Monday, March 30, 2020

John 1 - Part 1

Read John 1

There are three creation stories in the Old Testament and 1 in the New Testament.  Some have more detail than others.  Some are given in the context of something else, but this one from John is meant to tell us that what proceeds from his gospel account goes back to the very beginning.
At some point if you are not already familiar, read the creation accounts from Genesis.

For now, let’s consider John’s words which take us to the  beginning.

God, whom we know best through Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  God did not create us and say, “Good luck.  See you at the judgment.”

He has always been with us, guiding us, disciplining us, rebuking us, but most of all loving us.  We are not his experiment.  We are his masterpiece.  God wants us to live a full life and bring glory to him

He walked with Adam and Eve.  He sent angels.  He sent prophets.  All were to show us the way to right living. 

God also let us make our own choices.  I guess it’s hard for a robot with preprogramming to bring glory to God, but an individual of free will who seeks the Lord over his own comfort and welfare is someone who does bring glory to God.

But the angels and prophets didn’t get us to the destination.  The law, which worked from the outside in, never got us out of our disobedience.  In fact, it increased our disobedience.

So, it was time for the judgment.  It was time for God to say, “You had your chance and you blew it.”

Yes, the axe was at the root of the tree.  This was going to be a done deal for humankind, except that God was not in a hurry to condemn us.  He was patient, not slow to judgment.  His love and mercy exceeded anything that we could imagine.

But what else could he do that he had not already done?

He came in the flesh.  He manifested himself in human form.  We will get to that part in a few more verses, but for now, know that the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us has always been there.  He was with God from the beginning. He is God.

Through him everything that is was created through him.  Father, Son, and Spirit were there in the beginning.  Now come four important statements compressed into two sentences.

·       In him was life
·       That life was the light of all humankind
·       The light shines in the darkness
·       The darkness has not overcome it.

Light invades darkness.  Life reaches out to the lifeless.  Everything proceeds from Christ Jesus.  We will find many references to light and life and darkness as we proceed, but understand that light and life originate in Jesus.

This letter was written in Greek but had it been written in Hebrew and the Hebrew traditions continued, it would have been called bə·rê·šîṯ, or In the beginning. 

John is telling us that this gospel account is not a stand-alone story.  It goes back to the beginning.  It accounts for the manifestation of God’s Word who was present at creation into this fallen world some two millennia ago.

John reminds us that however the story appears to unfold—and in writer’s terms, the human situation would have been what writers sometimes call the dark night of the soul—this world could not overcome the One who was from the beginning.

John tells us before we know the whole story that we will be singing Victory in Jesus. 

Three of the gospels follow a generally parallel track.  These are often called the synoptic gospels.  John is more reflective.  John accounts for the life of Jesus while he was with us in the flesh, but John also prompts us with statements such as these first five verses.

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.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


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