Summary: The Introduction to the gospel of John is beyond wonderful!
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1. In Minnesota, you can find a huge statue of Paul Bunyan, but it’s not near big enough. Legend has him dragging the pick behind him, thus making the Grand Canyon! He combed his beard with a pine tree. A lake held the batter for his pancakes and a steamboat mixed the batter.
2. No statue of Paul Bunyan will do because the myth is bigger than life. Now moving from fiction to fact we have the same trouble with Jesus – He is bigger then life!
Tozer, “None of us can approach a serious study and consideration of the eternal nature and person of Jesus Christ without sensing and confessing our complete inadequacy in the face of the divine revelation…All we can hope to do it to toddle along on our short legs and gaze heavenward, like a goose whose wings have been clipped but whose heart is in the sky. Those wings just will not take her there!”
3. The One Bigger than Life!
John 1:1-3 (NKJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
John 1:14 (NKJV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
I. First, the Concept. “the Word”
A. Greeks – understand logos [word] to be the rational principle by which everything exists.
B. Hebrews: The word was God in action, creating, revealing and delivering.
C. Essence – it is God expressing Himself.
“”Using a weak human analogy, we may say: as the spoken word of a man is the reflection of his inmost soul, so the Son is the “brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of His person.” Heb. 1:3 [Lenski]
“Words communicate, and that’s precisely what Jesus did. Jesus was the final spokesman for God (Heb. 1:1-2). From A to Z, Jesus was the divine alphabet spelling out God in such a way that even the most elementary of us could grasp His essence. Jesus was not simply the revealer of God but God Himself revealed.” [Swindoll]
“We must guard against two misinterpretations. The one is that of thinking of the revelation as static. It is more than the revelation of certain truth about God. To know God is life eternal (17:3). The knowledge of God that the word brings is not merely information. It is life! The word is creative. The other is that of thinking of the Word as nothing more than an activity of God. John thinks of the word as coming to earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Picture me out cutting the grass. It’s hot, I’m sweaty and someone comes up and says “Would you like some chilled dihydrogen oxide?” I look confused, then a little boy tugs at my pant legs and says, “My Dad is a scientist, he wants to know it you would like a cold glass of water!”
When we look at God we are confused, we truly don’t understand but the Word expresses Him in a language that we can grasp.
II. Finally, the Content of that word. 1-3, 14
A. First, He is Before all Chronology.
In the beginning was the Word – an indic. imper. Tense, speaks of repeated existence with no beginning and no end.
Lit. “In the beginning the Word already was…”
Peter Lewis, “He wants us to stand at the dawn of time to discover Someone there already. In the beginning the Word already was…Creation came into being (v.3), John the Baptist came on to the scene (v.6), even the incarnation occurred at a point in time when the Word became flesh (v.14), but the Word did not at any point come into existence. There never was a time when the Word was not.:
Jn. 8:58; 17:5, 24; 1:15…
Lightner, “Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived before he was conceived…The Second Person of the Godhead existed eternally. Mary’s conception of the Son of God has nothing to do with His origin. He always existed. There was never a time in eternity past when He was not. The Savior’s personal existence was not marked by a beginning.”
Mic. 5:2/Col. 1:17
Tozer, “The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the uncreated. To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, or submit to our curious inquiries: This requires a great deal of humility, so we try to save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us!”