A BROAD SPAN
The span of the things covered in the last two chapters of the Gospel of John is very broad. It begins with the discovery of the Lord’s resurrection and ends with His coming back. Between these two events are all the things related to the Christian life during the church age: seeking the Lord with love toward Him; seeing the Lord in resurrection; receiving the revelation of the issue of the Lord’s resurrection concerning the brothers and the Father by experiencing His manifestation; meeting with the believers to enjoy the Lord’s presence; being breathed on by the Lord with the Holy Spirit and being sent by the Lord with His commission and authority to represent Him; learning how to live by faith in the Lord and trust in Him for our daily living; loving the Lord with the natural strength dealt with; shepherding the flock for the building of the church; and practicing the Lord’s invisible presence, in which some follow Him even to death to glorify God, not by self-will, but according to His leading, and some live until He comes back.
At the beginning of chapter twenty the Lord’s resurrection is discovered. At the end of chapter twenty-one there is a definite reference to the Lord’s coming back. Between these two events, the Lord’s resurrection and His coming, we have various matters related to the Christian life during the church age. First, as exemplified by Mary the Magdalene, we have the matter of seeking the Lord with love for Him. Mary certainly was one who loved the Lord and sought Him. Because she sought Him in love, Mary saw the Lord in His resurrection and received the revelation concerning the issue of His resurrection regarding His brothers and our Father. What a great revelation this is!
We all need to see the revelation concerning the issue of Christ’s resurrection—the producing of His many brothers. Because of the Lord’s resurrection, God is our Father, and we have been begotten, regenerated, by Him to be His many sons. We need to receive this revelation through experiencing Christ’s resurrection.
Furthermore, we need to meet with the brothers in the church to enjoy the Lord’s presence and then be breathed on by the Lord to receive the Holy Spirit. This enjoyment of the Lord’s presence and this receiving of the Holy Spirit take place in the church meetings.
We also need to be sent by the Lord with His commission and authority to represent Him. As those sent out by the Lord, we must learn to live by faith in Him. We need to trust in Him for all the needs of our daily living.
Moreover, we should love the Lord, but we should not love Him with our natural strength. We should be those who have had the natural strength dealt with. No longer should we be like Peter before he denied the Lord. As we have seen, in chapter twenty-one Peter was reminded not to love the Lord Jesus with his natural strength. After reminding Peter of this, the Lord charged him to shepherd the flock for the building up of the church. We also should carry out the shepherding of the sheep.
Finally, we need to practice the Lord’s invisible presence either until we die to glorify God or until He comes back. We need to consider all these matters and then apply them to ourselves in our Christian experience.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 62, by Witness Lee)