Jesus and Abundant Life

 

A Bible Study of the Gospel of John

 

Jesus’ Prologue: Who is Jesus? Jesus is God, the Word made Flesh – John 1

 

 

The first chapter of John is holy ground. If you take the time to prayerfully and patiently study it and let its substance about Jesus soak into you, it will change your life. The next time you are tempted to sin just read the prologue of John about Jesus and who He is and it will shame you away from your sin. Who would want to indulge sin in the presence of such an awesome Lord Jesus? The next time a cultist comes to your door and diminishes the identity of Jesus lowering Him to an angelic being or brother of Lucifer, just bring them to the beginning of John’s gospel and tell them you know that Jesus personally. Why would anyone exchange a personal relationship with Jesus for any dead religion of works?

 

I doubt anyone now can fully comprehend the essence of John 1. John was inspired to write it. And, as the apostle whom Jesus loved, he had profound and deep experiences in the presence of the Lord. But even he was in awe I’m sure when he stepped from this fallen world into glory with Jesus. These opening inspired words are holy ground. The only way we can ever hope to comprehend what they say about Jesus and appreciate it is by the illuminating help of the Holy Spirit.

 

Therefore, I encourage you to pause a moment before you proceed. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and take in what is revealed in these opening words of John’s gospel. Then ask Him to help you apply in a life changing way all that He helps you glean as we study through this great gospel.

 

Knowing Jesus is the most important thing in the world. Your eternal destiny depends on knowing Jesus. Part of knowing Jesus involves knowing Who He is. In order to know Him personally you first need to know Who He is. Therefore, in the opening chapter of this gospel John starts literally “In the beginning,” to reveal to us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, just Who Jesus is.

 

Who is Jesus? Jesus is God, the Word made flesh. That is the revelation truth found in this opening Jesus prologue of John’s gospel.

 

John 1

In the beginning

“Beginning” (Greek arche) means commencement, chief rank, at the first. John begins at the beginning, before anything else was. He is going back before time and any recorded human history. Starting this way speaks of origins. This origin is before anything and everything else. It speaks of preexistence.

was the Word,

The term “Word” (Greek logos) means speaking, a message, words. Here with the definite article it refers to the divine expression. Greek philosophy held that the universe and everything in it is in a state of constant transformation. This ever-changing universe demonstrates an order via a controlling principle or a pattern that everything can trace its origins to. The Greek philosopher Heracleitus (535 to 475 BC) defined this controlling principle of existence as logos. The logos is a universal law that governs every change in the universe. Perhaps John used “the Word” as common ground with unbelieving philosophers, but that is where it ends. “The Word” who John speaks about in this prologue goes far beyond anything any secular or religious philosopher had in mind. John takes “the Word” to a different level and presents a worldview with Jesus as its foundation.  

It’s important at this point, in order to get the full force and import of these verses, to look ahead to verse fourteen where “the Word” is further identified with the words, “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.” In other words, the Word is Jesus. What we learn of the Word is true of Jesus.

and the Word was with God,

 

That “the Word” was “with God” (Greek pros ton Theon) indicates that the Word was with God in a close personal relationship with God.  And the Word Jesus was with God before the world was created (John 17:5 and 24).

and the Word was God.

Not only was the Word with God but John states, “the Word was God.” Here is evidence from the start that Jesus is God and that God is dual in nature. God is One, but God involves at this point two Persons. John’s gospel will give us a great deal of revelation on the nature of God. The Holy Spirit will later make up the Third Person of the Trinity of God.  

One commentator states:

 

The opening words of this gospel bear a striking parallel with the opening words of Genesis. John’s own particular contribution is to show that the Word existed before creation. This is implicit in the opening words In the beginning was the Word. Although the verb is used in the past tense, the idea is of continuity. The Word that now is was in existence before the world began. This at once introduces a profound theme, made more profound by the subsequent two statements. The Greek preposition translated with suggests the idea of communion. The thought is lit. ‘towards God’, which requires some distinctiveness between God and the Word. But the next phrase adds a further aspect, since it affirms that the Word was God. This cannot be understood in an adjectival sense (the Word was divine), which would weaken the statement. Since the Greek has no article before God, the term must be taken setting out a characteristic of the Word. Since God is a noun, John must be affirming the Godhead of the Word. It involves not only divinity but deity.[1]

Another commentator adds:

 

The Word” is one of the highest and most profound titles of the Lord Jesus Christ. To determine the exact meaning is not easy. Obviously the Lord Jesus Christ is not the logos of Greek philosophy; rather He is the memra of the Hebrew Scriptures. Notice how important the Word is in the Old Testament. For instance, the name for Jehovah was never pronounced. It was such a holy word that they never used it at all. But this is the One who is the Word and, gathering up everything that was said of Him in the Old Testament, He is now presented as the One “In the beginning.” This beginning antedates the very first words in the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” . . . . You see, you and I are dealing with the God of eternity. When you go back to creation He is already there, and that is exactly the way this is used—“in the beginning was the Word.” Notice it is not is the Word; it was not in the beginning that the Word started out or was begotten. Was . . . is known as a durative imperfect, meaning continued action. It means that the Word was in the beginning. What beginning? Just as far back as you want to go. The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Does that begin God? No, just keep on going back billions and trillions and “squillions” of years. . . .  He already was; He comes out of eternity to meet us. He did not begin. “In the beginning was the Word”—He was already there when the beginning was. “Well,” somebody says, “there has to be a beginning somewhere.” All right, wherever you begin, He is there to meet you, He is already past tense. . . . .

 

The second statement is this, “and the Word was with God.” This makes it abundantly clear that He is separate and distinct from God the Father. You cannot identify Him as God the Father because He is with God. “But,” someone says, “if He is with God, He is not God.” The third statement sets us straight, “and the Word was God.” This is a clear, emphatic declaration that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. In fact, the Greek is more specific than this, because in the Greek language the important word is placed at the beginning of the sentence and it reads, “God was the Word.” That is emphatic; you cannot get it more emphatic than that. Do you want to get rid of the deity of Christ? My friend, you cannot get rid of it. The first three statements in John’s gospel tie the thing down. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”[2]

 

2 He was in the beginning with God

The use of the personal pronoun “He” tells us that “the Word” is not a mere philosophical abstraction but is a Person.

 

That the Word was with God and was God also tells us that the Word has qualities of God such as eternality. The idea here is that the Word was always eternally with God. One commentator states, “The Word has always been in a relationship with God the Father. Christ did not at some point in time come into existence or begin a relationship with the Father. In eternity past the Father (God) and the Son (the Word) have always been in a loving communion with each other. Both Father and Son are God, yet there are not two Gods.” [3]

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

The Word Jesus created “all things.” Here is another aspect of His deity. Jesus is our Creator. He is the Intelligent Designer of the universe and everything in it. All things were created through Him. Jesus is the philosophical reason there is something instead of nothing. Jesus as Creator is testified to in the New Testament (cf. 1 Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2). He created all things. All things were created by Him and for Him and everything is held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17).

Jesus as Creator is also Revealer. He through creation reveals the nature of God since creation testifies via its design and order to the reality of a Creator or Author of all things (Psalm 19:1-6; Rom. 1:19-20).

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

All life, physical as well as spiritual, traces its origins to Jesus. He is the one who puts the light on within us. Life comes from light. John uses the literary device of contrast to show the battle between light (God; eternal life; saved) and darkness (Satan; eternal death; unsaved).

5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

 

The idea here is that the light of God shines continually (Present Tense) in the darkness of our fallen world, and “the darkness has not been able to put it out or lay hold of it” (literal translation).” [4] Light exposes dirt, rodents, and what is in the darkness. “Comprehend” (Greek katalambano) means to take eagerly, seize, possess, understand, or comprehend. The darkness just can’t take the light of Jesus. The darkness willfully chooses to not take hold of the light of Jesus. Darkness did not comprehend it. This verse introduces the rebellious nature of the darkness that opposes God.

 

Without Jesus we’re in darkness. Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, the greatest philosophers and best humanity had to offer when contemplating the universe could only come up with an abstract “word.” It took Jesus to illuminate. The Spirit is the One who helps us comprehend these great verses (1 Cor. 2:9-14). It’s as though we’re locked in a burning room. The electricity cuts off and the lights go out. We’re groping for an exit while thinking why is this happening to me? The smoke is choking us. We’re beginning to panic. When suddenly the door swings open and a light penetrates the darkness. Thank God for brave firemen. But that is what it’s like without Jesus. We grope in the dark and are in danger of being consumed. But Jesus reaches into our darkness and offers us a way out. Do you know why He did that? He did that because He loves us. John 1:1-5 can only be understood in the light of His love. He shone His light into our darkness because He loves us. Will we, will you believe in Him? Or will you choose to not comprehend the darkness?

 

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John the Baptist was a prophet in that he spoke to people on behalf of God. As a priest from a priestly line (Luke 1:5) he spoke to God on behalf of people. This is the essence of ministry. Ministry involves speaking to people about God and to God about people; proclaiming God’s word and praying. This is what the apostles described when they said, “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

 We will learn a lot from John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus. Like him, we are called to prepare the way for people to be introduced to Jesus. John bore witness to the Light. He knew his place and was called to witness to Jesus not let the light shine on him or deflect any light from Jesus.

 

7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light,  

 

Like John, we are called to be witnesses. The word “witness” (Greek martyrian) means to testify or give evidence. Notice it doesn’t say we are called to be attorneys. Apologetics or the defense of the faith is important, but our first priority is to be a witness for Jesus. A witness simply shares what they have seen and experienced. A witness testifies to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, “so help me God” concerning what Jesus has done, is doing and has promised to do in our lives.

 

On Thanksgiving our church puts Thanksgiving Baskets together to distribute to families in need throughout the community. When we drop them off we tell the people that the LORD put them on our heart and that this was evidence of how much He loves them. We serve the LORD by serving people. And God is glorified. That’s a witness. Maybe while distributing the baskets we get to share what Jesus has done in our lives. Maybe we get to share the gospel with people. That’s all a witness. Maybe we get to pray with the people. That’s a witness. We don’t minister to the people through confrontations and arguments. We simply share what the LORD has done in our heart that makes us want to minister to others in His name.

 

that all through him might believe.

 

God’s desire is that “all through him might believe.” The Bible states, “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). That’s why He sent His Son Jesus to die for the sins of the “world” (John 3:16). God’s doesn’t want any to perish.

 

Some would teach that God creates some people to go to heaven and some to go to hell; that each one’s destiny is predetermined regardless of any free will choice of an individual. But this flies in the face of such statements “that all through him might believe.” God is sovereign. He is the One who sets the parameters of salvation and determines the definition of and requirements of being forgiven and saved from sin so that we can spend eternity with Him. And then, in His sovereignty, God gives us opportunity to choose whom we will serve, who we will rely on; whether or not we will receive Jesus as Savior or not. He desires all to believe and be saved from their sin but He does not force His will on anyone. He gives all a choice and hopes they will choose Him. He makes a pretty strong case to choose Him. He demonstrates His love toward us in Christ (cf. Rom. 5:8).

 

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

There were those at the time of the writing of this Gospel that were beginning to focus on John the Baptist so much that they began to almost worship him. Today those in the Baha’i faith look at Jesus as just another great man like John the Baptist, Moses, Buddha and Mohammed. They lower Jesus to mere humanity.

The Apostle John wanted to make a distinction about Jesus right from the start. Yes Jesus was fully Man, but He was also God. Jesus is the God-Man. John the Baptist was a mere man. He “was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light.

It’s important to know just who Jesus was and is. He is not an angel like Jehovah’s Witnesses say. He is not the spirit brother of Lucifer like Mormons say. He is not a mere prophet like Muslims say. Jesus is the God-Man, the Word made flesh as we will see in a few verses.

 

9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

 

On Judgment Day no one will be able to argue with God that they didn’t receive light or an opportunity to know there is a God. The Bible puts that excuse to rest in numerous places (cf. Psalm 19 and Romans 1). Every person is born with an inherent intuitive knowledge that there is a God (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Humanity who rejects God and lives as though He didn’t exist is without excuse.

 

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

 

Jesus the true light came to His own people, in particular the Jews, and they did not receive Him. Jesus shines the light into our dark lives. This is also true of humanity as a whole. The god of this world Satan blinds the world to the light of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:4). But that doesn’t remove our responsibility or accountability. It states, the world did not know Him and His own people did not receive Him. That speaks of willful choice, decision. People reject Jesus and His light not because they can’t receive Him, but because they won’t receive Him.

 

Jesus made us, but will we be like the world and “not know Him”? Will you receive Him? Will you receive His light? We need to pray to receive the light of Jesus and that those around us would do the same.

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

It’s possible to receive Jesus and His light. We can become a child of God by receiving Jesus. To “receive” (Greek lambano) means to take, accept. When we receive Jesus we do so by believing in Him – “believe in His name.” To “believe” (Greek pistĕuō) means to trust in, put confidence in, to be convinced of. The grammar of “believe” (Present tense Active Participle) conveys the idea of an action of the person to keep on believing, continually believing. It speaks of a life commitment that will be constant. Do you believe in Jesus that way?

When we believe in Jesus we are given “the right” (Greek ecousia) or power, authority, or privilege to “become children of God.” People don’t deserve to become children of God or earn the privilege to become children of God, but God grants us authority to become children of God when we “believe in His name.” To “believe in His name” means to believe in Jesus the Person and all that He represents which would include what we find in the gospels.

13 who were born, not of blood,

This involves a kind of birth; “who were born” (Greek gennao) which means regenerated, brought forth in birth. It is to be given life. Those who believe in His name and are born again (John 3:5) and are new creations with a fresh start in life; their sins are washed away (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 1:9; cf. Psalm 103). Salvation involves spiritual birth; regeneration (Titus 3:5). Here they are given spiritual life. This is life that is “of God.” This is an essential aspect of salvation and eternal life. We must be born again (John 3:5-7; Rom. 8:9-11).

This is a spiritual birth. It is not enough to be physically born. If you go to church and do religious things and yet are only physically and not spiritually born, you are still lost.  Born once, die twice. If you are only born physically you will die physically but also experience the second death of eternal damnation and separation from God in hell. But if you are born twice; physically and spiritually, you will only die once because you will receive eternal life in place of eternal death.

nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,

The primary impetus of our salvation is not our choice or decision. Salvation is not as simple as a person waking up one day and thinking, I think I’ll choose Jesus as my Savior today. Salvation is not only a decision by “the will of the flesh, nor the will of man.” This regenerating birth is something we must willfully decide to receive by believing in Jesus, but whoever comes to that decision is a product of the gracious work of God.

but of God.

Salvation is something birthed by God in us when we do believe. We can’t take any credit for choosing to receive Jesus as Savior. God lifts the blinders off our spiritual eyes that Satan has placed there (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4). He reasons with us internally (e.g. Isaiah 1:18). He persuades us with His love in Christ (Rom. 5:5). The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and need to be saved (John 16:8-11). And all of this is by His grace. Our salvation is not something we do or can take credit for (e.g. Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is all about God; it is “but of God.”

One commentator insightfully states:

 

God does it all. It is His sovereign work in the hearts of men that draws them to Himself. “Wait a minute,” you say. “Didn’t verse 9 say that His desire is that not one should perish? Why, then, doesn’t He do His sovereign work in the heart of every man and draw everyone to Himself?” I don’t know. I do know we serve an enormous God. He has given every man the opportunity to choose Him and yet has retained His right to choose whom He will. How can these two principles be compatible? I don’t know. I do know that, according to Romans 8:29, God’s foreknowledge is a big factor. But did God choose us because He knew we’d choose Him—or did we choose God because He had already chosen us? I don’t know. I do know that if you think very long about this, your brain will short-circuit. You’ll get so frustrated that you’ll beat your fist against the wall and finally concur with J. B. Phillips, who said, “If God was small enough to figure out, He wouldn’t be big enough to worship.” Then you’ll fall on your face and worship Him, saying, “Lord, I don’t understand it all, but I thank You for choosing me.”[5]

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,

One commentator states:

The Greek philosopher Socrates made this statement: "Oh that someone would arise, man or god, to show us God." In the minds of scholars, here's one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived; and yet he, himself, had beating in his own breast--and he admitted it--oh that god could come in a man and show the world god in human form.

Plato, who was one of the great students of Socrates, said, "Unless a god man comes to us and reveals to us the Supreme Being, there is no help or hope." [6]

What philosophers and worldly intellects yearned for, groped in the dark for, God has done in Christ. God revealed Himself in Christ (cf. Col. 1; Heb. 1). The Word Who became flesh is Jesus. Jesus is the God-Man; fully God and fully Man. Jesus is the solution to the human search to know God and know Who God is; what He is like. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; the way to God; the truth about God and the eternal life we can have with God (John 14:6).  Jesus is the Perfect Priest who goes to man on behalf of God and goes to God on behalf of man (cf. Heb. 4). When we look at Jesus, John tells us, we see God (cf. John 10:30; 14:9).  

He literally “dwelt” (Greek skenoo) or tabernacled, set up His tent among us. And as He dwelt among us we “beheld” (Greek theomai) or looked closely at, examined, perceived “His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”

 

There is something interesting about the time of the birth of Christ. It’s not likely Jesus was born in December on the 25th. That time for the Christmas holiday is based more on church tradition under the influence of Emperor Constantine who sought to placate his populous with the politically correct compromise of Christianizing pagan holidays. December 25th originally was the time of the pagan festival of Saturnalia.  

 

So when was Jesus born? When we look at the evidence of the shepherds grazing their flocks in the field its likely they were doing so in the Fall before the cold weather set in. If that is the case it opens the door to an interesting possibility:

 

Some scholars suggest He was born on the fifteenth of Tishri, the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles—the week-long celebration wherein the Jews came together, lived in pup-tent-like booths, and celebrated how God had seen their forefathers through their pilgrimage from Egypt to the Promised Land. To the Jews, the Feast of Tabernacles was the most joyous time of year. And the fact that Jesus “tabernacles” with us and walks with us through our earthly pilgrimage should produce abundant joy in our hearts as well.[7]

 

The coming of Jesus, the Word made flesh, to tabernacle and dwell among us, should bring us the greatest of joy. We will see this more and more as we study through the gospel of John.

 

I wonder if we truly do grasp the import and value of the incarnation of Jesus, “the Word made flesh.” I once heard a story from Paul Harvey that is a modern day parable that illustrates a bit of the significance and value of the incarnation of Jesus. I reprint it here.

 

THE CHRISTMAS STORM: A Modern Parable by Paul Harvey

 

"This is about a modern man, one of us, he was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with others. But he did not believe in all that incarnation stuff that the Churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense to him and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just could not swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as man. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite and that he would much rather stay home, but that he would wait up for them. He stayed, they went.

 

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound, then another and another.

 

At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. When he went to the front door, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter they had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze. He remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter -- if he could direct the birds to it. He quickly put on his coat and galoshes, trampled through the deepening snow to the barn, opened the door wide, and turned on a light.

 

But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in and he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail to the yellow lighted wide open doorway of the stable, but to his dismay the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms -- instead they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn.

 

Then he realized they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature, if only I could think of some way to let them know they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. How? Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. If only I could be a bird myself he thought. If only I could be a bird and mingle with them and speak their language, and tell them not to be afraid, and show them the way to the safe, warm barn. But I'd have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand.

 

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells ring out Adeste Fideles. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas, he sank to his knees in the snow. [8]

 

Jesus came to make God known to us. When we realize this we too will fall on our knees before Him.

 

Are you afraid of God? Do you question His motives toward you? Do you fear that there are consequences to coming to God? Is He a great big fearsome unknown to you? “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, . . . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us , . . .” God did that so that we could see and know Him personally, so that through faith in Jesus we could come in from the cold and darkness, into His barn for safety and feed on His provisions. God cares for you. He loves you. And He has gone to the fullest extent of His grace to reach out to you, weak and misunderstanding as you are, and show you the way to eternal life.

 

and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The word “glory” (Greek doxa) means radiance, splendor, renown, fame, honor, or glory. Glory is the reflection of the one glorified; it is the substance and character of the revelation of the one glorified. Jesus is the glory of God in that He is the fullest manifestation of who God is. The glory of Jesus is the revelation of Him we find in the gospels, the rest of the New Testament and in the lives of all those throughout history who have been affected by Him.

The glory of Jesus is all that is revealed in scripture. In this first chapter alone we see Jesus’ glory as:

·         Creator – 1:1-4

·         Savior – 1:9-13

·         Revealer – 1:15-18

·         Baptizer with the Spirit – 1:33

·         One who has intimate knowledge of people – 1:42, 47-48

·         One who atones for and forgives sins – 1:29

·         One who opens the way to heaven – 1:50-51

 

The greatest aspect of His glory is that Jesus is that He is, “the only begotten of the Father.” One commentator states here, “The one and only Son (monogenous; cf. John 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9) means that Jesus is the Son of God in a sense totally different from a human who believes and becomes a child of God. Jesus’ sonship is unique for He is eternal and is of the same essence as the Father.” [9]

 

It is to the glory of Jesus that John says He is “full of grace and truth.” Jesus embodies “grace” (Greek charis) undeserved favor. Jesus is full of grace in that we through faith in Him can receive God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. He is full of “truth” (Greek alēthĕia) that which is not hidden, or that which is disclosed, as well as that which is reliable, it is what it is, true. Jesus is the truth about God and Who He is. All this to the glory of Jesus and God His Father.

 

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”

 

John the Baptist knew His place in regard to Jesus. He never sought to get between Jesus and His mission or His people. John the Baptist was willing to step aside and let Jesus take the center stage. That was what his calling was; to prepare the way for Jesus. That is our calling too. Never get in the way of Jesus. It’s not about you, it’s about Him.

 

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

 

“Grace for grace” means literally “grace upon grace” or continual grace, an inexhaustible outpouring of grace. Scripture tells us that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20). In Jesus the fullness of God’s grace is poured out. God in Christ lavishly pours out His favor on those who do not deserve it.

 

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 

John contrasts the Old and New covenants. The law was given through Moses. The law exposes our sin (Rom 7:1ff.). In doing so it leads us to Jesus (Gal. 3:24). Law condemns. Grace and the truth that comes through Jesus liberates.

 

When in the Old Testament God’s people sinned against God by making a golden calf, the Law was laid down and three thousand were executed (Ex. 32:28). In the New Testament when the Holy Spirit was poured out three thousand were saved (Acts 2:41). Which would you rather live by, the Law or grace? I’m going with grace.

 

18 No one has seen God at any time.

 

When John says, “No one has seen God at any time,” it means that no one has ever seen God in His holy essential nature. In our present fallen state, we are in no condition to see God in the essence of His eternal glory.

 

The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 

The word “declared” (Greek exegeomai) means to unfold, declare, disclose, or tell. We get the word exegesis from this Greek term. The Son of God Jesus has unfolded God to us; unwrapped Him; disclosed Him. Jesus opens up God to us. Jesus has brought God out into the open. He said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).  Jesus is God’s shout to humanity, “This is Who I am!” Jesus is “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person” (cf. Hebrews 1 and 2).

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

There’s an important truth for us to receive here. Like John the Baptist, we need to realize we are “not the Christ.” We can’t live as though we are Lord of our life. It’s not about us doing it. It’s about Jesus doing it through us. It’s not about having a “Can do” attitude, e.g. “I can fix my marriage,” “I can do the job,” “I can do the ministry.” It’s about realizing Í can’t do anything without Him.” And it’s about realizing, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

 

21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

And he answered, “No.”

22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”

23 He said: “I am

     ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

     “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

 

John the Baptist was straightforward with people about who he wasn’t and who he was. People wanted to identify or label him. He would not play their game. He said plainly, “I am not,” and “No.” He was not the focus of attention or should he be. He was not “Elijah” the miracle worker. He was not “the Prophet” of the age. Today we might be questioned: “Are you a Democrat, Republican, or  Independent? Are you a Liberal, Moderate, or Conservative? Are you a Liberal, Fundamentalist or Evangelical? Are you denominational or non-denominational? Are you a Cessationist or Pentecostal? Are you Wesleyan-Armenian or Reformed Calvinist or parts thereof? ” Premillennial, Amillennial, or Postmillennial? Pre-tribulationist, Mid-tribulationist or Post-Tribulationist? We could go on and on with the labels people try to place on us. But these are only a very superficial and surface way of identifying ourselves. Who we are needs to be centered on who we are in relation to Jesus. Later in John’s Gospel we will see the necesity of being born spiritually (John 3). But whatever we identify ourselves as should be rooted in scripture. John the Baptist gives us a good example of how to respond to such inquiries.

 

When pressed how did John the Baptist present himself? John the Baptist identified himself with scripture. And Isaiah 40:3 is a good scripture to identify with - “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the LORD.’” This was his life verse; the verse that characterized his calling and relationship with the LORD.

 

We should be able to identify ourselves similarly. Our mission is to be used by God to fulfil scripture. Do you have a life verse? You can have more than one life verse. One of my life veres is John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Another is, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15). And “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). What’s your life verse or verses? A life verse is simply a meaningful verse to live by. John the Baptist had one. We should too.

 

Like John the Baptist, our mission is to make straight or prepare the way of the LORD; to introduce people to Jesus. It’s not about us or who we are. It’s about Jesus and who He is. He must increase and we must decrease (cf. John 3:30). Can you say that? Is that your identity? We need to follow the example of John the Baptist and be, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD.”  No matter what station in life we are in that is our mission; prepare the way of the LORD; introduce people to Jesus.

 

John the Baptist identifies himself by quoting Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. He had a grasp and respect for scripture. He was able to apply scripture to his given situation. We should be able to do that as well. We should be students of scripture (e.g. 2 Tim. 2:15).

 

Isaiah 40:3 directly quoted by John the Baptist but Malachi 3:1 states:

 

     “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,

     Even the Messenger of the covenant,

     In whom you delight.

     Behold, He is coming,”

     Says the Lord of hosts.

 

In light of Malachi John the Baptist is seen as the messenger of the LORD. John the Baptist was called to this and was fulfilling his calling.

 

Isaiah 40:3 is mentioned by all four gospels; its important (Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23). This verse refers to those who would run ahead of a coming king to prepare the way by leveling the hard wilderness roads and clearing away any obstacles so that he could make a smooth entrance.

 

John the Baptist is “the voice” (Greek Phono) of one “crying” (Greek boao) or crying out, appealing, and doing so constantly (Present/Active/Participle). He is verbalizing and making known to others. That’s what we should do. We need to get the word out about Jesus. We need to make the way straight for Jesus to be introduced to people. We need to proclaim Jesus; to use our voices to verbalize He is here and needs to be received for Who He is, a King.

 

The verse quoted by John the Baptist mentions “wilderness” (Greek eramo).  With this quote he is making a statement that the condition of the people was a spiritual wilderness; a dry desert place spiritually. He is one from God called to  “make straight the way of the LORD.” The spiritual condition was not “straight” (Greek euthuno) but crooked and the people needed to be steered straight to the One who he was preparing the way for. The context tells us that John was calling people to repent and get ready for the coming Messiah. But this is not all.

 

John the Baptist reference to the One he was preparing the way for is of particular import. He is making straight “the way of the LORD.” “LORD” is translated from the Greek term kurios which refers to a supreme controller, owner, master, lord. Understand the New Testament was written in Greek and the Old Testament was written in Hebrew so this quote of Isaiah was a translation. When we go to the Old Testament and examine Isaiah 40:3 the word translated “LORD” is literally YHWH. YHWH is the holiest name reference to God. It was viewed as being so holy that the religious leaders of Israel removed the vowels from the name for fear of it being mispronounced in some way by people.  It is the name given to Moses as the “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). It is the name for God that refers to Him as self-Existent or Eternal. This name means God is all He ever needs to be to do all He ever purposes to do always. By the gospel writers recording the quotation of this verse by John the Baptist in relation to preparing the way for Jesus it is tantamount to identifying JESUS AS GOD WITH THE HOLIEST NAME USED TO IDENTIFY GOD.

 

24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

John the Baptist had a clear picture and understanding of what his calling from God entailed. He knew who he was. He knew who he wasn’t. And he openly and humbly shared that with inquirers.

 

Baptism was at this time primarily for Gentiles converting to Judaism. John’s baptism stirred up the climate of the day about conversions.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

Humble John the Baptist was able to receive revelation from God about Jesus because of John's humility. He openly proclaimed Jesus as “preferred” (Greek ginomai) before in precedence, and He was “before” (Greek protos) before in existence. Now John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus and yet he said Jesus existed before him. John the Baptist is therefore testifying to the eternal nature of Jesus.

And John pointed to Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus was proclaimed from the start as the sacrifice Lamb of God who would give His life a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

In Micah 5:2 it predicts that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The prophet Micah wrote in the 8th century, long before the captivity of God’s people and nearly eight centuries before the birth of Christ. Micah 5:2 reads, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” We are familiar with Bethlehem, but not so much with “Ephrathah.” Ephrathah means place of fruitfulness and was an ancient city located on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Ephrathah is where Jacob’s wife Rachel was buried when she died giving birth to Benjamin (Gen. 35:16-21).

In Micah 4:6-13 it speaks of a day when God would regather His people and establish His reign over them (4:6-7). It speaks of a birth and redemption (4:9-10). It speaks of many nations surrounding God’s people in Zion and God strengthening His people into an impregnable force against her enemies (4:11-13). But notice something in verse 8 of Micah 4, “And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem." This verse speaks of a “tower of the flock.” Micah is speaking of a future day, a day when although God’s people would be surrounded by her enemies she would be permanently established as an impregnable stronghold. And at the center of this scenario is a “tower of the flock.”

“O tower of the flock,” refers to a place where according to Jewish tradition something very significant took place. We have already said that Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob was buried. In Genesis 35:21 it mentions a “tower of Eder.” In Hebrew “tower of Eder” is translated Migdal Eder. It was an accepted fact that Messiah would be revealed from Bethlehem. But what is not so readily known is that Messiah would be revealed more particularly from Migdal Eder. Why am I mentioning this? I’ll let Alfred Edersheim author of the great work The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah elaborate:

 

That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem was a settled conviction. Equally so was the belief, that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, ‘the tower of the flock.’ This Migdal Eder was not the watch-tower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep-ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism, on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible. . . .   Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepherds watched the Temple-flocks all the year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak. [10]

 

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Ephrathah, a place where lambs destined for Temple sacrifice were raised. There are no coincidences with God. Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” was born right where the sacrificial lambs destined for Temple sacrifice and who spoke of Him were kept. Jesus, the “lamb without blemish,” right from the start, was God’s Lamb sent as a sacrifice to take away the sins of the world. This is the Lamb John the Baptist prepared the way for. This is the Lamb we introduce to people.

31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

Jesus submitted to baptism not because He had sin to symbolically be washed away, but to show the model or path every human needs to take. He is our Model to follow. We follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). We walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). Jesus identified with sinners to show them the way of salvation.

 

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

 

The ministry of Jesus the Man was empowered by the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit descended upon Him, so it must descend upon those who seek to follow in His steps of service and ministry (e.g. Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1ff.). There is an incredible truth to grasp from Jesus’ baptism. Let me quote Jon Courson to make the point here:

 

Up until this point, apart from His birth, there is no record of the miraculous in the life of Jesus Christ, for it was not until the Spirit descended upon Him that He was miraculously empowered for ministry. You see, Jesus didn’t perform miracles simply because He was God. No, He laid aside that power when He became the Babe of Bethlehem and assumed humanity (Philippians 2:7). Every miracle Jesus did was based upon His dependency on the Spirit in obedience to the Father.

 

For the longest time, I didn’t understand this. I would read about Jesus’ miracles and think, “That’s not such a big deal. Of course He could walk on water, heal the sick, feed the multitude. He’s Jesus.” But when I began to understand Philippians 2, when I began to see that Jesus emptied Himself of His prerogatives and powers, when I begin to grasp the fact that He was truly just like me yet without sin, His life took on an entirely different dimension to me. He became an example for me, a model of One who worked the miraculous because He walked in the power of the Spirit. At last I realized that the same power upon which Jesus relied was available to me.

 

Have you been baptized in the Spirit? Oh, I know the Holy Ghost is in you. That happens at salvation. But has He come upon you, as He did the disciples at Pentecost, to empower you for greater service? I believe every believer needs his own personal Pentecost—when he knows he has been empowered with the Spirit upon his life. How does this happen? Simply by asking. Jesus said, “If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father give the Holy Ghost to them that ask?” (see Matthew 7:11[Luke 11:13]). Ask for the Holy Spirit. Ask with the realization that His purpose is not to give you a “Holy Ghost high” or “Holy Ghost goose bumps” but that you might be a witness like John, that you might be a voice in the wilderness drawing people to Jesus.[11]

 

At Pentecost Jesus poured out that same empowering Holy Spirit on His followers. The empowering of the Spirit is essential for victorious Christian living and fruitful ministry. Have you been baptized with the Holy Spirit and empowered to serve the Lord?

 

34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

 

It was the designation of Jesus as the “Son of God” that led to the Jewish leaders to persecute Jesus (10:30-36). There were seven persons in the gospel of John that referred to Jesus as the Son of God: John the Baptist (1:34); Nathanael (1:49); Peter (6:69); the healed blind man (9:35-38). Martha (11:27); Thomas (20:28) and the Apostle John (20:30-31).

 

The title of “Son of God” is a designation that identifies Jesus as the particular Son of God and emphasizes His deity; that He is God. In John’s gospel believers are not called a “Son of God” (Greek huios ) but “children of God” (Greek tekna, e.g. 1:12). John makes a distinction. The promised Old Testament “Messiah” or “Christ” (both indicate anointed One ) was to be of the lineage of King David (2 Samuel 7:13) and direct offspring of God (Psalm 2:7). “Son of God” points us to the essential nature of Jesus as this prologue in John 1 has been doing consistently. Jesus is God. John the Baptist is identifying Jesus as “Son of God” and all that entails.  

 

And we should also mention here that based on the rest of the New Testament the testifying or witnessing to Jesus that we do, in order to be effective, needs to be done in the power the Holy Spirit provides (cf. Acts 1:4-5 and 8, and fulfilled in Acts 2 and beyond). That empowering is received by full surrender in faith to the Lord Jesus (e.g. Acts 15:8-9; 26:18).

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

 

John the Baptist was anointed by God from birth (cf. Luke 1:16-17, 76-80). We see the anointed ministry of John the Baptist in his proclamation of Jesus as the Lamb of God and the immediate response of John’s two disciples to leave John and follow Jesus. When the anointing of the Holy Spirit is on a person, people follow Jesus.

 

Did John the Baptist try to hold onto those disciples? No, he cooperated with the Spirit’s will. He humbly surrendered his followers to Jesus since that was his mission in the first place. Everyone should seek to point people to Jesus. Every minister should be willing to lose disciples to Jesus!

 

38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”

They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

 

What are you seeking, a better  marriage, a better job, a better education, more education,  more money? Those things, even if attained will not fulfill. The solution in all situations and in all pursuits is Jesus. All of God’s promises are “Yes” in Jesus (1 Cor. 1:20).

 

Notice too that when you see Jesus and speak with Him, you just want to be with Him. Focusing on Jesus has a way of putting things in perspective. When you have Jesus, you have the foundation for an abundant life (compare 1 Cor. 3:10ff.).

 

To them and to all Jesus says, “Come and see.” In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, some of the final words of the Holy Spirit are, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). The Holy Spirit says to all, “Come to Jesus!” And the bride of Christ, the church, all those who know and follow Jesus echo those words, “Come to Jesus!”

 

40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

 

This is the evangelistic spirit. When you find Jesus, you just want others to find Him too; especially your family members. Evangelism is nothing more than introducing people who don’t know Jesus to the Jesus you have come to know. Evangelism is telling others, “We’ve found the Anointed One, the Savior of the World.” And then bring them to see Him.

 

Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

 

Name changes are often connected to character changes in the Bible. When Jesus speaks to you, it changes your life. “Simon” is derived from the Hebrew Shimon which means He (God) has heard. Some have said that Simon means shifting sand. “Cephas” we are told means “A Stone.” Jesus words tell us that from the very start something is going on internally with Simon Peter.

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”

Do you see the grace here? Jesus, “found Philip.” Jesus is the One who found Philip and called him to follow. Jesus does the same with us. Later in this gospel Jesus will say no one can come to Him unless the Father draws Him (John 6:44). The Holy Spirit testifies or helps us to know Jesus (John 15:26). The Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). It’s not about us choosing Jesus. It’s about Him choosing us and appointing us to serve Him! (John 15:16). Salvation and our walk with Jesus is initiated by Him. It is a gift of His grace. We can’t lay any claim or make and boast on anything in our lives that has to do with Jesus. All glory goes to Him!

And let me add that God’s callings are God’s enablings. If Jesus calls you to something you can be confident He will enable and empower you to do what He calls you to do. Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus includes us in His work? We shouldn’t settle to be spectators. We should listen for His call to get in the game; to serve Him and run for the goal of the higher call He calls us to.

One other thing I would add. Sometimes a person will resent their loved one following Jesus. They take a jealous stance against the Lord because they view Jesus as robbing them of time and attention that they want for themselves. But that is like cutting off your nose to spite your face; its totally counterproductive and counter blessing. We should be encouraging people to follow Jesus. The closer we get to Jesus, the closer and more true we are in following Him the better spouses, parents, children, workers, employers, friends and however we classify ourselves to be, we will be better. We should be pushing people and encouraging people to get closer to Jesus. Jesus says, “Follow Me.” We should encourage all people without exception to answer that call and follow Jesus.

44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

The most effective and scriptural form of evangelism is not crusades, radio broadcasts, TV telecasts or any other modern technological medium. The most effective means of evangelism is personal invitations to people to come see Jesus. In the New Testament there was no technology, all they had was word of mouth, and they TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN bringing people to Jesus. There were 120 in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:14). Then, in fulfillment of the promise of the Father and Jesus (Acts 1:4-5, 8), the Holy Spirit empowered the 120 and from that day forward the power of the gospel has been changing the world for God’s glory (Acts 2ff.). And that power was, is and will continue to be best spread through personal contact in the Spirit.

Philip identifies Jesus as “Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote.” The word of God is integral to bringing people to Jesus. How do we do that? Jesus is not tangibly here now like He was in the gospel. But we can bring people to see Jesus in the gospel. Bring people to the word of God and show them the promises and prophecies of Jesus the Christ. In this post-Christian age we will likely have to explain the inspiration of scripture and how it transcends al other books. We can take nothing for granted. If we are to turn and convert this post-Christian era into a new Christian era we will need to pray, study and rely on the Spirit’s empowerment. Share Jesus prayerfully in the Spirit. And hopefully they will find Jesus too.

 

 

 

46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

 

Maybe Nathanael was a student of scripture and was aware Messiah was to come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Of course we know Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Philipp gives good counsel to the pondering skeptic Nathanael, “Come and see.” Evangelism is inviting others to come and see Jesus. God always welcomes sincere seekers of truth and of Himself. If you have questions, “Come and see.”

 

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

 

The word “deceit” (Greek dŏlŏs) means trickery, craftiness, fraud, or as it is translated here deceit. Jesus introduced Himself to Nathanael with a positive compliment, i.e. Behold an honest man of Israel!” We have no evidence that Nathanael was deceitful or that Jesus was being sarcastic. Jesus was using a gift of discernment to establish a relationship with Nathanael. That is a good way to relate to people.  

 

48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

 

In Jesus day students traditionally studied under fig trees because the fig tree was the national symbol of Israel. Maybe Nathanael was a student of the word. Maybe he was searching for Messiah. Maybe the Spirit was working to prepare Him to be introduced to Jesus.

 

But don’t miss something else here. Jesus saw Philip. Jesus was thinking about Philip; about what would transpire with him; about His calling on him; and about Philip following Jesus. Jesus sees us. He’s thinking about us. He loves us so much He just can’t get His mind off of us. He gave His life for us. What or who are you thinking about? Jesus? Or someone or something else? If we would just keep our mind on Jesus a lot of our questions would be answered and a lot of our problems would be solved. We need to fix our mind on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (cf. Hebrews 12:1-2). Take every thought captive to Jesus (2 Cor. 10:3-4). We need to think on pure and holy things; that would ultimately be Jesus (cf. Phil. 4:8-9).

 

49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

 

Here we see more evidence of Jesus divine nature in that He had a Spirit led perception about Nathanael. And Nathanael’s identifying Jesus as “the Son of God!” shows He realizes who Jesus is. The Holy Spirit has revealed Jesus to Nathanael and Nathanael has received that revelation in His heart.

 

50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

 

 If Nathanael was a student maybe it was Genesis 28 he was studying under the fig tree that Jesus spoke about. If so, it was in that chapter of Genesis that it speaks of Jacob and a ladder to heaven and angels of God going back and forth on it. Jesus ceases upon that and completes the purpose of the ladder. Than angels will be ascending and descending upon the Son of Man, upon Him!

 

Jesus is the door to heaven. And as we continue our study through the gospel of John, heaven will be opened to us as we fix our eyes on Jesus, turn and believe in Him. As we continue our study in this great gospel I invite you; “Come and see!” “Come and see Jesus!” “Come and see the abundant life He offers to those who would follow Him!” “ Come and see!”

 



 

[1]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Jn 1:1

[2]McGee, J. Vernon: Thru the Bible Commentary. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981, S. 4:369

[3]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:271

[4]Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1997, c1992, S. 211

[5]Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2003, S. 438

[6] http://www.sermoncentral.com/illustrations/sermon-illustration-bishop-lalachan-abraham-quotes-messianicprophecies-82690.asp

[7]Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2003, S. 438

[8] SOURCE: Paul Harvey Contributed by Jeff Strite, Church of Christ at Logansport, IN.

 

 

[9]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:273

[10]Edersheim, Alfred: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1896, 2003, S. 1:186-187

[11]Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2003, S. 441