was busy serving God. His days were filled with serving God. How about us? If books were written about our service, how much could be written?