December 29, 2019
Scripture: John 1:1-5, 14
I. Jesus is God, yet distinct from God.
A. In the first verse of his Gospel, John echoes the first verse in the whole Bible. Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” But John says, “In the beginning was the Word.” Okay, then. Who is this Word? We have to wait until verse 14 of John’s Gospel to find out. The Word is Jesus, the one full of grace and truth (see also verse 17). This Word was made flesh in vs. 14. But John says if you really want to know who Jesus is you have to go back even earlier than His birth in Bethlehem. The Word is eternal. He was in the beginning.
B. We learn two other things about the Word in verse 1: that the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is said to be with God as a separate person even though Jesus Himself is God. And it was Jesus according to verse 3 who was God the Father’s agent of creation. He was and is the God who created all things. What we are seeing here then in John chapter 1 is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Who is Jesus? He is God.
II. Jesus is human.
A. As important as it is to believe that Jesus is God, it is also important to believe that Jesus is human. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). Something similar is said in Hebrews 1:1-2: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” What was God’s Word to us? How did He speak to us? By His Son, the Word become flesh.
B. Jesus dwelt among us (vs. 14). Literally, Jesus tabernacled among us. He lived in the center of His people in His day, just like God lived in the center of the people of Israel in a tabernacle during the days of the Exodus. At the tabernacle, people offered animal sacrifices to atone for their sins. We have all sinned. And the penalty for sin is death. But in His grace God has given us undeserved mercy – God has provided for us a sacrifice to die in our place. The animal sacrifices pointed forward to Jesus. Jesus would be the ultimate and final sacrifice.
III. Jesus is life and light.
A. In verses 4 and 5 we see two other characteristics of Jesus: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” First, we see that Jesus is life. Because Jesus is the Word He has the power to create life – both physical and spiritual life (John 3:16). Since Jesus gives eternal life, and God is eternal, eternal life is the life that God has, lived in us right now. And when you have the life of God living in you, you have joy. You have hope. You have purpose. You have beauty. Jesus is also light. The life in Christ comes as a light shining in the darkness. What does light do? It warms the heart so that it is changed. This is what Jesus is talking about in John 12:46: “ I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
Remember that Jesus is human and divine, that He is life and light.
The Gospel of John
Commentaries on John by D.A. Carson and Richard Phillips