The Word Became Flesh:
(Read John 1:1-18)
John begins his Gospel in eternity past. Who is Jesus? This is John's question and he invites us to join him as we read his account of Jesus. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word (LOGOS) was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1) John uses the Greek word LOGOS here for the Word. LOGOS has many meanings. It means, a thought or an idea. Philosophers suggested that LOGOS was the first cause, the unknown intelligence or reason behind the universe. It is the creative power of God (Psalms 33:9). A divine mind or order that unites reality. But John defines the Word as a person. When time began the LOGOS was in existence. The WORD became flesh in Jesus and dwelt among us full of grace and truth (John 1:14). God became man, yet Jesus never ceased being God. Jesus is eternally, equally and essentially God. Eternity is the duration without beginning or ending. Jesus said, “before Abraham was I am" (John 8:58). He was with the Father before the world began (John 17:5; Heb 1: 8, 9).
The Word was with God: 1:1.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The Word was face to face with God. Who is Jesus? Jesus is a distinct person, eternally one with the Father (1:2). He enjoyed fellowship with the Father (17:5). The deity of Christ is the fundamental doctrine in the Bible. Jesus means Savior (Matt 1:21). He is the anointed Savior, who was promised in the Old Testament (Dan 9:26). He is the begotten Son of God, the one and only Son (John 1:18). This speaks of his unique relationship with the Father. He came to reveal the Father and save sinners. He is the only hope to the world. Jesus claimed that He is coequal with the Father (John 5:17-18, 20:28). So Jews sought to kill Jesus because He claimed to be God. John says that the Word became flesh (1:14).
The Word was God:1:1.
Jesus is essentially God (10:30). He is called “Lord” in the New Testament some 250 times. He is the Lord of Glory and the Holy One (Acts 3:14). Jesus claimed that He possessed the attributes of God (Matt 16:17). He was unique in His moral perfection. His works were Godlike works. He is the creator and preserver of the universe (John 1:3, Heb 1:2,3). He directs and Controls the course of history. Jesus has the power to forgive sin and to raise the dead (Mark 2:5-7; John 11:25). Only God could forgive sins. All power of judgment is given to Jesus (John 5:22). He deserves equal honor with the Father (John 5:23). To know Jesus is to know God (John 8:19). To see Jesus is to see God (John 12: 45). To receive Jesus is to receive God (Mark 9:37). To honor Jesus is to honor God (John 5:23). What a great Savior!
Jesus is the Creator: 1:3.
He is the creator all things (1: 3). Apart from Him nothing came into being. We are created by Him and for Him (Col 1: 16). Everything owe their existence to Jesus (1 Cor 8: 6). He is the sovereign source and the divine agent of all creation. For His use all things were created (Col 1:16). We are not the product of some unplanned chemical process. Jesus controls everything by the power of His word (Heb 1:3). In creation we see God's power and wisdom. Christ is the power and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24). He will bring all things to their final destiny and perfection.
Jesus is the Source of life: 1:4-5.
Jesus is the source of both physical and spiritual life (John 1:4). In Him was life and the life was the light of men. Christ is the true light of reason and conscience. This light shines in the darkness. This world is in spiritual darkness. In the Bible darkness is the picture of sin and unbelief (John 3:19). There is always hostility between darkness and light. The light shines in darkness and darkness can never overcome the light (John 1:5).
John the Baptist was not the true light: 1:6-10.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ (Isiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1). He was sent to bear witness of the Light. Jesus is the true light. John came to prepare the way of the Lord (Matt 3:2). John testified that he is not the Christ, or Elijah or the other prophet (1:21). His ultimate desire was that Christ must increase and he must decrease. John was the last Old Testament prophet. Jesus testified of John that he is the greatest among all prophets because he had the privilege to see the Christ and introduce him to the world (Matt 11: 11, John 1:29). John may be the great prophet but Jesus is the great Savior!
His own received Him not: 1:11-12.
Jesus came to His own creation. He was born under the Law. Christ came to fulfill the promises of God and to destroy the works of the devil (Heb 2:14; 1 John 3:8). God promised Abraham that "In him all the families of the earth will be blessed" (Gen 12:3). It was fulfilled when Jesus was born under the law and died on the cross to save sinners (Gal 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24; Luke 4:19.28). Jesus came to His own nation but they rejected Him as their Messiah. The world rejected its only Savior. But as many as received Jesus to them God gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12). To receive Jesus means to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. To believe means to place one's trust in Jesus. Only by believing we receive Christ as our Savior. They are delivered from sin and its consequences but have everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but have passed from death into life (John 5:24). Salvation is not the ABC's of Christian life but the entire experience of Christian life. Those who are saved will be transformed into the image of Christ. Our family heritage and good works will not save us (Rom 3:20). Salvation is a gift from God. We are saved by grace alone and through faith alone and in Christ alone. Grace is God’s undeserving favor toward sinners. It is God’s riches at Christ expense. Christ came to fulfill the law and to deliver us from sin (Rom 8:2-4). Salvation is initiated by God. When we were utterly helpless and still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8). Also Salvation is not an afterthought of God but it was included in the eternal plan of God (1 Peter 1: 18-20). Christ became our substitute and died on the cross to save us (2 Cor 5:21) . Reformation and conformation will not save us. Pharisees were conformed to the law and they were reformed religious leaders. But they were not saved (John 3:5). Salvation is the supernatural work of God. Those who are born and brought up in Christian homes and who are conformed to morality can be mistakenly think that they are saved. Nicodemus is a prime example of it. Those who receive Jesus as Lord and savior are the sons of God (John 1:12). Receive means to welcome Christ as one's Lord and Savior. To believe is more than mental agreement or admiring Jesus as a great teacher. Satan believes that there is a God but also trembles (James 2:19). Believe simply means, active trust in Christ with the desire to treat Him as Lord and Savior in life.
We have seen His Glory:1:14.
Apostle John was an eyewitness of the glory of Christ. Christ is eternally, equally and essentially God. Yet He was willing to be born as a man. This is called incarnation. It is a great mystery (1 Tim 3:16). His coming was voluntary. God sent His own Son in a human body like ours to become a sin sacrifice for us (Rom 8:3). In His incarnation Jesus never ceased being God or exchanged His deity for humanity. But He voluntarily emptied the independent use of His divine attributes. He came to reveal the Father to us (1:18). Only God himself can do that. He became obedient even unto the point of death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). He had to be made like His brethren in all things, yet without sin (Heb 2:17). John was an eyewitness of His glory. Glory is the visible manifestation of God. Many people saw the miracles Jesus did but failed to see His glory. Only the disciples believed in Him (2:11). Satan has blinded the minds of sinner to see Christ's glory. Jesus was full of grace and truth. John saw in Jesus the glory of God's unfailing love, the truth and his faithfulness. Truth is the reality of God. Jesus came to bear the witness of truth (John 18:37). There is a perfect balance in the revelation of grace and truth in Christ. Let us love and adore this wonderful Savior!
Testimony of John the Baptist:
(Read John 1:15-34)
John came to bear witness of Jesus Christ. He was a bridge between the Old Testament and News Testament. From His fullness disciples have received grace upon grace. Moses gave the Law. The purpose of the Law was to reveal sin and to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24). Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ. Grace is God's undeserving favor to sinners. The truth says that the salvation is only through the sacrifice of Christ. Sin separated us from God. It was entirely of God's grace and mercy that Christ came to save us (Titus 2:11). He came to destroyed the power of death by His own death and resurrection. He is able to set us free from the fear of death. This is the unbelievable transaction story. As someone has said, "The Son of God became Son of man that sons of men could become sons of God”. By descending to the earth Christ has prepared us to ascend into heaven. By taking our mortality He has imparted to us His immortality. By experiencing our weaknesses He has strengthened us by His power (2 Cor 13:4). By receiving our poverty He has made us spiritually rich (2 Cor 8:9). By taking our sins upon Him He has clothed us with His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). John the Baptist came to prepare the way of the Lord. John was unworthy of even to untie His sandal. John baptized people in water as an outward sign of repentance. But Christ came to baptize them with the Holy Spirit. Only Christ has the power to forgive sin. When John saw Jesus coming towards him; he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (1:29). Only Christ can take away the sin of the world. John testified that Jesus is the Son of God because it was revealed to him at the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:13-17). Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises (1:20-21). John was a faithful witness of Christ but Jesus is greater Savior.
Jesus Said "Follow Me":
(Read John 1:35-51)
John was glad that two of his disciples followed Jesus hearing his testimony about Jesus (1:29). There is no greater calling than to follow Christ. The Bible records the calling of six of the His twelve disciples of Jesus. Peter, Andrew, James,John Matthew and Philip. John and Andrew followed Jesus When they heard the testimony of John the baptist about Jesus (1:29). They received the invitation from Jesus to "Come and see". They spent the day with Jesus and believed Him as their Messiah (1:38-39). They were willing to place Christ ahead of every other pursuit in their life. Discipleship is costly. One of the two disciples was Andrew. He went to his brother Simon and told him that he has found the Messiah. Andrew brought his brother, Simon to Jesus. A true disciple of Christ never be ashamed of Him but always eager to bring others to Jesus Christ. The Lord changed Simon's name to Peter. Jesus found Philip and invited him to follow Him. Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus. When Nathanael voiced objection, Philip did not to argue with him. We may win argument but lose the soul. There is much heat in argument but no light. Jesus knew all about Nathanael. He identified Jesus as "Rabbi, the Son of God and the King of Israel"(1:49). In this chapter Jesus is identified as "the Lamb of God. the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Israel and the Son of Man" (1:29, 41, 49, 51). Witnessing of Christ can be done only in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Someone has said "Witnessing is one beggar telling another beggar where he found the bread" (2 King 7:3-11). It was the dying request of our Savior (Mark 16:15). The open sacrifice of Christ demands our open open witnessing (Heb 13:13). The Day of Judgment seat requires it (Matt 10:32). The examples of apostles demand and compel us us to witness Christ (John 9:25). We can witness Christ by our open confession, godly living and by our association with other Christians (Rom 10:9; Matt 5:16; Heb 10:25). True disciple denies himself, takes up his own cross daily and follows Christ (Luke 9:23, John 15:16). The great commission is not merely to preach gospel but to make disciples of all nations (Mat 28:18-20). Pray that Christ would give us grace to embrace the gospel and to become His witnesses in this lost and dying world. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Are you a true disciple of Jesus Christ?