Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gospel of John 1:14 The Darling of Heaven

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Gospel of John 1:14)

The eternal Son of God who, with a word created everything in our universe, took upon Himself the form of a man and lived in the very world He created.  Those whose lives he touched “beheld His glory.” Concerning all that Christ did, John wrote “that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).  He restored sight to the blind, cleansed the leper and raised the dead. He brought peace to troubled hearts and hope to those in despair. With a word He calmed the storm and even the grave had no power to hold Him. But there is more to Christ than power, much more!

His disciples loved Him and were overcome with sorrow on hearing word of His departure. To them He was patient, kind and tender.  His acceptance of them was such that John could lie in His bosom (John 13:23). In remorse Peter would weep bitterly for having denied Him (Luke 22:62).  It is believed that all bar John would finally die for Him. They beheld His glory and experienced His love. He was “the good Shepherd” who would give His life for the sheep (John 10:11). The cross was carried for their sake. The suffering he endured was for their deliverance. The life he ultimately gave was that they might have life. He dwelt among them for a time that they might dwell with Him for eternity. In beholding Him they saw His glory. As they opened their hearts to Him they found One wonderful beyond compare.

Today, as in eternity past, the heavens wait upon His every word and cherubim fall in worship at His feet. He is still the good Shepherd to those who receive Him. He is the Darling of Heaven for those who look to Him alone. He is ever kind, compassionate and loving. He can deliver you no matter what your state. Why would you reject Him?

Gospel Of John 1:12-13 Not Humanly Possible

But as many as received Him[Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, 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” (Gospel of John 1:12-13)

It is sometimes said that “all men are children of God.” The Bible teaches that man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26) so there’s a certain element of truth to this saying. All have the capacity to think, to communicate, to plan or even dream. We have emotions, memories, convictions and a conscience that judges us! There can be no arguing that man is certainly special but, not all are “children of God.” We cannot BE children of God and then “BECOME children of God.” Both cannot be true. Only those who “receive” Jesus have the “right to become children of God.”

Becoming “a child of God” is not something man has the power to bring about. Yes, we have put a man on the moon but we have our limits. This new birth does not come about naturally (“of blood”) nor from human effort, power or ingenuity (”will of the flesh/man”). It is “of God.” God gives a new life and this life is not of this world. It’s the life of Christ. A life that desires to please God. A life that delights in truth and hates evil. A true child of God is different and noticeably so! There is a deep and abiding desire to be led by God through the Word of God (John 17:17). There is a new discernment concerning that which is false or perverse (John 10:3-5). His life is not characterized by indulgence (Eph 2:3) and disobedience (1 John 1:6).  This life hungers to be close to God and is devastated by sin (Psalm 32:5; yes, true Christians can and do sin!). Though he may fall, he doesn’t stay in the “pig pen” (Luke 15:17-18). When God gives life there is a visible and abiding change.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Gospel of John 1:9-11 - Blurred Vision?

[Jesus]“was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own [place], and His own [people] did not receive Him” (Gospel of John 1:9-11)

Jesus is the true Light who gives light. Light here is used in a metaphorical sense for understanding. Just as the light of a lamp allows us to find our way in the dark, so God has given us the ability to understand things.  The expression, “now I see the light!” means, “now I understand!” Jesus, the true Light, gives this ability to all men.

But why is John making this point?

Jesus came into this world “to His own [place] and His own [people]” in fulfilment of prophecy.

     "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
     Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
     Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
     The One to be Ruler in Israel,
     Whose goings forth are from of old,
     From everlasting.”

                                                                         (Micah 5:2)

The nation of Israel knew of this prophecy and many others like it. They had been waiting for their “Ruler” for hundreds of years!  Jesus came in fulfilment of these prophecies and even highlighted Bible passages in reference to Himself (Luke 4:21), but the nation refused to acknowledge Him. They rejected Him and would “not receive Him.” They had the ability to see but refused to accept what was obvious. They could have known Him if they wanted to but they choose darkness.

What about you? Have you acknowledged Jesus? Is it because you cannot see who He is ? or because you don’t want to? You can know what the Bible says about the salvation that is in Jesus alone. God has given the ability to understand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gospel Of John 1:6-8

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light" (Gospel Of John 1:6-8)

John, was Jesus’ first cousin. His mother Elisabeth was Mary’s sister (Matt 1:11-17). He grew to great prominence in Israel and was acknowledged as a prophet and great man of God whose ministry was to point men to Christ (the “Light”), and in this he excelled. This was his burden and his passion. It is he who uttered the words “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). A man of true piety who considered Himself  unworthy to loosen the strap of Jesus’ sandal (John 1:28).  His words, “He must increase and I must decrease” reveal the purity of his heart.

But John was decidedly unpopular with the religious establishment of the day. He confronted their hypocrisy labelling them “snakes” and calling upon them to repent (Matt 3:7). Some did, but the majority refused. They professed godliness but possessed corrupt hearts. They talked much about God but it wasn’t genuine. It wasn’t sincere. John had little time for them and was quick to expose their corrupt ways. Jesus would likewise call them “hypocrites” and “whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:27).  John’s uncompromising stands would eventually cost him his life (Mark 6:14-29). Though despised by many for telling the truth he was nevertheless highly esteemed in Christ’s eyes (Matt 11:11).

John did not point to men or women, no matter how godly. He pointed to Christ, alone. He exalted Christ, alone. How embarrassed Mary, or any godly man and woman of bygone days would be to find themselves exalted in place of Christ. Would Mary have desired this? Never! She, and they, would echo John’s words, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gospel of John 1:4,5

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

In Jesus Christ is life.  It is not the life of this world. It is not the life that man is born with. The life of man is tainted. The life of man is cut off from God. It is in rebellion against God and will have nothing to do with Him. Man is an enemy of God (Rom 5:10) and will never seek Him out (Rom 3:11). He is bent on creating an image of God he can live with (false religions) or dismissing Him entirely (evolution). Man enjoys the blessings of creation but refuses to acknowledge a Creator. Advances in science have revealed astonishing complexities. The smallest cell is now visible through the microscope. Powerful telescopes continuously expand our knowledge of a vast universe. Both confirm the obvious. Creation points to a Creator. But man refuses to see Him.  Millions and millions of unique complex systems (e.g. the eye, the ear, blood... ) all working in perfect unison (a body) and how does man explain this wonder? It just happened by chance over billions of years from absolutely nothing. This is blindness. This is darkness.

But Christ came that man might have a new life, His life. It is a life that is received when one turns to Christ, trusting in Him (John 20:31) and when this life comes there is light! One born into Christ’s family can see! God is clearly the Great Designer, Christ is the Savior and the Bible is His revelation. His children grow spiritually as they read His Word. His ways become clear. Who He truly is becomes a passion. Light overcomes darkness. Understanding replaces blindness. Certainty replaces confusion. Christ gives life and in His life there is light. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gospel of John 1:2

“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” 
(Gospel of John 1:2)

The Gospel of John emphasizes the deity of Christ. He is the creator of all things and His creation reflects His glory. It displays the wonder of His infinite genius and power. His majesty is everywhere to be seen.

Just look around you....every tree has a unique design.  Every fruit has its own flavor. Every sunset is different. The simplest flower is a wonder of detail and pattern and there is color everywhere. Birds give us the most beautiful music and effortlessly climb to heights in the sky. There are so many many different creatures. Each is special in its own way and can even form bonds and have feelings! There was a time when great dinosaurs roamed our world and then of course there is the wonder of man! A being created in the in the very image of God with the ability to think, to love, to communicate. Every organ in our body has a unique and immensely complex function. The eye to see, the ear to hear, the nose to smell and all work together in a perfect unity.

 We feel guilt at a wrong. We feel a sense of accomplishment at a job well done. We can hold our children in our arms and feel love in our hearts. Is it any wonder the
Psalmist would write that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13)?  Everything in our world points to an omnipotent God. All creation declares the majesty and wonder of Christ.

We have received so much. We have so much to be grateful for. Surely a God who puts so much good in our lives ought to be appreciated? Should we not acknowledge Him and thank Him?  Why not now?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gospel of John 1:1,2

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (Gospel of John 1:1,2)

In the opening verse of the gospel, Jesus is called the “Word of God.” This “Word of God” was not only with God but also “was God.” The emphasis here is on the essence of God. John is basically pointing out that what God was, the Word was. Jesus is of the same essence as the Father. Both are deity. Jesus is not “a god” (someone created by God), He is God from eternity and was with God at the beginning (creation).

The Gospel of John has numerous pictures to help us grasp who Jesus really is and what He came to this world to do. For instance, Jesus is called the door, the lamb of God, the vine, the light of the world, the good shepherd.

Likewise, John uses “Word” to convey something of Jesus’ ministry. That this is the first illustration suggests its meaning is important. So what’s intended by “Word”?

“Word” communicates something. When we talk to one another we use words to communicate. It’s how we pass along information. It’s how we share our ideas, our plans, our feelings and so on. “Words” are at the very heart of our relationships. In fact, it’s impossible to have a relationship without words! A breakdown in communication signals a breakdown in a relationship. When someone gives the “silent treatment,” they are basically saying they do not want a relationship!

Jesus is sent from the Father (1 John 4:14) as the “Word of God.” It is He who is seeking to have a relationship with you. It is in His heart that you be with Him. He has words that you need to hear! Words to begin a lasting relationship, an eternal one!