The Big Inside Job — Frank Viola | Beyond Evangelical

Frank Viola
2 min readApr 13, 2024

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Matthew, Mark, and Luke are labeled the Synoptics due to their similarities. These Gospels lay it out clearly — the kingdom of God requires something from us. But the demands of Jesus and His kingdom are humanly impossible to attain.

Then John shows up with his Gospel and flips the script.

It’s not about what we can or cannot do, but what Jesus has already done. But more than that, it’s what Jesus continues to do.

John’s Gospel is all about the life of God’s kingdom come to earth, a life that’s promised to all who repent and believe in Christ and receive the new birth.

The life we’re offered isn’t one of striving, but of being indwelt by the King Himself through His Spirit.

The deceptive detour and the challenging choice is this: Without John’s Gospel, we are apt to turn the Synoptics into rules to keep, boxes to check, standards to achieve.

We’re tempted to stay on the treadmill of demand, earning our way to enlightenment through discipline and duty. But that path only leads to failure and burnout.

Instead, we’re invited to get off that treadmill. To stop performing and start activating the very life of God that indwells us. That life is the existence of the age to come, the life of God’s future kingdom which has already broken into the earth.

When we embrace this upside-down kingdom through faith, the demands Jesus made get fulfilled, not through our strained efforts, but through His indwelling presence.

The big show becomes an inside job as we’re invaded by infinite life from a small seed (1 Peter 1:23).

The question before the house is: Will we keep running the rat race or take advantage of the inheritance of your rebirth — the indwelling life of God’s kingdom?

Failing the treadmill of demand to embrace the uncreated life that overcomes is one of the outstanding messages of New Testament revelation. A message most needed, but most neglected in our time.

In short, the Synoptics are a triadic masterpiece, a trifecta of brilliant hues painted on the canvas. But John’s Gospel? That’s where the art comes alive and the picture breathes in our own lives.

For more on the topic, check out the message, Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ.

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Frank Viola

Helping serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply so they can experience real transformation and make a lasting impact. Connect at