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I was all set this morning to start going through the Old Testament book of Zephaniah this morning, but the sermon I heard yesterday morning on John 12 had me thinking… maybe I should do the book of John instead? That thought resonated through my being, therefore, let us embark on the story of the Son of Man as told in the book of John. We start our look at John 1:1-18.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
John tells us clearly that in the beginning was the Word, going on to explain that the Word was with God and the Word was God. As we read through these next verses we will come to the understanding that the Word was Jesus. (see v14). The result is that we know that Jesus existed since the beginning of time, Jesus is separate from God and at the same time is God. Through Christ all things were made… isn’t that amazing to think about? I would not exist if it weren’t for Jesus. He is the source of life, he indeed is life. Without him nothing that lives would be around. Pretty big thought isn’t that?
In verse 4 we read this : in him was life, and the life was the light of men. When I read that verse I’m drawing back to one of my favourite forms of reading.. fantasy literature. A big theme in many of those books is the light and darkness that exist in different beings, and often the light that is in different people is attributed to a greater being. One of the things I have learned is that hidden within all peoples is the knowledge that God exists and that truisms from the bible can be found throughout the world. Isn’t it interesting how this truism comes out in fantasy as well? Anyways, seeing this truism in fantasy gives me a glimmer of what that means in the life of people. Some people will show forth the light that is within them well.. in fantasy, it is best seen in those that follow that greater being most closely. Don’t we see that in the lives of believers? Don’t believers show forth the light of life best?
This light that we show shines bright in the darkness around in, and darkness can’t beat back the light. It can’t stop the light from shining. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This light as a witness. A man indeed sent by God by the name of John. He came to bear witness about the light. This man wasn’t the light, but came to point the way to the light. We know from other readings that John baptized Jesus. (see Matthew 3).
Now this light, was a true light, and gives light to everyone. I read “true light” and I automatically compare this light of a flashlight to the sun. There is NO comparison. Doesn’t matter the brightness of the flashlight, compared with the sun it’s nothing. Even the light of the moon which reflects the sun can make a flashlight unnecessary. Anyways, we are told in verse 9 that the light was coming in to the world, and in verse 10 that the light was in the world. We know the world was made through him, but like so many things, the world didn’t know him. He even came to his own people and his people didn’t know him, they didn’t receive him. This seems so sad to me. That he came and he simply wasn’t recognized. Imagine you create something and it acts like it doesn’t have the faintest clue about who you are?
And yet we get verse 12-13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. We have the right to be called children of God!!!! Not because of our birth and or our determining, but only because of God’s determining.
This Word (Jesus) became a human and lived among us. John proclaims that we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Sometimes I wish I could have been around when Jesus walked on the earth, to be able to have seen his transfiguration, to really see that glory. Reading it in the bible leaves that spot of distance you know? To be able to actually see the Lord though, especially if I knew what I know now. Able to hear his words and ask questions directly of him. It’s no wonder to me that John declared that Jesus, though he came after, came before and ranks higher than he.
But oh, from Jesus, from his fullness, all have received grace upon grace. Grace and truth through Jesus, not like the law from Moses. But grace and truth beyond measure. And Jesus, Jesus makes God known to us.
This word, made flesh, from the beginning of time, shows us God the Father.
There is so much in these verses that I can’t do it justice, at least that’s how I feel. It’s wonder you know? The knowing that Jesus has always been and that he came to earth to show us God the Father and to bestow so much grace upon us. He is the light that outshines any other light and is the source of the light we have within us.
Shine forth that light eh! Testify to the glory that is God! Oh I need to show this wonder to the world.