Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Word of God: John Chapter 1

As we look at the opening moments of Creation we see God speaking the universe into existence.  Eight times in the first Chapter of Genesis we see the words, “God said…”  Each time those words are used God causes something to be created:

Genesis 1:3 (NKJV)
1:3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

Genesis 1:6 (NKJV)
1:6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters…”

Genesis 1:9 (NKJV)
1:9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place…”

Genesis 1:11 (NKJV)
1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed…”

Genesis 1:14 (NKJV)
1:14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night…”

Genesis 1:20 (NKJV)
1:20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures…”

Genesis 1:24 (NKJV)
1:24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind…”

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)
1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

The universe is spoken into existence.  The word of God, spoken out loud, created the universe.  I’ve already posted, “How Powerful is the Word of God?”  Today I want to talk about the Word of God, Himself.  This isn’t a mistake.  I didn’t get confused in my English grammar.  The Word of God is a person.

John 1:1-5 (NKJV)
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
This scripture talks about the Word of God.  But as we read it, it is obvious that it refers to someone.  A person:  A person who is called the Word.  This is interesting because of the statement John made in verse 3.

John 1:3 (NKJV)
1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

All Things were made through this person called Word.  In other words, He is the creative force.  It is the Word that created all things.  So then who is the Word.  We begin to understand when we come to verse 14:

John 1:14 (NKJV)
1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

So Verse 1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God…”  So The Word of God is God.  Verse 2 tells us that the Word was in the beginning with God.  And then verse 14 tells us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  Now let’s break it down:

John 1:1:  In the beginning was the Word.  This speaks of the Word being there before time began.  He was there in the beginning: He’s beyond time; timeless.  There is an interesting moment in the New Testament where the Pharisees are questioning Jesus.  They never questioned Him in good faith, they were always looking for a reason to get rid of Him.  As the conversation heats up there is this exchange:

John 8:56-59 (NKJV)
8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

There are two things happening here that are important in how they relate to John 1:1.  Jesus makes the statement , “Before Abraham was I am.”  This is a powerful statement.  Abraham lived forty-two generations before Jesus:

Matthew 1:17 (NKJV)
1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

So in this statement he is talking about His own timelessness. If we consider the average generation in Bible to be forty years forty-two generations translates to 1,680 years.  That’s a very long time.  That’s why the Pharisees say to him, “you’re not yet fifty years old and have you seen Abraham?”  He was before Abraham.  What He’s saying I think is that He was in the beginning.  Look at this other statement:

John 17:24 (NKJV)
17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

You have loved me before the foundation of the world.  This word foundation is not a reference to the support for the structure, like a foundation of a house.  He’s talking about before the world was founded or before the world took substance.  In a simpler way, it means that he was loved before the world was created.  He was “In the beginning.”

But John 1:1 also says that the Word was God.  This is the second interesting point about the statement, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  Why did Jesus say it that way?  Was it just bad grammar?  Would it have been better to say before Abraham, I was?  Actually He was making a statement about His divinity.  I AM is a name for God.

Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)
3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

So Jesus was in the beginning, He was with God and He was God.  

John 1:14:  Jesus is God on earth.  He was made flesh.  He became like one of us.

Isaiah made a prophecy of God coming to earth:

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Then we see this event in the New Testament:

Matthew 1:21-23 (NKJV)
1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

So the birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.  That word Emmanuel means God with us.  God has become one of us.  He has been made flesh and He lived among us.

Hebrews 2:16-18 (NKJV)
2:16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-15 (NKJV)
4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

He had to be made like us so that He could empathize with our weaknesses.  So then, through these statements we can see who the Word of God is.  The word of God is Jesus, He was with God in the beginning and He is God.

Stream of Thought:

  1. God spoke the world into existence.  He used spoken words
  2. John talks about the Word of God as a person, referring to the Word as He.
  3. The Word was with God:  Jesus spoke of His own timelessness
  4. The word was God:  Jesus referred to Himself with God’s name:  I AM
  5. John 1:14 says that the Word was made Flesh
  6. Isaiah prophesied God would dwell among us, and it was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth
  7. Conclusion is that Jesus is the Word of God.

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