Summary: Though not one of the traditional Christmas stories we refer to when we consider Christmas, the prologue of John's Gospel perhaps offers the most complete explanation found anywhere about what Christmas is really about--the God-man came to earth to rescue us from this present darkness.
Christmas: What It's All About—From an Authority
Christmas Eve, 2018
I know most of you this evening came expecting to hear another repetition of the Christmas story, focusing on the angels visit to Joseph or Mary, the virgin birth in Bethlehem, or even the Magi's visit. And those are all wonderful stories, but we've been there and done that this month—they have all been the subject of our Christmas series on Sunday mornings entitled the Divine Advent(ure) this past month.
This evening we're going to focus a different passage that is rarely associated directly with Christmas. It's the conclusion of the matter. It explains as well as any one passage in all of the Bible what Christmas is all about.
It was written by the Apostle John, who was an expert on such authorities, and as he wrote it He was living apostle. He had had more than 50 years to reflect on the incredible experiences He had had following the Christ of God, Jesus Christ for 3 ½ years.
As he wrote the Gospel of John, his biography of Jesus Christ, he wrote it in a rather unusual way. He provides us with nearly all of his conclusions about Jesus, and life, and what it's all about at the beginning of the Gospel, in the first 18 verses. And then he provides us with stories of the experiences he had that resulted in these conclusions in the rest of His Gospel. It's ordered much like the papers I had to do in freshmen Chemistry in college about the experiments we had done. There was what was called an "abstract" at the beginning, in which all the important conclusions about the experiments are summed up and concluded. And then there's a detailed description of the concrete experiments done and the results found in the body of the paper. So as we look at John 1:1-14 this morning what we're going to find is an expert conclusion about what Christ, Christmas, and what life is really all about.
The Apostle John addresses five vital questions that each one of us need to consider ourselves about our lives in relationship to Jesus Christ this morning.
1. Who God is, and who Jesus Christ is in relationship to Him.
2. What He offers.
3. Why we so desperately need Him.
4. How we can receive what He offers
I. To know eternal-creator God, you must know Jesus, the visible expression of God. (John 1:1-3).
ST: John immediately plunges us into some of the deepest theological waters found anywhere in the Bible. He writes, "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God."
John was a Jew knowing that many Jews would be reading this Gospel. The first thing
They would notice, and you should notice is that this verse is very similar to another very well-known verse in the Bible. It begins with these three words, "In the beginning." Do you recall another Biblical verse that begins with these three words? Yes, it's Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Right there,
We have the Bible's definition for who God is and what He has done. God was already
In the beginning when everything else came into being. And He was the Creator of all else that exists. Everything that exists exists in one of two categories: the creator or the created. What He's about to say is that this "Word" that He is about to tell us about, this
Jesus belongs in the Creator category. That is Jesus is Himself very God of very God, and He qualifies as such because of two distinctive characteristics—He existed before all
Other things and is therefore eternal, and He created all other things and is therefore the
Creator. Therefore, as the eternal Creator, He uniquely qualifies as God Himself.
Then, immediately, if you're not already familiar with the passage, the question that should come to mind is why He uses the word "Word" to identify Jesus Christ. And secondly, how can the Word be with God and God at the same time.
In the context, it becomes evident that the Word refers to Jesus Christ. We see this in
John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us as the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth." Clearly, the "Word" refers to Jesus Christ, the God-man,
the incarnate God, God in the flesh.
So, then we ask this, why did John refer to Jesus as "the Word" in this context? Why
didn't he just call Him "Jesus?"
Well, the original word behind the word Word is the Greek word "Logos." It literally
means "speech" or "expression." It was often used by Greek philosophers of the day to