Summary: Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Who Is Jesus?
Text: Jn. 1:1-5
1. Who is Jesus?
a. Some say he is the Son of God
b. Some say he was a moral teacher
c. Some say he was a good man
d. But can he be all of those things?
2. C. S. Lewis, who was a professor at Cambridge University and once an agnostic, understood this issue clearly. He writes: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse."
Then Lewis adds: "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
3. In my mind the best way to discover who Jesus was is to examine the book that talks about him most - the Bible.
4. A great place to start with that examination is the Gospel of John, because John states that this is the purpose for his writing of the Gospel.
5. John 20:30-31 (NLT)
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
6. According to John, Jesus is...
c. Our Hope
7. Let's stand as we read together Jn. 1:1-5
Proposition: Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Transition: First and foremost...
I. He Is God (1-2).
A. The Word Was God
1. John starts at the “beginning,” with the first eighteen verses of John, called the prologue. John’s goal and guiding purpose in writing can be found in almost every phrase of his work. In the rest of the Gospel, John expanded and illustrated each of these from Jesus’ life and ministry (Barton, 372).
2. So how does John begin? He says, "In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God."
a. John begins by establishing the preeminence of the Jesus existing before the creation of the world.
b. The initial allusion to Genesis 1 cannot be missed (John 1:1). This is a Gospel that will record the re-creation of men and women, the giving of life in darkness where there is no hope (Burge, NIV Application Commentary, The – John, 54).
c. John uses the Greek term logos translated "word" in reference to Jesus.
d. In Greek thought, the logos was the rational principle guiding the universe and making life coherent.
e. For Jewish people, the logos was the word of the Lord, an expression of God's wisdom and creative power.
f. By Jesus' time, the logos was viewed as coming from God and having his personality (NLTStudyBible).
g. Although the basic idea can take on different meanings in this case the dominant idea underlying New Testament usage is that the “word” equals two things: (1) the gospel message and (2) Christ himself (The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Lambda-Omicron, 3030).
h. John says that before time began Jesus was already there.
i. Before there was a sun Jesus already existed.
j. Before there was an earth, oceans, mountains, or trees Jesus was already there.
3. Then John says, "The Word was with God, and the Word was God."
a. By using the expression, he was with God, John was explaining that the Word (the Son) and God (the Father) already enjoyed an intimate, personal relationship in the beginning.
b. To be with God means the Word is distinct from him. The word with (pros) in a context like this is used to indicate personal relationship, not mere proximity (cf. Mk 6:3).
c. But he also was God; that is, there is an identity of being between them. These two truths seem impossible to reconcile logically, and yet both must be held with equal firmness.