Grace For Your Day December 5
John 1 has been called “the greatest specimen of religious thought ever penned by the hand of man.” It answers the question “Who is Jesus Christ” in just a few short verses and yet what is says is so profound that it will be pondered for all eternity. Here is what John writes:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him (verses 1-18).
I wanted to quote all of that to you because this holiday season the elders of GFC will be preaching through this passage in a 3-part sermon series entitled “Christmas in the Gospel of John.” On December 11, I will be preaching on verses 1-5. On December 18, Kevin Laser will be preaching on verses 6-13. On December 25, Quentin Smith will be preaching on verses 14-18.
The reason we are doing this is because there is no better way to celebrate Christmas than to study a text like this because it does not start out like the other Gospels. Whereas Matthew and Luke begin by telling us that Jesus was born in a manger, John tells us that that His life goes back further than that because “In the beginning was the Word.” This tells us that Jesus has always been “the Word.” He lived as the Word, breathed as the Word, and taught as the Word because He is God. His divine nature never left Him so that, everything He did among us, He did it as the 2nd person of the Trinity. If the thought of that does not cause you to worship Him, nothing will.
In fact, when you survey John 1, you find that there are 13 names for Jesus in the chapter. He is called “the Word” (verse 1), “God” (verse 1), “the Light of men” (verse 4), one greater than John the Baptist (verses 14-15), “Christ” (verse 17), “the only begotten God” (verse 18), “the Lamb of God” (verse 29), “the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit” (verse 33), “the Son of God” (verse 34), “Rabbi” (verse 38), “Him of whom Moses … wrote” (verse 45), “the King of Israel” (verse 49), and “the Son of Man” (verse 51). Obviously, we cannot look at all of these terms in three weeks because there is not enough time. However, we can get a small taste of them and that is what we plan to do starting this week.
Please join us as we study John 1:1-5 this Sunday and learn what it means when it says that “In the beginning was the Word.” My prayer is that this sermon will help you grow in your worship of Christ and your understanding of who He is.
– Jeremy Cagle