As we begin a New Year, I wanted to begin a new series I’m going to do what is called an expositional teaching of the book of John, we need to know what we believe and why we believe it and John teaches us that directly…
The title has a double meaning…was Jesus created and second did Jesus create all things? We will find out
Of the four Gospels it is the one specifically written to the church.
Matthew is written to explain Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews which is important for us to understand. Matthew was a tax collector and as such took copious notes making his narratives much longer
Mark and Luke were written primarily to a Gentile audience (non-Jew) both Christian and non-Christian
John was written to the church with a unique linage….Matthew defines Jesus’ lineage through the legal line of Joseph, starting with the Father of Judaism Abraham
Luke defines Jesus’ linage as the son of Man beginning with the first man Adam and going through the genetic linage of Mary
We will see just in a moment where John begins.
First a little about John…
He was one of the first disciples called by Jesus
He is the author of 5 books of the New Testament- The Gospel of John, the epistles 1,2, and 3 John, and the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ
He and his brother James (who was also an apostle but was the first one martyred) were nicknamed by Jesus, the sons of thunder could be because their personalities were more like a thunderstorm than a calm day incident (Luke 9:54) Lord do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them (Samaritans who rejected Jesus) Despite this fiery personality John is often thought of a soft or gentle because of his other nick name “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23,24) I think Jesus loved fiery
He was one of the intimate inner circle, Jesus’ closest friends. Those who were invited to Jarius’ daughter raising of the dead (Mark 5:37), The Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:28-36), and the night in the garden of Jesus’ betrayal (Matthew 26: 36-46)
Jesus entrusted his mother’s care (Mary) into John’s hands rather than his half-brothers James, Joses, Jude and Simon.
John was considered by Paul to be one of the three pillars of the church. John, Peter, and James Jesus’ half-brother (Galatians 2:7-9)
He was the only disciple, according to tradition, to die of natural causes, all the others were martyrs for their faith.
John shares seven miracles and the seven “I am” declarations, descriptions of Jesus which we will cover.
John 1: 1,2
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
John starts by making sure that we understand, before anything was, before time was, existed, before the universe, the world, man, before there was anything Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit existed…when He says “in the beginning he is establishing Jesus’ linage as always existing with The Father and the Spirit, they are the same essence…
Jesus is the “Word” the “logos” ….John knew who he was talking to, using the concept of the word, the Greek converts would have understood Jesus as the force and strength behind all of creation and the Jewish converts would have thought of the beginning Genesis 1: 3-28 when God spoke light and life happened…..God is made up of three equal persons the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and they all have their role to play in life and creation. When the name “God is used, in the Old Testament we need to understand, Hebrew has singular, duo (like both) and plural. Plural is three or more. the title God is in the plural showing an echo of the trinity, three in one.
Genesis 1:26 is a prime example
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.
The word (logos) was “with” God means a mutual reciprocal relationship
John is making sure we understand Jesus’ linage as being God
Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, Muslims and every other religion deny this assertion by John even though those religions were not in existence, the lies they believe are old ones from Satan himself….Jesus always existed was never created just always was!
God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
This is John proclaiming Jesus created everything including time, angels, the world everything. It is reflective of Genesis chapter 1 God saying, “Let light be!” (sun, moon stars not created until 4th day)
Paul reflects this insight under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Colossians 1:15-17
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
The Greek says that everything is sustained by Him, actually held together by Jesus.
John is establishing for all of us exactly who Jesus is, he is the son of God, He is God He is the creator of all things and the life and sustainer of all things. Even those who don’t know him have their life sustained because of Jesus
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
The darkness is not merely the absence of light as we often define it, but John’s meaning is deeper here. The implication is the light will invade the kingdom of darkness with Satan and his minions, they will not be able to stand against the light but the light will overcome that kingdom.
This reflects as I mentioned earlier the first quote of God “Let there be light, let light be” it is not sun, moon, or stars but a power of life that destroys evil which leads some to further argue the gap theory in Genesis that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 of a first creation then God annihilated that creation to start anew with darkness being crushed ( I don’t have a dog in that fight but it is provocative to consider). If true, we see that darkness crept in again into this creation.
God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
John is explaining the role of John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets as well as the herald of the Son of God. John was clarifying the role of John for all of his audience so they would understand why the Lord allowed his ministry to be cut short the way it seemed to be. Once John made the proclamation and Jesus assumed his role John was ready for paradise.
We should have the confidence in God to know that nothing, no person, disease, or circumstance can take us home, as believers until God says we are done. Our future is not controlled by the world, the flesh or the devil but if we have placed our lives in His hands then our future is in His hands.
Next, John shares one of the saddest statements in scripture.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
John as he is writing to the church is showing God’s love mercy and call of the church. Jesus came to the world and the children of Israel but both rejected Him. But the story John is going to tell us over the next weeks as we study is, even though the world and His own rejected Him, he still pursues them as he did each of us.
A son (daughter) of God….an Old Testament term referring to a direct creation of God. It applied to angels and to Adam all of us are indirect creations as we are descendants of Adam but once we accept Christ as a Lord and savior we are “reborn” as direct creations of God, sons and daughters of God, which we will get into more when we get to Chapter 3
So what do we know from today? Know what you believe
- Jesus always existed with God and is God
- Through Him everything is created and sustained
- He invaded and overcame the darkness
- Everything is in God’s hands and until God’s plan for us is completed nothing can steal our life
– Jesus made away for us to be transformed from indirect creations of God to become sons and daughters of the one true God.
There is no doubt that Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are one. Through Him we are reborn to be His sons and daughters. The enemy is not equal but a creation that Jesus took care of for us. The future is in his hands and we can be at peace knowing that it and our lives are in His hands