We have spent several weeks in John chapter 1, and for good reason. Although it seems our series through the Gospel of John has been slow moving, it’s because there are so many rich truths for us to see and meditate upon. A few short sermons are still not enough to cover all that John offers us. With that in mind, we look at more of the riches in John 1:6-18.
"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." John 1:6-8
John begins speaking of John the Baptist who came to bear witness about the light - Jesus (also spoken of in verse 15). John is pointing out that John the Baptist is the messenger preparing the way for the Lord as prophesied in Malachi 3:1, “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus.
"The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him." John 1:9-11
Jesus is this true light who gives light to everyone. He is the light who gives the world the truth and shows the very presence of God. John is not the first to refer to Jesus as the light, and the Jewish people would’ve known exactly what he was saying by calling Jesus the light. Isaiah prophesied of the servant of the Lord to come, who was to come to Israel and to the entire world. Isaiah 49:6-7 says, “‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’” John was saying that Jesus is truly the Messiah prophesied about. (Also see Isaiah 42:6-7 when the Messiah is called a light for the nations.) He would come not only for his people in Israel, but to the world.
"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." John 1:12-13
Next John speaks of believers and lays out how we become children of God through Jesus. These are people who have received him and believed in his name. This is beyond intellectual knowledge of Jesus. This is meaning a submission to and trusting in all that he truly is - our fully God, fully man, perfect Savior. John then explains the origin of this belief we have with the term “born.” Verse 13 is significant. We did not become children of God by being physically born into it, not by having a specific ethnicity, and not by a work of our own will. We were born again, regenerated, by God alone. This state of being born (or born again as we will see in John 3) is a picture of regeneration. With this heart regenerated by God, we are able to receive and believe in Jesus. We can give thanks and praise God alone for making us his children.
"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 1:14
With this simple sentence, John describes the most amazing event in history. God himself took on a human nature, while continuing to be fully God, and actually dwelled among us. Previously, as in the Old Testament, God dwelled in the tabernacle in the temple. This was only a shadow of how God would dwell with his people. He would come in the flesh, incarnate, and dwell with his people. Jesus fulfilled this symbolism from the Jewish ceremonial law.
"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:16
Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is never earned or owed. It is only given by God as a gift. In the fullness of Jesus, his perfectly obedient life, his death, and his resurrection, we are given the grace of salvation. God has faithfully provided salvation for his people by grace through faith in his Son, Jesus. (Also see Ephesians 2:8-9.) Praise God for his never ending grace.
"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." - John 1:17
The giving of the law was one way that God revealed himself. By the law we can see that only God is holy and that none can keep his requirements. This is an important part of the story of redemption. Our Redeemer would need to have a human nature and completely, perfectly fulfill this law for us in order to redeem us. This is exactly what Jesus did in his active obedience. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God and the fulfillment of the law. He was the revelation of both God’s grace and truth.
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. John 1:18
John emphasizes the amazing truth that no one had ever truly seen God. Even Moses only got a partial glimpse of the glory of God. Now, with the coming of Jesus, God was making himself known to us in a way never seen before. We can know the character of God by looking at Jesus. Praise God for this astonishing revelation.
Let’s meditate on the rich truths we have learned already from the Gospel of John. Take some time to behold Jesus, the Son of God, in your heart and mind this week. Behold God revealing himself to you through Jesus and in the scriptures. He deserves all of our worship and praise.
Post by Peggy Starling