Summary: Have you ever considered just how awesome the gift of God given at Christmas really is? I just want to confirm what you probably already know.
December 19, 2004
Text: John 1:1-5; 14-18; 29-34
Subject: The Lamb of God
Title: Receive the Gift
The last two weeks I have been preaching with the focus being on this season of giving. We in the church understand that God has given us the greatest gift of all, His Son Jesus Christ. I want to share with you today just some of the powerful statements about Jesus and the gift that are mentioned in John Chapter 1 and other places in scripture to help you to see just how significant the gift is.
Giving gifts at Christmas has over taken the real meaning of Christmas in many households. The bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but at Christmas it seems that people really enjoy receiving. Now I must admit, it is special to receive a gift from a loved one who really knows a personal need or a desire. But when we give gifts just because that’s what we’re expected to do it appears that something is amiss. Someone wrote, “The trouble is that too many people are spending money they don’t have for things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”
Today I want to look at the perfect gift that was given to you so many years ago.
I. THE ORIGIN OF THE GIFT. (John 1:1-5)
A. The Gift Existed Long Before it Was Given. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. One of the things I like to talk about with people is just who Jesus is. In discussing this topic I always get a variety of answers. Some say Jesus was a prophet. Some say He was a holy man. Others say that He was a great teacher. Some say that He was the Son of God. All are good answers, but are somewhat lacking in the totality of who Jesus really is. When we look at Jesus in these terms, we make Him no more than a godly individual. We throw in the truth that Jesus was sinless and that narrows it down considerably. As a matter of fact, no one else could ever fit that definition. But let’s go one step further. Verse 2 says, “He was in the beginning with God.” He was where? With God! Where was that? In heaven! But notice that He was there in the beginning. The beginning of what? In the beginning of time! When the creation began, Jesus was already there. It isn’t too hard to comprehend when you understand that in the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. Jesus is the Word. Thayer’s Greek dictionary says that the Word (the logos) is a word, uttered by a living voice that embodies a concept or idea. Therefore, Jesus, the Word of God, is the embodiment of God, the very nature of God, and in fact is God. That makes the gift even more special. God in reality, has given Himself to mankind, the perfect gift for a less than perfect people. So Jesus is a man who also was and is the eternal God. He had no beginning and had no end, and yet was a man just like us, except He never sinned.
B. The Gift Was Given Before Men Could See. Verses 4-5 say that Jesus is the light. His life was given so that He could be the light of men. Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” God’s word (that’s who Jesus is) is the light that shows us the right path. 2 Corinthians 2:14 states it this way. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Jesus came to be the light of the world, but before He can light up anything for you, you must accept the light. Why? Because in Him is life… “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting – what? – life.”; “The enemy came but to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have - what? – life, and have it more abundantly.” “I am the way, the truth, and the – what? – life!” The gift was given before we could ever understand it. The Amplified Bible says it like this, in Romans 5:8, “But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ, (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” Verse 5 says, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”