JESUS IS GOD John 1:1-18 Key Verse: 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Thank God that we return to gospel study after the study of Genesis and several minor prophets. The gospel is solely the story of Jesus. John‟s gospel is known as the special gospel or the eagle‟s gospel. John has sharp insight to see Jesus with an eagle‟s eye and takes an excellent view of Jesus. We see this from the beginning of the gospel of John. May God bless us to deeply believe in Jesus (Jn 20:31) as we study the gospel according to John. Today‟s passage is the prologue of John‟s gospel, yet too great to be just the prologue. But let‟s study this grand introduction by faith, with the title, “Jesus is God.” First, Jesus’ origin (1-5). Look at verses 1,2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Wow! What a thunderous declaration! What a magnificent description! What can be the greater writing than this? Apostle John was really bold and courageous and great. Truly, this is the fundamental and deepest truth for men. This is the highest and truthful view of Jesus. One who lived and moved on earth at one time in history, he was in the beginning, and he was with God in intimate fellowship, and he is God. This is the greatest discovery men have ever made. This is the true identity of the Person Jesus. He was named the Word. For he is the first cause and logos in Greek and a personal being as God to communicate and converse with. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It is an amazing truth, yet understandable. But John 1:1 is really sensational and most fundamental. This truth of God truly enlightens all human minds that had been in the in thick, puzzling clouds. This one word of the Bible clears up all the ambiguity about the origin and brings the heavenly sunlight into the hearts of human beings. After speaking of the person, the author now speaks about his work. Look at verse 3. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” This is his work of creation, doubly assured. From the infinite universe (ten octillion stars; 10 is followed by 27 0s) to a grass of the field all things were made through him. The earth is full of his 2 work and his creatures. We see, touch, live and breathe in his work, from early morning to late night. It is impossible to live outside of his work. We see and understand and are awed at his eternal power and divine nature displayed through the universe. Normal human beings cannot live without wonder even one day, for his creation is filled with wonders and mysteries. Among all creation what is most mysterious and substantial? It is life. Look at verse 4. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Without life all is dead or in a deadened state. The earth is alive; that is why the earth has been able to provide food for mankind for over 6000 years. In the Dead Sea no fish can live. In the desert no plant can grow. We have seen dead animals and dead men. There are also living dead with no liveliness. A flower in a vase is living but will not be lively anymore. It will be gone soon. Men have a longer life-span, but in essence is the same with the cut flower in a vase. Does full life with eternal liveliness and living spirit exist? If so, where is it? The answer is written in John 4, “In him was life…” He is the author and source of life. He is the provider and sustainer of life. He provides and sustains and restores life. In Jesus there is the restoration of life with full of joy and happiness. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Praise Jesus. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. Without life nothing can be the light of men. Life and light are inseparable, and so are deadness and darkness. When God created the world, it was dark. Then God brought light into the dark world. But spiritually speaking, ever since Adam‟s sin, the world became dark. Right before Jesus‟ coming, the world was in utter darkness and all people were groping in that dark world. In darkness people have no sense of direction. They are going nowhere even if they go somewhere. More than that in darkness people are robbed and ravaged by the evil power of darkness. And they are going somewhere, not knowing that they are going only to fall into a deep pit of eternal destruction. This was the tragic and pitiful situation of mankind. They were groping and sinking in the darkness of fatalism and death. In darkness people have no meaning and purpose of life and they even commit suicide (suicide rate; 30,000 in America every year). But the life in Jesus was the light of men. According to Matthew (4:16), the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. And according to Luke (1:78,79), Jesus is the rising sun that shines on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death. Jesus promised in John 8:12, “…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 1:5 says. “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood 3 (overcome in the foot notes) it.” The light of Jesus is so powerful that it overcomes the world. In this part we thank and praise Jesus who was in the beginning, and who is the source of life and the light of men. Second, Jesus’ power to give birth-right of God’s childen (6-13). In Verse 5, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” So witnesses to the light are needed. A man named John was sent from God as a witness to testify concerning the light so that through all men might believe. Look at verse 9 says, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” The true light implies that there are false and counterfeit or faint lights. We often wonder why there are false and counterfeit things. But through falsity true becomes true. Only what is true will remain in the end. The true light gives light to each individual. Look at verses 10-11. “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” But while the whole world seemed to reject him wholly, there were some who accepted him. This was the great work of God. How would God bless them? Let‟s read verse 12. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” What a right! How can men become children of God? No power in the world can work for this. When God created man, he was the crown and glory of God‟s creation. He was a masterpiece of God, but still not a child of God. But Jesus has the power and he gives the right to become children of God to those who receive him, believing in his name against the trend of the world. This is the greatest right man can have in this world, and this is the greatest work that can be done in the world. They are solely born of God. It is like flesh becoming the Word. St. Paul was so moved by this blessing that he wrote in Romans 8:15, “…we cry, „Abba, Father.‟” We need to hold this blessing close to our heart at all costs. Third, Jesus’ grace and truth (14-18). Look at verse 14. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The eternal God took the form of a man and became flesh, and made his dwelling among men. This is the Incarnation, the incarnation of Jesus (the embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ). This is a marvelous love of God! This love includes God‟s Son Jesus‟ 4 giving up heavenly glory and honour and all the privileges of heaven. And he humbled and lowered himself to the earthly level to be flesh. And he became flesh in order to give his body and blood on the cross for our salvation. This is the sacrificial love of Christ. No one wants to give up something. Everyone wants honour and recognition and fame and glory. Nobody wants to lower himself. This is the nature of fallen men. But God One and Only was different. St. Paul described the Incarnation in this way: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself noting, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Praise God‟s Son Christ Jesus. The author John was fascinated by this event of the Incarnation and said, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Of course he saw the limitation and mortality of flesh in Jesus, even his death. But he said, “we have seen his glory.” He saw the glorious God in Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth. The glory of God‟s appearance and dwelling in men did not scare people. Rather it was full of grace and truth. The Apostle John was so sure and certain of the Incarnation that he said in 1 John 1:1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim...” How Jesus lived among men is vividly written in the gospel story. He showed grace and truth to countless people through his personal touch (Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, an invalid man, a man born blind, Martha and Mary). His raising 12 disciples through common life was outstanding. John himself was the fruit of the beautiful life of Jesus. In his grace and truth John a selfish man with a strong human ambition was changed into an apostle of love and truth. Thank Jesus who is dwelling even in and among us through his word. Without his dwelling among us Christian community is not possible. In his dwelling we can be more and more Christ-like and we pray to raise 12 disciples from among U of T students in this Christian community. Look at verse 15. “John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, „This was he of whom I said, „He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.‟” It is easy to see Jesus with human eyes only because of his humility in dwelling among men. But people must not forget that Jesus is originally God, who was before any man. He is the God of grace and truth. The law was God‟s blessing to lawless people. Without the law people cannot but live in confusion and disorder. But the law 5 cannot save and change men. Grace and truth does. Jesus is the God of grace and truth. This is the best blessing given to mankind. No one has ever seen God. Anyone, however, can see God in Jesus, who has made known the invisible God through his life and word. From the fullness of his grace all can receive one blessing after another. The fountain of his grace is overflowing, inexhaustible. We can receive grace upon grace as we come to him. In this passage we see that Jesus is God in his origin, in his power and in sacrifice. He is the God of grace and truth. May we abound in the fullness of his grace while we study John‟s gospel.