Opening & Responding to God’s text messages: Reflections on John 1

Posted: 01/14/2011 in John's Gospel

John 1:1-5.

Know God (KG):  Jesus Christ – the very Word of God – is God.  What God is, the Word is.   Though God has reached out in unimaginable humility and love to me by becoming human and suffering my sin penalty – Jesus is not my “buddy.”  Jesus is never in my debt.  In a sense most Americans like myself cannot understand, Jesus is my Lord.  I have no right to withhold ANYTHING from Him nor put any conditions upon my obedience to His commands.  Only His temporary invisibility and my carelessness prevent me from perpetual awe and trembling reverence.  May I recapture these virtues with increasing frequency as I stand before the uncreated Creator – the Author of my life and the eternal King.

KG:  The darkness has not mastered Christ, who is the Light of life.  He was wounded – and I have been also.  He was betrayed – and I have been also.  He was rejected – and I have been also.  He has been lied about – and I have been also.  He was murdered for His testimony – and I have fallen short of His example in this area and many others also.  Darkness torments.  But darkness is temporary.   I am in Him who is the light of mankind.  The torment of darkness and the sting of death – though truly painful – are unwelcome and temporary trespassers.  God, thank You for reminding me that when darkness afflicts – it is always temporary, and it has never mastered my Master.

John 1:6-18.

Live Biblically (LB) and Bless Others (BO): John the Baptizer (JB)  is introduced – and though he had a specific ministry to which I am not called, this text challenged me in a very specific way upon reflection.  JB’s entire purpose – the meaning of his existence – is to be a witness about Christ so that others would believe and go to the Light.  How often have I devalued “witnessing” into merely looking for an opportunity to invite someone to church?  I know witness is both a verb and a noun (witness = martyr, no less), but reading this brief text about JB made me desire to be a man through whom others will believe and go to the saving Light.  Early witnesses gave their lives to fulfill the reason for their existence.  Can I not overcome the trivial rejection and mockery of some people to be a man of true purpose?  Being a witness – as my core identity… Is there any greater purpose for my existence than to be a man through whom others believe?  Is there any greater way to live Biblically and bless others?

KG: God can be easy to miss even when you’re looking for Him.  Even when He has a wild spokesman screaming out and pointing people to Him.  What’s difficult may be that Jesus is presented by the beloved disciple as far more the subtle gentleman than His spokesman usually is.  Jesus, conform me to your image more.  You must increase, and I must decrease.

KG: Verse 18- God’s ultimate revelation of Himself to mankind.  If I truly want to know God, I MUST listen to, follow, eat, drink, and breathe Jesus – the living Word of God in flesh.

John 1:19-39.

BO: Obviously JB felt it important enough to emphasize that the ministry of the Lord would include the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  JB thoroughly preached and explained repentance (LIFE CHANGE) by giving examples of it, baptized those who repented in water, and preached the Lord will baptize people with the Holy Spirit.  Sounds like a good plan.  Let’s do it.

LB: Proclaiming Jesus makes no sense if we cannot make clear the reality of sin and its consequences.  This is no easy task in our day, but Christ died for SINS not for mistakes or issues or hang-ups.   If I let the world eliminate the concept of sin from my mind or vocabulary, I have effectively let the world eliminate the Lamb of God since He appeared to take away sin.

KG: It may not be theologically deep, but I am absolutely struck that John records Jesus’ first words to men in this gospel as follows:  “What do you want?” and  “Come, and you will see.” Jesus introduced Himself and invited followers much more simply than I usually attempt to do so.  Whether or not one is invited to come and see depends on how he/she answers Christ”s first question: “What do you want?” Eternity may hinge on the answering of that question.

John 1:40-51.

BO: Two of the most important soul-winners in history:  Andrew and Philip.   Andrew brought Peter to Jesus and Philip brought Nathanael (Bartholomew).  Lord, please let me persuade a modern-day Simon Peter to follow You.  Yea, Lord, even a Nathanael will work.  In both cases it was “warm market” evangelism – a family member and a friend.

  1. MrsManley says:

    I was so struck in this first chapter by the power of John’s testimony. So often I have read about JB and of course, people followed Jesus because of him. That was his purpose in the kingdom – to be a forerunner. But for some reason, this time when I read it and watched the video clip on Tuesday night, a light bulb came on for me.

    All it took was John telling others who Jesus was and what he experienced when he was around Jesus. It was his consistent witness that caused others to then follow and seek after Jesus themselves.

    JB didn’t have any greater power or anointing than any of us. He just fulfilled his purpose in God’s kingdom and it spurred others to seek Jesus. We are all commanded to obey the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 – to go and make disciples.

    I want to follow the example of JB in this chapter. All he did is tell what he knew about Jesus and what he experienced personally when he encountered him. This is the first step in fulfilling the Great Commission.

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