Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The Prologue to John’s Gospel’

 The Word Became Flesh  – John 1:1-18

 Preaching Notes

Introduction to Sermon Series on John’s Gospel

John is simple and profound

Leon Morris quote:

I like the comparison of John’s Gospel to a pool in which a child may wade and an elephant can swim.  It is both simple and profound.  It is for the veriest beginner in faith and for the mature Christian.  Its appeal is immediate and neverfailing.”

John’s purpose – John 20:30-13

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 John is the perfect Gospel

To understand to engage our culture

To lead others to faith

The Prologue to John’s Gospel is a Fantastic Fanfare

1st movement of symphonies introduce a variety of rhythms, chords, patterns, and instruments which are developed fully in rest of symphony

 Leads to 3 experiences

Expectation – I will hear this later

Familiarity – I’ve heard this before

Understanding – as musical theme reaches fullest expression

The Prologue to John’s Gospel

Is like the 1st movement of a great symphony and introduces 12 truths about Jesus which will revealed in fullness later in Gospel

Jesus is referenced 20 times, even though named only once

Every 6th word references a key truth about Jesus

Meant to grab the attention of the world

 As you  read The Prologue, in the text below, the references to Jesus and key concepts about Him are highlighted in bold

John 1:1–18 (English Standard Version)

 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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the worldHe was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know himHe came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 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 have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ” For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

The Prologue affirms the central Truth about Jesus – Jesus is God, one with the Father

John is not simply naming/listing different characteristics about Jesus

Instead he is establishing the identity of Jesus = God

 Throughout the Gospel Jesus is one with the Father

Absolute, complete unity between Jesus and The Father, as God

 Same unity will be built with the Holy Spirit later in Gospel

 John’s point is: if you want to know God … Know Jesus

As God, John highlights five key facts about Jesus

First, Jesus always was – John 1:1-5

John does not begin with Jesus’ birth to Mary

Instead he speaks about Jesus, in His pre-incarnate reality because Jesus was alive before Mary birthed Him

 John clarifies that Jesus was born at the time of creation //’s to Genesis “In the beginning”

 As  the Word – Jesus was preexistent to the creation

The Word is the creative voice, power, work of God which created the world

 Jesus, like God, is the external alpha and omega

 Second, God came into the world as Jesus – John 1:9

The external God who reigns above everything was descending into the world, our world, our space and time

The cosmic order of space and separation was being breeched with Jesus/God entering the world

God would no longer be up there, distant from us, as stated inRevelation 21:3

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

Third, Jesus came not as a supernatural spirit but as flesh

John 1:14  is the crescendo verse in The Prologue

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 Jesus was not coming in a supernatural divine form, but rather in complete human flesh form.  Yet he is still divine, holy, without sin

 Jesus is fully God and fully Man

Fourth,  Jesus dwelled with God’s People – John 1:14

Dwelt among us is a powerful OT concept which would lead to bells, whistles, and aha’s – going off for the Jewish people

 The word John uses is tabernacle

 The Tabernacle was the Tent which housed the Presence of God which housed the Ark of the Covenant and was their strength (crossing the Jordan, Ark first)

The Tabernacle is the place where Priests offered sacrifices and entered into God’s spiritual presence

 Jesus would be the tabernacle presence of God

Just as tent moved around, Jesus moved among the people

 His presence with us would allow us to see, touch, hear, and smell God and to develop the most intimate relationship and bond

 Again, Jesus’ is God’s Presence which looks forward, for us to the fulfillment of Revelation 21:3

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

 Fifth, Jesus reveals God to us – John 1:14, 16-18

Since God will be among us, we will now know Him

Biblical concept of know is about an intimate relationship and knowledge from oneness with Him

Not simple “head or academic” knowledge

 Many know about Jesus, but not all know Him

 Jesus will reveal specific things about God as the actual existence and presence

 As God Jesus is God’s glory, grace, and truth Jesus reveals these things about God

 As God’s Glory

God’s glory – light, holiness, power, presence, etc. Yet Jesus will reveal God’s glory beyond grandeur/beauty/holiness

 God’s Glory will be revealed by Jesus in it’s fullness on the cross, not at the Transfiguration, which John leaves out

 God had to come into world in the flesh as Jesus

In order to die on the cross

In order to suffer for our sins

In order to be God’s glory

 Jesus is the fulness of God’s glory on the cross

As God’s Grace

Jesus reveals God’s grace as steadfast love and mercy from OT in the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting

 Jesus is God’s grace

It is through Jesus that we are born anew that we have our new birth, born again, through Jesus

 Jesus is God’s Grace because He is the only way to God

The Prologue prepares you for John 14:6

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 

No one comes to the Father except through me.

 As God’s Truth

Truth as the real absolute, genuine Word of God

Jesus is the Truth upon which you must/should/can stake your life, build your life

 In today’s world, political correctness is to affirm

That their is no Truth

That all truth is relative

That all trues count and need to be honored

 John proclaims the exclusiveness of Jesus as Truth

When we talk about Jesus we are not talking about same god that Hindu’s Muslims, Buddhists, and others talk about in their worship

 Again The Prologue prepares you for the exclusive claim of John 14:6

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 

No one comes to the Father except through me.

John’s comments about John the Baptist in The Prologue

John the Baptist shows up in The Prologue not as an accident or late insertion into the Gospel

 John the Baptist was a critical to God’s plan

He was a respected and well-know historical figure

 John the Baptist was sent by John by God for a specific purpose, to be the first witness testifying about who Jesus is

John the Baptist knew who Jesus was because John the Baptist knew God

John the Baptist is sent by God for a two point witness about Jesus

1.  Jesus is The Light of the World

2.  Jesus is The One to follow

 The purpose for God sending John to be The Witness is stated in 1:7 that all might believe!

There are only 2 possible responses to Jesus coming as God 

To Jesus being God in flesh tabernacling among the people, John 1:10-13 tells us God’s people will either

1. Reject Jesus and not receive Him –

 Why will God’s own people reject Jesus?

Not because the do not know about God because Jesus makes God known, but because they are estranged from Him, from Jesus, from God

 There are 2 reasons for this estrangement

1. Sin (of which Jesus will remove this separation barrier)

2. Rejection

 Or

2. Receive Jesus

 How will they receive Him?

Not by their own works, flesh, and blood but by Jesus they will be reborn and become children of God, and thus heirs of His grace

 Remember the purpose for John’s writing as stated in John 20:30-31

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Conclusion

When John completes his Prologue he establishes the central themes of the Gospel

 Jesus is God

 Jesus is the source of all Life

 All people will see Jesus but not all people will receive Him

The Gospel asks you 2 questions.

 1. Will you be one who receives Him and is born again through Him and will become a child of God an heir to God’s grace?

2.  Or will you reject Him and live separate from God into eternity

 For John it is a matter of life and death for you

This is why The Prologue i the most dramatic prologue ever written

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: