Summary: Christmas revealed to us God’s desire to have fellowship with man and His desire to meet us at our point of need.
John began his Gospel quite differently from the rest of the Gospel writers. The rest started with the historical accounts of the events that took place.
· Matthew and Luke talked about circumstances leading to Jesus’ birth.
· Mark started off with Jesus entering into ministry, writing about a prophet John the Baptist who was preaching a message of repentance, preparing the people’s heart for the arrival of Jesus.
· JOHN talked about John the Baptist too, and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But before he launched into this, he took first 14 verses to lay down clearly the theme of his book - Gospel message - that Jesus is the Son of God who came to save all man.
At the end of his book, John said that he has seen all that Jesus has said and done. He said, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in our presence, which are not recorded in this book because if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." (20:30, 21:25) 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." (20:31). In other words, I have written all that you need to know in order to be saved.
Therefore John spent the first 14 verses of his book to paint us the entire picture of God’s salvation plan for mankind. Look closely and we’ll see a few things today:
(1) GOD’S STRONG DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE WITH MAN
We see a movement in this passage - John tells us (John 1:1-3):
"1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made."
God and His Word - Jesus - they are eternal. They’ve been there from the beginning. John takes us further back than the book of Genesis - Genesis tells us what God did in the beginning, John gave us a snapshot of God before He created anything.
The first picture we see of Jesus Christ is this - He is God. Eternal and infinite, uncreated. He is the Creator, for "through Him all things were created". Genesis tells us God spoke and the world was created... All things were created through the Word. In Him was life - in order words, all living things - including you and me - exist today because of Him. He sustains life in this universe, therefore without Him nothing exists.
And then as you read on, John painted a movement...
v.5 "the light shines in the darkness...."
v.9 "the true light... was coming into the world." And then...
v.10 "He was in the world..."
v.11 "He came to that which was His own..."
v.14 "The Word became flesh..."
The Creator came into His creation - the world He made. The Creator became flesh and made His dwelling among His creatures. This "movement" is great and significant. Imagine this:
· Jesus who owns the universe, came into this world, and had to find a place to be born.
· Jesus who is Almighty, came into this world, and needed to be carried by human hands.
· Jesus who has everything in His control, came into this world and was despised by man.
This CONDESCENSION was a big thing. Martin Luther: "The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that he sunk himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding."
Why? Why did God do such a thing? John uses these words: "He came to His own..." (v.11); He wants us to be "children of God" (v.12). God desires a relationship with us. This desire, or love to have fellowship with us is so great that He is willing to do whatever He can to make this possible, even if it means the sacrifice of Jesus.
Soren Kierkegaard, the great Danish theologian told this story:
A prince who wanted to find a maiden suitable to be his queen. One day while running an errand in the local village for his father he passed through a poor section. As he glanced out the windows of the carriage his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant maiden. During the ensuing days he often passed by the young lady and soon fell in love. But he had a problem. How would he seek her hand?
He could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him freely and voluntarily and not through coercion. He could put on his most splendid uniform and drive up to her front door in a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the maiden loved him or was simply overwhelmed with all of the splendor.