Of the disciples, John wrote about Jesus in a way that emphasized his divine nature and told the story of how Jesus became flesh to live among people and die for their sins. There are myriad lessons from the Gospel of John for seniors exemplifying the importance of faith, identity, commitment and trust.
The Gospel of John introduces readers to the idea that Jesus has been since the beginning of existence. He and God are one and the same and He is part of everything that has ever come to be.
Often, people think of Jesus as being "born" or "created" by God. But John shows in his gospel that Jesus is as God has been: ever-present and the source of everything. He is the source of all life. Seniors of faith can take heart in this knowledge to reinforce their faith in Him — no matter your circumstances or where you are in life, Jesus is with you because he has been there forever.
In the first chapter of the Gospel, John tells the story of another John: John the Baptist. This John, who is Jesus's cousin, is asked about who he is. During this conversation, he provides insight into the importance of purpose. In the 23rd verse, John the Baptist says that he is a voice in the wilderness that is clearing the way for the Lord.
The lesson for seniors is that everyone is given a purpose during their life on this Earth. While it may take time to discover what your purpose is, John offers assurances that part of your faith is finding that purpose and walking in it. Part of the reason Jesus died for the sins of mankind is to provide those who follow him with the chance to exemplify His word through their actions. This is part of your purpose and is one that you should embrace as part of your love for Him.
The Gospel of John talks about the importance of baptism. To be a Christian, you must be born again in body and spirit. The manifestation of this through the body is baptism. John discusses the importance of a water baptism but points out the more important aspect of being born again through the Holy Spirit.
This is one of the most important tenets of the faith for those living a Christian life. Seniors of faith who are serving as a voice to others, bringing them to Jesus, should remember the words of John to serve as a guide to others in this process.
The fourth chapter of this gospel is a source of comfort, as John notes that it is possible to worship Jesus from anywhere. In the 23rd and 24th verses, John talks about the fact that God is omnipresent; He is not confined to one place or even one being. He defies what people know about time or even physical space.
Therefore, seniors of faith should take heart that they can worship the Lord anyplace. It is not about being somewhere specific, looking a certain way or even saying specific words. It is about what is in your heart. This can be a huge comfort for seniors who have moved into an assisted living community away from their old neighborhood. You don't have to attend the same church you were with for years to worship.
The fourth chapter of John denotes the fact that Jesus is the only way to get to God. Seniors of faith can take from this that their belief in Jesus provides them with passage through to the Father. Jesus represents the truth and life; it is not possible to access salvation without accepting Jesus into your heart.
The 15th chapter of the Gospel of John underscores the fact that people may not always understand your faith. In fact, you may receive lots of hate from the world because of your faith and your love of Christ. John discusses the idea that if you feel that you are of the world and are comfortable in it, you might need to take a hard look at your faith.
Those who choose to follow Jesus should reflect His love, values and perspective at all times. This means that everyone won't always understand your faith, and that's okay. As a follower of Christ, though, you should always reflect back to the world that love you receive from Jesus.
The Gardens at Barry Road, Kansas City, MO, encourages seniors to engage with the Gospel of John to glean from the Scripture the many possible lessons learned from John's insight and his relationship with Jesus. We also offer a faith-based community, and while not all our residents are Christian, you will find many like-minded seniors here who will understand your faith and support you in it.