Summary: Tonight's Scripture shows us: 1. That the Lord had a big role in creation. 2. That the Lord is the revelation of God. 3. That the Lord has a unique relationship with God the Father. 4. That the Lord is the root of all life.
Take a Good Look at the Lord - Part 1
Series: The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 16, 2016
(Revised April 22, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John chapter 1, and Lord willing, we will take a good look our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But tonight, we are starting a verse by verse study of the Gospel of John. And a good place to start is with the man God chose to write the unique Gospel that bears his name.
*Stanley Morris tells us that the writer was the Apostle John, the brother of the Apostle James. In Mark 3:17 Jesus nicknamed these brothers the "Sons of Thunder." Their father, Zebedee, owned a prosperous fishing business on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We can assume it was prosperous, because in Mark 1:20, when James and John answered the Lord's call, "they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants."
*There are different views on the Apostle John's relationship with Jesus before the Lord was baptized by His cousin John the Baptist. John Phillips held that the Apostle John was another cousin of Christ, and that John had almost certainly known Jesus of Nazareth since he was a small boy.
*This view assumes that John's mother, Salome, was the sister of the Virgin Mary. And it is based on comparing the Scriptures which tells us about the women who supported Jesus and those who were at the cross. (See Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41 and John 19:25).
*Based on the same Scriptures and a document from one of the early church fathers, Albert Barnes concluded that John was one of the Lord's nephews.
*We can't know their exact relationship for sure, but it reminds us that our Lord was just as human as we are, with an extended family full of cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Of course, the Lord also had brothers, sisters, and a human mother. The only difference is that Jesus' Father is Almighty God. And that makes all the difference in the world! (1)
*Jesus and the Apostle John may have known each other very well before the Lord's ministry, possibly even as friends, because Capernaum was very close to Nazareth. We can't be sure about that, but we can be sure that they were very close during Christ's ministry on earth. In fact, John simply described himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John13:23; 20:2).
*Along with Peter and James, John was chosen by Jesus to be part of an inner circle present for special events. "For example, when Jesus went up into the Mount of Transfiguration, He took with him Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1). When Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, Peter, James, and John were the only ones He allowed in the room (Mark 5:37). And Jesus took these same three with Him deeper into the Garden of Gethsemane than He did the others (Mark 14:33). (2)
*Now that we know a little about the man God chose to write the Gospel of John, think about the book. This Gospel is one of a kind. William McDonald explained that "John's Gospel has a unique place in the Bible. It is one of the most famous, and one of the most favorite Bible books of all."
*Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John's Gospel stands alone from Matthew, Mark and Luke. The other three Gospels are called the "synoptic Gospels," because they build on each other and have so much in common. They are "synonym Gospels" so to speak.
*"John gives us fewer details about the Lord's life, but adds long conversations and rich insight into the character of our Lord. The Apostle John could do that, because he began walking with the Lord as a very young man, maybe even in his late teens. And John was still walking with the Lord as a very old man in the Province of Asia." (3)
*J. Vernon McGee tells us that "John's Gospel was the last one written, probably close to 100 AD. All the other Apostles were already home in Heaven. John alone was left, and the Holy Spirit led him to write a different kind of Gospel. Three hundred years later, the great church leader Augustine said that in John's old age, his spiritual understanding was like a soaring eagle. And John's wish for his Gospel was that it would cause our hearts to soar." (4)
*With this background in mind, let's read John 1:1-4. It's a great place to begin taking a good look at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
*One of the most helpful Scriptures for me is Isaiah 26:3. There Isaiah declared to the Lord: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." God wants us to know that He will keep us in perfect peace, if we will keep our hearts and minds focused on Him.