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Jesus - the Word of God

John 1:1-2

John's Gospel is all about Jesus and why everybody should believe in Him. John referred to Jesus as the 'Word', because the name 'Jesus' was only given to Him when He was born as a human being. Matthew 1:21 says, "... you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." But Jesus, unlike any other human being, existed before He was born; and so John used the 'Word' (Greek 'Logos') to describe Him. 'Logos' is used to mean 'the essence of something expressed in an understandable way' (in the same way that words express what is in our minds).

Jesus - Creator, Life and Light of the World

John 1:3-5

Before Jesus was born, He created the world and everything in it. He was not an observer of creation but its Chief Executive! Indeed, there was no part of creation which was not personally brought into being by Him. Time only started when He made the physical universe, and He is still its Master. Where did all the energy come from? It came from the 'Word' who was God the Son. He was also the source of all light and life. What an amazing person with inexhaustible power and intricate mastery, fitting everything together perfectly!

Witness to the Light

John 1:6-9

John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was specially appointed by God to announce Jesus as the 'Light of the world'. Although he drew great crowds, John stressed he was not the Light that people should follow. His role, after 400 years of divine silence since Malachi wrote his prophesy, was to command people to repent of their sin and get ready for God's arrival.

Unknown and Unwanted

John 1:10-11

It is always a tragedy when people remember a famous product brand but forget its inventor; or when a painting is prized although the character of its artist is unknown. That is how it was for Jesus. The whole world was created under His authority and by His power (John 1:3), but when He arrived in person He was not recognised. Although He was born into a Jewish community that considered they were God's special people, they did not accept that He was God and eventually conspired to crucify Him.

Believing and Receiving

John 1:12-13

Although “He [Jesus] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:11), there were some who did believe. To ‘believe in His name’ means ‘to trust Him as a person knowing the integrity of His character and the authority of His commission’. Some people did that. They received Him as a man, they received His words as God’s, and, as they got to know Him, they validated who He was in the dynamic of their relationship with Him.

God in a Human Body

John 1:14

John the Apostle had spent three years with Jesus and, in many ways, was the closest to Him of all the disciples. This verse is John's inspired (by the Holy Spirit) summary of Jesus. Jesus was the Word of God, the Almighty One who was made visible in a human body. He was God who spoke through a human mouth; and yet by His teaching, signs and wonders showed He was no ordinary man. Jesus was not just a good man who presented God, but God Himself; demonstrating the perfection of God's design for humanity.

Who Comes First?

John 1:15

In Jesus' day, as in many cultures now, older people were honoured more than those who were younger. So the 'elders' in the community were the older men, who were recognised as having wisdom; and a younger brother would be expected to serve his older brother. That sense of deference was expected throughout the extended family and the community. John the Baptist was about six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36) and, being a cousin, would normally have taken first place.

Jesus Brings the Best from God

John 1:16-17

It is very important for citizens to know the laws of their country - but there are no prizes for keeping the law. The law only functions when we break it – and then its role is to identify our failure and the punishment which we deserve. The same is true with God’s law. Of course, if we keep His Word then we stay in relationship with Him and can enjoy His blessings. But the problem is that none of us can keep any part of God’s law perfectly – so the law keeps condemning us.

The Invisible God Made Visible

John 1:18

Father God does not have a body. As Jesus said, “God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) And yet God has revealed Himself throughout history through His prophets. But at no time did anyone see God, even Moses who specifically requested to see Him.

Confessing that Jesus is Lord

John 1:19-23

John the Baptist attracted much attention. Even though he was preaching and baptising repentant people in a remote part of Israel, many knew about him and travelled to hear him. But he posed a threat to the religious establishment: “Who does he think he is?!” they asked. So they sent a delegation of religious lawyers to interrogate him. John had nothing to hide and answered their questions, “I am not the Christ”. That prompted more questions about his identity.