Summary: Gospel of John provides some of the clearest explanations of who he was, who he claimed to be, and what he asked of his followers. We’re going to spend the next couple months taking a look at this book, written for the sole purpose of helping people to k
Who Is This Jesus?
September 11/12, 2004
Who was the 2nd president of the United States?
Who is the American League leader in batting percentage?
Which movie won the Oscar for Best Movie in 2004?
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
How many bones are there in an adult human skeleton (within 10)?
Trivial pursuit is fun – but it doesn’t change our lives and ultimately it’s really a waste of time! But there are other questions that really make a difference in our lives. Where will I live? Who will I marry? What career is right for me?
But when it all comes down – the most important question you’ll ever need to answer is this: Who is Jesus?
So many people think they know. But what is their answer based upon? Too often it is based upon fuzzy ideas put together from TV talk shows, old Sunday school memories, and our own opinions. The best way to get started is to read the parts of the Bible that were written to give us the answer. We owe it to ourselves.
Gospel of John provides some of the clearest explanations of who he was, who he claimed to be, and what he asked of his followers.
We’re going to spend the next couple months taking a look at this book, written for the sole purpose of helping people to know who Jesus is: John 20:31 “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.” NIV
Along the way we’ll ask ourselves: Do I believe this? If not, why not? If so, what response is required of us – how then should we live?
Let’s read John 1:1-18. Before I do I want to give you a bit of intro.
First of all, why is this called the Gospel of John. Gospel simply means “good news”. This book is the “good news” about who Jesus is and what he did while on earth. It’s one of 4 biographies of Jesus of Nazareth. The author of it is a man named John – who was one of the original 12 disciples. (Not John the Baptist) He was one of the closest disciples to Jesus’ heart, known as “the disciple Jesus loved”.
John was a Jew, living in Galilee as a fisherman with his brother James, when Jesus called him to leave behind that life and follow him.
As we read the first few verses of this book – commonly known as the “prologue” to the gospel, John does a very interesting thing. Rather than starting with the story of Mary and Joseph and Jesus’ birth, John starts at the very beginning of time, and he introduces a concept well known to the people of his day but which is a bit confusing for us.
“the word” – the logos.
A Greek term meaning both "word" and "reason," used by Greek philosophers to denote the rational principle that creates and informs the universe. It was associated in Hellenistic Jewish thought with divine wisdom, as God’s creative presence.
For us – perhaps the idea of “the force” is the closest thing we can come to understanding this concept of “the logos” or “the word”
Put yourself into the mindset of a 1st century Greek, as John begins talking about this philosophical concept taking human form! In order to help you understand how John’s contemporaries would have interpreted John’s meaning, I’ve taken the liberty of changing some of the pronouns.
In the beginning was the [logos], and the [logos] was with God, and the [logos] was God. 2[The logos] was with God in the beginning. 3Through [the logos] all things were made; without [the logos] nothing was made that has been made. 4In [the logos] was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10[The logos] was in the world, and though the world was made through [the logos], the world did not recognize [the logos]. 11[The logos] came to that which was [its] own, but [its] own did not receive [it]. 12Yet to all who received [the logos], to those who believed in [the name of the logos], [the logos] gave the right to become children of God- 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14The [logos] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testifies concerning him He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’" 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.