Title: What’s the word?
Text: The Gospel according to John
Series: Walking with Jesus through the gospels
Date: April 18, 2004
I. Author, provenance, and purpose of this gospel.
A. Written between 70-90 a.d.
1. Probably written after the apocalypse.
2. A compilation of writings from throughout John’s life
3. Published late in life at Ephesus.
B. Purpose is found in John 20:30-31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name
1. The divine Jesus – (Son of God”
a. Jesus’ use of Father to refer to God (4 times in Mark, 6 times in Luke, 23 times in Matthew, 107 times in John)
b. The Spirit of Jesus – use of a variety of terms including comforter, advocate
II. All of creation comes through Jesus (John 1:1-4)
A. The Word is Jesus (John 1:14-18)
1. Jesus is God (Jn 1:1)
2. All that was made came through Jesus (1:3)
3. Nothing was made without Jesus (1:3)
4. Jesus is still the sustainer of creation (1:4)
B. Illustration from Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers, and Writers #73
The largest animal on earth is the blue whale. Just the flippers on its tail are bigger than most animal on earth. But a blue whale isn’t anywhere near as big as a mountain. If you put one hundred blue whales in a huge jar, you could put millions of whale jars inside a hollowed our Mount Everest. If you stacked one hundred Mount Everests on top of one another it would be just a whisker on the face of the earth. You could fit one million earths inside the sun. Fifty million of our suns could fit in the supergiant star called Antares. Billions of stars including supergiants, countless comets, and asteroid make up the Milk Way galaxy and there are billions of other galaxies in the universe. With all that the universe is almost totally empty. The Creator of this universe is God, who spoke it into being through the Word who is present everywhere in the universe and upholds it all with his mighty power.
C. As the Creator and Sustainer the Word can be trusted
1. In our personal lives (health, finance, strengths and weaknesses)
2. In the world around us
a. In the face of great joy
b. In the face of great evil
c. In the hearts of men
d. In the destiny and direction of nations
III. The Word brings us salvation (John 3:16-18)
A. Jesus’ mission is to save
1. He was sent by the Father to conduct this mission (16)
2. You had already been judged guilty (17)
3. You can have your verdict changed by faith (17)
B. As Savior, Jesus provides something we cannot provide for ourselves
1. Entry into heaven cannot be purchased
2. We must trust and have faith in Jesus
C. Illustration from 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching #1170 pg 315
There was a missionary who became a good friend of an Indian pearl diver. The two had spent many hours together discussing salvation, but the Indian could not understand anything so precious being free. Instead, in making preparation for the life to come, the diver was going to walk the 900 miles to Delhi on his knees. He thought this would buy entrance into heaven for him. The missionary struggled to communicate to his friend that it is impossible to buy entrance into heaven because the price would be too costly. Instead, he said, Jesus had died to buy it for us.
Before he left for his pilgrimage, the Indian gave the missionary the largest and most perfect pearl he had ever seen. The missionary offered to buy it, but the diver became upset and said that the pearl was beyond price, that his only son had lost his life in the attempt to get it. The pearl was worth the life blood of his son. As he said this, suddenly the diver understood that God was offering him salvation as a priceless gift.
IV. The Word brings worship into our hearts (John 4:19-26)
A. The hour is coming and now is (23)
1. Geography is no longer an issue
a. Neither Gerizim nor Jerusalem have exclusive rights to worship
b. A temple is not required
2. At the time Jesus spoke – that was the now is
a. In his presence you are in the presence of God
b. Emmanuel, Jesus’ name at birth, means God with us
3. The day of Pentecost ushered in the hour that was coming
a. A time when believers are empowered to worship through the Holy Spirit
b. A time of true worship – not an obligatory national exercise but an outpouring of individual gratitude, awe, and joy
B. There is only one object of worship
1. God is the only proper object of our worship
2. If you worship because it makes you feel good you are serving yourself and not God
3. If you are concerned about what others think, say, or do during worship you are serving man and not God.
4. If you praise God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength with reckless abandon you are worshipping in spirit and truth.
C. Illustration from PreachingToday.com
Early in our marriage I gave my wife a terrific anniversary gift: a rain gauge. At least I thought it was a great gift. Susan, after all, is a farmer’s daughter and keeps close watch on the weather. I envisioned her delight and nostalgia while tracking our back yard precipitation. I congratulated myself on my creativity. Guess what? Susan was not impressed: "A rain gauge—for our anniversary?!" The rain gauge is now a family joke, a classic example of a gift enjoyed by the giver but not the receiver. One word I hear a lot these days is authentic, as in "we seek authentic worship." Usually this means we’re trying to create an experience that helps worshipers feel something. Nothing wrong with that, but if our focus is only on our experience, we may be giving God a rain gauge. Are we offering in worship a gift we enjoy and figuring God will like it? A real gift, real worship, means knowing what’s important to The Receiver.
Citation: Marshall Shelley, Leadership (Spring 1999), p.3
V. The Word brings restoration (John 21:15-17)
A. Jesus restored Peter
1. Peter had abandoned and denied Christ on the eve of his crucifixion
a. Peter had promised never to abandon him
b. He denied him not once but three times
2. Jesus finds time alone with Peter
3. He asks if Peter has more love for him than do the other disciples
a. It shows the frailty of our love
b. It shows that one’s love for Christ is not really comparable to others
c. Peter can only answer for himself- he dare not compare
4. Love requires action
a. Jesus asked three times if Peter loved him
b. Peter replied three times that he did
c. Jesus three time gave a command to action
B. My wife knows that I love her because of my actions, I speak lovingly, I hold her close, I brag about her to others, and I do little things like buy her flowers without a special occasion.
C. What do your actions say about your love for Christ?
1. Are you actively involved in worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, and ministry?
2. Are you in need of restoration?
a. A believer who needs to get things right again.
b. One who has not made peace with God through Jesus.
c. Now is the time to get that done.