Wednesday, September 7, 2022

           John’s gospel presents a portrait of Jesus that is different from the first three gospel accounts.  John opened with a recognition of the eternal nature of Jesus and the embodiment of God in the flesh.  We read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3).  Jesus is God and God came in the flesh and body of the One we call Jesus.  He was and is the Word of God.  John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  In this one verse, John the apostle conveyed three powerful truths for us to consider. 
            First, John wrote about the incarnation of Jesus.  “The Word became flesh.”  God took human form in the person of Jesus, His Son.  The Son entered into the human and earthly realm to complete the salvation work of the Father.  Second, the Son of God came to dwell among us.  The language is literally “pitched His tent among us.”  Christ came to identify with humanity and was like us in every way with the exception being His innocent and sinless nature and life.  He lived the life that God expects us to live.  The Creator entered into the creation and walked among us.  Third, Jesus was (and is) the embodiment of truth and grace.  His life, death and resurrection convey to us all that we need to know about the ways of God.  He perfectly embodied the grace that we so desperately need.  The coming of Christ opened the way for fallen people like us to know and access the Father.
            When you read John’s gospel, you come across seven profound I AM statements made by Jesus.  These I Am statements include...I AM the bread of life, I AM the light of the world, I AM the door of the sheep, I AM the resurrection and the life, I AM the good shepherd, I AM the true vine and I AM the way, the truth and the life.  These statements where Jesus invoked the expression “I AM” remind us of the divine name of God disclosed at the burning bush to Moses.  By clearly making these seven statements, Jesus made the bold declaration that He is God—He shares the divine name and nature of His Father.  Other religions may have a founder but Christ is God.  In John 3, we read about Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus where our Lord teaches us about the importance of a new birth and a new life.  Indeed, we find one of the Bible’s most beloved verses.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). 
            Reading John’s gospel account is both a joy and an education.  It is a joy to know that the Lord is available to us and loves us unfailingly each day.  His great love led Him to a cross that held your name and mine but He willingly took that place.  This gospel is an education because we learn that Jesus was, is and always will be God.  He is the Almighty One and the Ancient of Days.  The Apostle John ended His gospel with an amazing look back at his friend, teacher and Lord.  He wrote, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).  If you wrote a gospel about Jesus, what would you choose to emphasize?  What truths, miracles or teachings would resonate most with you?  While Matthew, Mark and Luke all began their accounts of Jesus with genealogy, birth stories, forerunners and earthly events, John started his account of Jesus with eternity, wanting us to know that His Lord is the LORD.  May God bless your reading of John.  Have a great Wednesday!  Join us tonight as our Wednesday activities resume for all ages.  And remember you can share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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