Summary: The story of Jesus does not begin with His earthly life, but with His eternal life. To really understand and appreciate Jesus we must know the whole story.
A. I want to begin by showing you four pictures from four movies. I want to see if you can identify the movie.
1. Picture #1 – Gone With the Wind – Rhet Butler and Scarlot O’Hara
2. Picture #2 – Return of the Jedi – C3PO and R2D2
3. Picture #3 – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – The Grinch, Jim Carey
4. Picture #4 – The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Lucy, Susan and Peter.
B. You recognize these pictures because you’ve either seen the movie, or know something about it.
1. But if you didn’t know anything about these movies could you figure out the story from a single picture?
2. Obviously not. All we have here in each of these pictures is one moment in time from movies that last around 2 hours.
3. We could make up almost any story to go with these pictures.
4. So, from a single picture we don’t know how the story begins or ends. Who’s good or bad.
C. The point that I want to make is that the same is true with Jesus.
1. You can’t make sense of His life by only looking at one brief moment in time.
2. Many people make their judgment about Jesus from only one event or statement that He made.
3. And even though there are a few monumental events in His life – like His birth, His transfiguration, His crucifixion or resurrection, each event is incomplete without the entire story.
4. The same is true with Jesus’ teachings. He said a lot of things and addressed many different subjects.
5. Therefore, He should not be judged by a single statement.
D. As we begin this new series called “Devoted to Jesus,” and as we begin to tell the story of Jesus, we have to ask ourselves, “What is the best place to begin the story?”
1. When we look at the 4 Gospels we see that each of them started the story in a different place.
2. The Gospel of Mark begins the story of Jesus with the ministry of John the Baptist, who prepares the way for Jesus.
3. Matthew begins his story with the genealogy of Jesus and traces his ancestry back to Abraham. He then moves right into the birth of Jesus.
4. The Gospel of Luke begins with the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist. And then once Luke gets to the genealogy of Jesus he traces his ancestry all the way back to Adam.
5. But in vivid contrast to those three stories of Jesus.
6. The Gospel of John does not begin with the earthly story of Jesus, rather it begins with the eternal story of Jesus.
E. Yes, Jesus was a person who lived at one particular time in history, just like the rest of us.
1. But Jesus is far more and greater than the rest of us, because Jesus has an existence that precedes His earthly existence.
2. So to really understand and appreciate Jesus we have to know the whole story.
3. That story began “In the Beginning.” Before time, as we know it, began.
4. So what evidence do we have of the pre-existence of Jesus?
I. The Evidence of Jesus’ Pre-existence.
A. Let’s start with our Scripture reading for today from John 1:1-5.
1. John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
2. John says that the Word was with God, in the beginning, and the Word was God.
3. Who is the Word?
4. In verse 14, John identifies the Word, saying, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (1:14-15)
5. And so we discover that the Word is Jesus.
6. So as John began his gospel he begins by telling us that “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.”
7. Therefore, Jesus’ existence didn’t begin at his earthly birth, but was from the beginning.
B. But in addition to just being there in the beginning, Jesus was an agent of creation.
1. John declared that “Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)
2. Paul said the same thing about Jesus in Colossians 1, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:15-17)