Summary: The world is searching for answers, and Jesus is the greatest answer to their search.
Over 20 years ago, before the iron curtain fell, there was a movie called “Red Dawn.” It portrayed the overrunning of the US by a communist invasion in the first few minutes. The rest of the movie follows the lives of some who are part of “the resistance” in occupied America territory. It was an interesting movie because it caused you to imagine an America that has been subdued. I suppose if someone were to make one today, it would simply shift to a Muslim extremist invasion.
Can you imagine? Can you imagine the US’s moral demise finally weakening us so that our once “Christian” nation is overrun then ruled by an oppressive anti-Christian government? Imagine being overtaxed and forced to work for government projects. Imagine all religious activity being government controlled and completely reduced to ritual. Imagine seeing your children mistreated, but always having a clenched fist of power held over your head so that you have only two choices: comply, or be killed.
There are revolts -- courageous ones, but each one ends in a bloody failure. People watch and talk about the kind of leader we’ll need if we’re going to regain our country. They talk about the qualities he’ll need to possess to lead us out of oppression. Then suddenly, there arises a leader who seems to have all that’s needed. The more you hear about him, the more your hopes are renewed. He has the caliber. Could this be the beginning of a new day for you and your people?
This is 1st cent. Israel’s story, except it’s a lot longer than US history. They neglected God and were overrun by a pagan nation. They were under oppression for over 600 years. During that time there were several gallant resistance movements. All of them had been crushed. Imagine, for all those years of slavery and exile you’ve been reading about the arrival of a Deliverer. He’s the Messiah – the Anointed One. He’ll bring an end to the injustice. He’ll usher in an age of peace and prosperity greater than your nation ever enjoyed before. Many arose who seemed to be great deliverers, but they all were cut down. Then there’s this other. He seems to have the qualities. Finally, your hopes are renewed. “Could this be the beginning of a new day for us and our people?”
John wants the readers of his gospel to know it is. He wants us to know Jesus. In Jn 1 he wants us to know...
I. Jesus is Needed & Looked for
Now, we’re not living under Roman oppression, although we’re faced daily with the reality that we’re at war with an enemy willing to go to extremes to destroy our nation. So, at this point, you’re saying, “What’s this to me?” Here’s what this is to you:
3X in the past 8 years – once with each of my kids – I’ve had the opportunity to see George Bush make an appearance and a speech. If you ever get to go to a big gathering where the President is going to appear, you’ll understand the excitement they purposely drum up as everyone anticipates his arrival. Long before you see him, someone will be at the mic saying, “The President just stepped off of Air Force One at the airport.” And the crowd yells while I just think to myself, “Enough, already. I’m here to see the President! “ Then later they’ll say, “Ladies and gentlemen, the President has entered the building!” And the crowd yells. Someone official looking comes out and puts the seal of the President of the US on the podium, and the crowd yells. – all of that yelling, and no one has even seen him yet!
How many times have you heard someone say, “Elvis has left the building”? What’s the big deal? It’s this whole idea of “someone’s coming!” When that Someone is going to make a profound impact on your life, his arrival becomes even more important. The same thing has been happening through history.
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son
Take your Bible. Open it to Matthew 1:1 – the beginning of the NT. Right there, between Malachi and Matthew is the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT. Now, put your finger in it and close it and look at it. Do you see that? About ¾ of the Bible is OT. About ¾ of that book can be summarized with 2 words: “Someone’s coming!” That’s the main message of the OT. Peter says,
Concerning this salvation, the [Old Testament] prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing...