The Gospel of John was penned by the aged Apostle in about 85 AD. It was the last of the four Gospels to be written. By the time this book was circulated among the Christian community, the other Gospels were household words. People the world over had already the accounts of the life of Christ as recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These first three Gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels. The word “synoptic” means “to see together.” This means that the first three Gospels contain many of the same stories and teachings, but told from a different angle. Yet, each fully inspired by the Lord.
John’s Gospel is different! In the pages of this wonderful book, we see a side of Christ that the other Gospel writers do not touch on. John was part of that blessed inner circle. That handful of Disciples that was with Christ during some of His most intimate moments. In this Gospel, John gives us 21 blessed chapters. Chapters that, as each unfolds, presents a new facet of His divine character. As time goes by, I intend to preach from each of these portraits of Christ that John gives us. We will call this series Portraits Of Christ In John’s Gallery.
Let’s look together at Jesus: The Word Of God. Three truths are revealed in these verses about the Word of God.
V. 1-3 JESUS IS THE PREEXISTENT WORD
V. 1a He Is The Constant Word – According to this verse, Jesus has simply always existed! He didn’t come into being in Bethlehem, but He has been here throughout all the endless ages of eternities past. Was in verse 1 = “always has been.” Contrast this with was in verse 6. This word used concerning John the Baptist means simply “to become.” John became, but Jesus always has been! Thank God He is the constant, unchanging Word of God – Heb. 13:8. That is why Christian can depend on Jesus. He will never fail us nor leave us – Heb. 13:5.
V. 1b He Is The Communing Word – This phrase says that Jesus “was with God.” That is, He was present in the heavenly in the presence of God, yet He stood as a distinct Person. When this phrase is taken alongside the other 2 in this verse, the reality of the Trinity is on display. This verse teaches us that Jesus is God, yet He is still a unique being.
Jesus Christ wasn’t an afterthought with God. He wasn’t something conjured up when things got out of control. Jesus was there when God moved to make man in His image – Gen. 1:26. Jesus was there in Heaven when the plan to redeem the world was formulated – Rev. 13:8; Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:19-20. Since before time began Jesus was with the Father in Heaven.
V. 1c He Is The Controversial Word – When Jesus came preaching repentance, Mark 1:15, men thought He was strange. When He began to heal and perform miracles, men thought He was a prophet sent by God, John 3:2. When He spoke the Word of God with power, men thought He was amazing, Luke 4:36. However, when Jesus claimed equality with God, men thought He was crazy, John 19:7. He stopped being a blessing and became a controversy when He claimed to be God, John 14:9, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
Men still grapple with these truths! They are willing to accept the humble Christ, the teaching Christ, the meek Christ, the dead Christ, the serving Christ. However, they will not give acknowledgment to the God/Man Jesus Christ. He is still 100 percent God and 100 percent man all wrapped up in one. It is best summed up by Paul in Phil. 2:5-8. In these amazing verses, the Apostle sets forth in clear, concise language, the fact that Jesus existed before Bethlehem. He willingly humbled Himself and came to this world in the condition of a servant. (Form = condition) Jesus is God in human flesh!
V. 3 He Is The Creative Word – This verse tells us that Jesus was the energy behind the creation of the universe. He spoke and it was! He stood on the edge of nothing and spoke all this into existence, Col. 1:16-17.
I am grateful that this God is my God, that this Savior is my Savior! I am glad that I can know Him the free pardon of sin and that salvation is in His control. The worries and pressures of life begin to grow amazingly dim when confronted with the power and might of our all-powerful Savior – Matt. 28:18!
These four truths, taken as one give us the clear teaching that Jesus is the pre-existent Word of God. He has always been and He always will be! Thank God, there will never be a day throughout eternity that doesn’t include Jesus! No matter where we wind up, or what we have to face as we travel through this world, we can rest assured that the pre-existent One is, and always will be, there for us. He is the pre-existent Word of the Living God!
V. 14 JESUS IS THE PERSONALIZED WORD
This verse is one of the clearest in all the Bible regarding the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Incarnation being a fifty-cent word that simply means “the bodily manifestation of a supernatural being.”
The Manner Of His Incarnation – This verse tells us that “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” The manner of His incarnation is a mystery. How could God become a man? The answer to this question lies in the mind of God alone. All we know is that God chose a virgin named Mary and caused her to miraculously conceive and bring forth a baby. I do know that on that night when Jesus was born, God had come to earth. Somehow, the Word became flesh! While Jesus himself had existed from all eternities past, He took upon Himself a robe of flesh there in Bethlehem. The Creator was born to the creature. God placed His life in the hands of mortals. My what a scene that must have been!
This verse says that God “dwelled” among us. That word is rich in meaning. It literally means that Jesus pitched His tent here among mortals. He lived among us, worked among us, prayed among us, suffered among us and died among us. God walked upon the earth and was unrecognized by many who came into close contact with Him. What a tragedy that men came in contact with the Savior and still failed to recognize Him.
The Mystery Of His Incarnation – The word was “made” flesh. This word carries the meaning “to appear in history, to step onto the stage.” There in Bethlehem, God stepped out of eternity and onto the stage of human history. He came a tangible proof of the existence of God and of God’s willingness to save mankind. When He was here on earth and through the record left to you and me, we can see that Jesus came to this world to reveal God to man. He did this through the medium of His flesh – 1 John 1:1. Often, I envy those men, then I remember the words of Jesus – John 20:24-29. Not everyone who saw Jesus on this earth came to faith in Him!
The Majesty Of His Incarnation – “We beheld His glory” John actually saw the glory of Jesus in a very real sense. In Matthew 17, John, along with James and Peter accompanied Jesus upon a mountainside. There Jesus allowed the veil of His flesh to be pulled aside and He revealed the glory that was concealed beneath. Jesus concealed His heavenly fame within an earthly frame. However, His greatest glory was revealed the day He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and died for sinners. On Calvary, the glory of God was in sharp focus! After all, That was the reason Jesus left the halls of Heaven and came to live among men. He took upon Himself a robe of flesh so that He might be able to die for mankind. That is what He did for each and every one of us this evening. To me the greatest evidence of the glory of God is the broken body of Jesus Christ has demonstrated His love for me in the clearest of terms, Rom. 5:8.
V. 18 JESUS IS THE PROCLAIMING WORD
According to this verse, Jesus came to reveal God to man. The word “declare” means “to unfold.” Everything the Lord did was simply in an effort to unfold more of the revelation of God to man. Men needed to see God not just as a Lawgiver, but also as a lover. Not only as a judge but as a justifier. Not as some stern, hateful being, but as a saving, caring God. Jesus did just this by His life – John 14:7-9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3. Jesus came to put God on display before men and He did this in two primary ways.
V. 4-9 He Came To Proclaim Light – He came to a world in spiritual darkness and opened the curtains of grace revealing the truth of God to men wandering in darkness. Jesus came to illuminate the pathway of men toward God. This light will accomplish one of two things. It will either cause men to repent of their sins and run to the opened arms of the Lord, or it will cause them to reject the light and continue on their course of darkness. One will lead to salvation, the other will lead to damnation! John 3:36!
Thank God for the light that He gave fallen man! Now, we do not have to be bound by the stringent rules of Law but are free to respond to the lovely pleadings of grace. And, praise the Lord, this light reaches out to all men – v. 9! Even me!
V. 10-13 He Came To Proclaim Life – Jesus came to His people, who had His Word and were living in His promised land. He came to tell then that there was a way to come to the Father and to experience eternal life. In what may be the saddest verse in the Bible, they refused this call from the sinner’s friend to come to Him. However, verse 12-13 makes it clear that anyone who will respond positively to the light of God and will come to Jesus and receive Him into their heart and life will experience the new birth and will enter into eternal life.
John makes it clear in verse 13 that this life comes not by our natural birth (not by blood), not by our own good works (not the will of the flesh), not the work of another, (the will of man), but only through the will of God. And, just what is the will of the Father? John 6:36-40! There is only one entrance into life and that is through the Son of God. He is the Door, John 10:9; and He is the Way, John 14:6. If anyone will enter into life, they will enter through Jesus!