12/9/01 - The Message
Jesus is the message from God
Text: John 1:1-14:
He is the hope of humankind and the answer to our hunger for reason and purpose. The message in times past was the law through patriarch’s and prophets. They only convinced us that we need more. Jesus is the message for all times – past, present and future.
The Odyssey of God
Sam Walton was in the mid 90’s named as one of the richest men in America. You’d never know it! He drove a pickup and lived like a regular person. Asked why he didn’t drive a Rolls Royce he replied, “Where would I put my dogs?” He was successful at least in part because he connected with the common man.
When we think of Christ coming into the world we tend to have that lovely Christmas picture of a little baby in a warm, cozy, clean manger. But was it really like that? I am sure the manger was not too clean, and the smells not too sweet.
What was it like for the second person in the Trinity to come into this sin-cursed world? For all eternity He had enjoyed the glories of Heaven being worshipped and exalted and adored, yet here we see Him taking on human form - not just any human form, but that of a baby. He was not born in some great palace fit for a King, but in an old dirty cattle-shed.
The message from God… is God
In verse 14 we read that the "Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us."
This makes the message different than all other messages
Budda had a message… a philosophy of life.
The Hindu faith has many gods with many messages
The Bahai faith has a message of discipline and philosophy
Mohammad had a message… in a Koran
Jesus did not have a message… he is the message
All other religions represent man’s attempt to reach out to God.
Jesus is God’s attempt to reach out to man.
There is only one message from God. Don’t discount the message by putting him on the same level of others.
The message from God… came at great personal cost
"What did Christ do before coming to earth?"
John here certainly answers such a question. He says that Jesus was the co-creator, that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (vs1).
This Word was Jesus Christ and verse 3 shows that not only was He co-creator, but also co-sustainer. Christ was heavily involved in the beginning and the continuing of all things. Christ also was involved before coming to earth as being the revealer (vs 4, 9) who both shone the Light and came as the Light. Therefore Christ was not sitting about in an inactive state in Heaven prior to coming to earth but was active, in working with the Father in our world.
“What did he do while he was here”
“…Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
He was born in a manger
Not a good-looking man
Man of sorrows – acquainted with grief
Misunderstood from the outset by both those that became his enemies and those who were his friends
Betrayed by one of his chosen
Rejected by his own people
Killed because of who he was
The message from God… came for great human gain
Jesus came… so that we could come home again
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The Garden of Eden is where man met God
In Genesis 1 we find that God speaks and then there is light. Now we find God speaking through the Light which has come into the world. Even from Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden God said He would send one who would "bruise the serpent’s heal".
Now He has. Jesus is here. Why did Christ have to come in the flesh? Would it not have been enough for Him to reveal Himself as a spirit, still in a Heavenly form? No, this would not have sufficed.
Adam was flesh and sinned against God and therefore all humans deserve to die, for "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The Messiah therefore had to come in fleshly form as the last Adam. Jesus Christ is therefore totally man (vs14) - but at the same time totally God (vs1).