Summary: The beginning of our year-long study into the Gospel of John focusing on who Jesus is to the Father.
The Light of Men
Gospel of John Series
CCCAG January 7th, 2018
Scripture- John 1:1-5
I’m excited this morning to begin our Gospel of John series. I haven’t been this excited since my first Sunday here. This is a series that I know God called me to do, but I had to wait until the right time. Now, 3 ½ years later the Father has released me to begin.
Before we get into the scripture today, I want to introduce and talk a little about the author.
There are 4 Gospels in the bible. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the synoptic Gospels. Synoptic means similar or summary. Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain the same outline, the same general details, and the same timeline over 65% of the time in their writings about the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ.
However, The Gospel of John deviates significantly from the other 3 Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke were written between 41-69 AD. John came much later, probably around 80-90AD. It is without doubt in my mind that John had read the writings of the other Gospel writers, and as Jesus’ closest friend on this earth, decided to give the closest eyewitness account of any Gospel write to everything he saw his best friend do and say.
Matthew and Mark heard and saw some of it, Luke probably got his information from Mark, Peter, and Paul, but John lived it, and therefore is the closest eyewitness to the life, words, personality, and mission that Jesus had than anyone else in the bible.
John most likely knew Jesus growing up, he was the closest to him during his ministry, he was part of the inner circle of disciples with his brother James and with Peter, and he was the only one that was a direct eyewitness to the entire passion of Jesus from the first blow to the final words our Lord uttered on the cross. HE was so close to Jesus that Jesus didn’t call his family to take care of his mother, but called upon His best friend to make sure that His mother Mary was protected and taken care of after His death.
Quite a resume’ isn’t it?
Martin Luther said that this Gospel is so important that if some world leader decreed that all the known copies of the bible were to be burned, if the church could save John’s Gospel and the book of Romans, the essence of Christianity would endure such a purge.
That’s incredible. It’s why I’m so excited to begin this study of John’s Gospel. I know it can change our lives, increase our faith, and bring us closer to the subject of this book, which is our Lord, God, Savior, Healer, and King, Jesus!
So let’s dig in, and allow me to illustrate the subject of the first few verses of John’s Gospel.
When I was a kid, my mom’s sister, my Aunt Mary would often bring me from Kenosha to Hayward to see my grandparents. This was back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. What is now a 5 ½ to 6 hr drive took over 8 hrs then. Back then, Hwy 53 was a dark, narrow, tree-lined two lane curvy road that connected Eau Claire with Spooner, and just north of Spooner is Hwy 63, our turn off to go to Hayward. When I drove up there with her, once we passed Eau Claire, I had to put down my book, and help her watch the sides of the road- she would look left, I would look right. We were watching for those two little reflections, or any movement that would indicate a deer was standing near the road and ready to jump out in front of us. This was kind of fun, and kind of scary at the same time- Hwy 53 in those days was dark- no lights coming from houses, no street lights marking the larger interactions, the tree line was right up to the road, so if a deer appeared you had a second to hit your brakes or swerve or you would be wrecked and stranded in the north woods and the only thing you could do is wait for another person to drive by, or walk to the nearest farm and ask to use their phone.
We were complete dependent on your car lights, shining in the front to keep us safe during our travels.
John starts his Gospel telling us of the time when God sent his own light into our world. God knows our journey on this earth is dark. He knows there are forces hiding in the tree line ready to jump out and wreck our lives. So, God had given us a light to guide our way, and his name is Jesus.