Summary: Two simple points, Who? and Why? Who is Jesus? and Why should we believe in Him?
This morning we are continuing in our series on moving forward in faith.
Sometimes for us to move forward we actually need to understand where we are starting from.
So this morning I want us to take a step back and pause on our journey of faith to consider a couple of fundamental truths about Jesus.
I want us to think about just two key points, two simple points, Who? and Why?
Who is Jesus? and Why should we believe in Him?
At the start of the New Testament we have the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Each of the 4 Gospels is written from a different perspective.
When you read the Gospel of Matthew, its like looking through the eyes of a devout disciple.
When you read Mark & Luke, you look through the eyes of dedicated believers who knew and loved Jesus and a lot of their writing comes through the eyewitness testimony of others.
The Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John one of the closest disciples to Jesus.
When you read the Gospel of John, you read the words of the disciple who was one of the inner circle with James & Peter who were with Jesus in his most intimate circumstances and moments.
John was one of the Jesus’s closest friends and he seems to have personally seen and heard more than the other Gospel writers.
The Gospel of John was one of the last books of the New Testament to be written.
Bible Scholars will tell you that the Gospel of John was written in the city of Ephesus, where John served as pastor after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD.
John probably wrote these words toward the end of the 1st century.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke had already been written and circulated around the early church - and the letters of Paul and Peter were also in circulation.
That’s probably why John does not retrace many of the events already described in the other Gospels.
John’s Gospel is not a chronological biography of the life of Jesus.
John’s purpose is to provide specific important details about the ministry of Jesus.
John is selective in what he includes, and his selections point to a distinct purpose, one he mentions in John 20:30-31,
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
The two primary reasons for John in writing was that those reading this letter, this book, might believe Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, and that in believing you may have eternal life.
John centers on telling us who Jesus is and why we should believe in Him.
Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and we should believe on Him because of who He is and because He provides life to those who believe in Him.
Right from the start, John addresses the question, “who is Jesus?”
Let’s look at the first five verses of John 1
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He existed in the beginning with God.
3God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.
4The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
If we continued on and read the first 18 verses of John Chapter 1 we would find a summary of who John knew Jesus was.
Maybe later you could find the time to read those first 18 verses for yourself - you will find one of the most important, enlightning and complex statements about who Jesus really is.
John focuses upon the central fact of our Christian faith:
Christianity is not a philosophy, it is about a Person, and that Person is fundamental to our faith.
A Christian without Christ is an IAN - and Ian can’t save you.
To remove Jesus from Christianity is like taking maths out of mathmatics or the sun out of sunlight.
It is to strip Christianity of its most essential component.
Look at the religions in the world today.
Religion focuses on the teachings, ideas and philosophies of their founders and teachers.
Christianity is about a personal relationship with a Person.
That is why Jesus Christ is the most astonishing individual in human history.
More books have been written,
more music composed,
more pictures painted,
and more drama performed about Jesus than any other person in history.