Summary: The real purpose of Christmas is that of sacrifice; Jesus, the Living Word, sacrificed everything so that we could have eternal life.
The Christmas Word
Text: Jn. 1:1-5
1. Illustration: I heard a story about a woman who was doing her last-minute Christmas shopping at a crowded mall. She was tired of fighting the crowds. She was tired of standing in lines. She was tired of fighting her way down long aisles looking for a gift that had sold out days before. Her arms were full of bulky packages when the Elevator door opened. It was full. The occupants of the Elevator grudgingly tightened ranks to allow a small space for her and her load. As the doors closed she blurted out, "Whoever is responsible for this whole Christmas thing ought to be arrested, strung up, and shot!" A few others nodded their heads or grunted in agreement. Then, from somewhere in the back of the elevator came a single voice that said, "Don’t worry. They already crucified him." We need to remember who is responsible for the whole Christmas thing. It is all about how God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son so that who ever believes in Him might have eternal life. John 3:16
2. We can focus on what the world chooses to focus on at Christmas or we can focus on the purpose of Christmas.
3. We need to focus on the Word of Christmas. Not the word Christmas, but the Word of Christmas. You see the Christmas Word...
a. Is A Sacrificial Word
b. Is A Creative Word
c. Is A Life Giving Word
4. Let's all stand together as we read John 1:1-5
Proposition: The real purpose of Christmas is that of sacrifice; Jesus, the Living Word, sacrificed everything so that we could have eternal life.
Transition: The first thing we need to understand about the Christmas Word is that...
I. It's A Sacrificial Word (1-2).
A. The Word Was God
1. In order to understand the prologue of John's Gospel there are several terms that we need to come to grips with. The first, and perhaps most important, is the term "The Word."
a. John was writing to an audience that was a mixture of Jews and Greeks, and this is a term that would have been familiar to both groups of people. However, they both had their own slant on the term.
b. To the Greeks, "The Word" was a philosophical term, thought of as the soul of the universe as well as the rational principle of the universe.
c. Without a doubt, when John used this term, the concept of a supreme force in the universe popped into their minds, but to them it was an impersonal force.
d. The Jews, on the other hand, saw it very differently. For them it was a very personal term.
e. When they heard this term it brought to there minds the words that were delivered by the prophets from God.
f. To them it's vital importance was in the phrase "and God said..."
g. For them when it was very personal because when God speaks He does something in one way or another for their benefit.
h. However, John takes the term and combines elements of both definitions, but gives it a new meaning that is unique to John himself.
i. For him "The Word" was not a philosophy but a living Being and the source of life; not a personification but a Person, and that Person divine (Morris, NICNT: John, 102-109).
j. Make no mistake, when John uses "The Word," he is talking about none other than Jesus.
k. When we think of "The Word," we usually think of either the written or spoken Word of God. While John's term certainly includes that idea, it means so much more.
2. With this background in mind, we can understand what John means when he says, "In the beginning the Word already existed."
a. The phrase "in the beginning" is reminiscent of the first phrase in the Bible from Genesis 1 and the account of creation.
b. John is talking about a new beginning, a new birth, and so he uses words that remind us of the first beginning.
c. By using the term "The Word," John is indicating that it is Jesus that brings about this new life.
d. He says "in the beginning the Word already existed," and is simply saying that before creation and before time Jesus already existed.
e. He always is, always was, and always will be.
3. Then John indicates Jesus unique relationship with the Father when he says, "The Word was with God..."
a. John also indicates that Jesus has a close relationship with the Father by the phrase "the Word was with God."
b. The preposition "with" in the phrase "the Word was with God" indicates both equality and distinction of identity along with association.