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John: Chapter 1

 

By: Steve Shirley

    Let's begin by reading (John 1:1-5).

    We learn several very important things about Jesus in these verses:

1. "In the beginning... with God." This points to (Gen 1:1), "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Jesus was present at the creation of all things.

2. EVERY created thing ("all things") was created by Jesus. "Without Him, nothing was made that was made." Some other faiths believe that Jesus was a "created being," created by God. This verse disproves this (also see: Col 1:16, Heb 1:10). Jesus has ALWAYS existed, and everything that has ever been created was created by Him.

3. "The Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD." Tying this verse to verse 14, we can see this is clearly speaking of Jesus.

    These, and many other verses point to the deity of Jesus!

***Note: It is important to understand that while on earth, Jesus was "fully God" AND "fully man." The technical term for this is the "hypostatic union." We can obviously see that Jesus was "fully human" while on earth, however, in a number of verses, He also claimed deity.

 

    Now, let's read (John 1:6-13).

     (Verse 6) This is speaking of John the Baptist. See: Biography of John the Baptist.

     (Verses 7-8) John was to "bear witness of the Light." That "Light" was Jesus. Some believed that John was the "Light" (Jesus) (verses 19-20)(Lk 3:15), but he was not.

     (Verses 9-11) "The world knew Him not." "He came unto to His own, and His own received Him not." Who is the "world," and who are "His own?"

 

***Note: John uses the term "the world" or "this world" 78 times in this book.

    "Gives light to EVERY man" Jesus came so that ALL men could be saved!

 

     (Verses 12-13) Who is a "child of God" ("sons of God / children of God")?

 

    Several other verses also show us this: (Gal 3:26)(Rom 8:14-17). This is different from what many believe, right?

 

     Next, let's read (Jn 1:14-28).

     (Verses 14-18) In verse 15, John says, "for He was before me" (also verse 30). If you look at the book of Luke, chapter 1 (specifically Lk 1:23-33), you know that John was born 6 months before Jesus. So, why does John say that Jesus was "before me?"

 

    "No one hath seen God at any time... He (Jesus) has declared Him." Again, pointing to the deity of Jesus.

    "dwelt among us" (verse 14) The Greek word used for "dwelt" here is "skenoo." It literally means "to pitch a tent" or "to tabernacle."

 

     (Verse 21) "Are you Elijah?" When John denied he was the Christ, they thought he might be Elijah. He answered that he was not. Based upon (Mal 4:5) and (Mal 3:1), the Jews were expecting Elijah to precede the Messiah. When Jesus later said that John the Baptist was Elijah (Mt 17:10-13)(Mt 11:14) (Also see: Lk 1:17), it shows us that John was the fulfillment of these prophecies, and they did not mean that Elijah was "literally" the "messenger."

    Then, they asked if he was "the Prophet." Again, this was a question asking if he was the expected Messiah, as "the Prophet" was an Old Testament prophecy found in (Deut 18:15-18) which pointed to Jesus. Let's look at three other places showing this (Jn 6:14)(Jn 7:40)(Acts 3:19-26).

     (Verse 23) "I am The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord." This is an Old Testament prophecy from (Isa 40:3), which pointed to John the Baptist. (For more verses, see: Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3, Lk 3:4).

    "I baptize with water." (verse 26) Jesus, who is coming, will baptize with "fire" (Lk 3:16)(Mt 3:11), and the "Holy Spirit" (verse 33)(Mk 1:8).

    "Whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." We should all have this humility in relation to Jesus.

 

     Next, let's read (Jn 1:29-42).

     (Verses 29-34) The "Lamb of God" (also: verse 36). One of several titles given to Jesus in the remaining verses: "Rabbi" (verses 38,49), "Messiah" (verse 41), "Son of God" (verses 34,49), "King of Israel" (verse 49), "Son of Man" (verse 51), "Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote" (verse 45).

     (Verse 32) "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him." In the book of John, we do not get a full picture of this event. Let's go to (Mt 3:13-17).

 

     (Verse 37) "the two disciples" We see in verse 40 that one of the two was Andrew. He was the brother of Peter, and became one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. We do not know the identity of the other disciple, although many believe it was John himself.

 

     (Verse 41) "We have found the Messiah (the Christ)" There are dozens of Old Testament prophesies that a "Messiah" would come i.e. (Mic 5:2)(Isa 7:14)(Isa 53:3)(Ps 78:2)(Zech 9:9). Jesus was the fulfillment of these prophecies.

 

     (Verse 42) "You are Simon the son of Jonah." How did Jesus know this?

 

    "You shall be called Cephas." Jesus gave Peter a new name. God gave several other people new names in the Bible:

Abram to Abraham (Gen 17:5), Sarai to Sarah (Gen 17:15), Jacob to Israel (Gen 32:27-28)(Gen 35:10), Solomon to Jedidiah (2 Sam 12:24-25). When God gave a person a new name, it generally had something to do with Him (i.e. Abraham meant "Father of many nations," Jacob meant "he strives with God." Do you see some significance to Jesus giving Peter a new name?

 

     Finally, let's finish by reading (Jn 1:43-51).

     In these verses, Philip and Nathanael (may also have been called "Bartholomew" - Mt 10:3) are added to the 12 disciples of Jesus.

 

     (Verse 46) "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Nazareth was a small town with no reputation, and despised in Galilee. For the Messiah to come from there seemed unlikely to Nathanael.
(Verse 47) "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile" (verse 48) "Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee."

     (Verse 49) From these two sayings, Nathanael knew exactly who Jesus was.

     (Verse 50) "thou shalt see greater things than these." The many miracles of Jesus to come.

     (Verse 51) "ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." This is likely pointing to Christ's Second Coming, with the example pointing to (Gen 28:12), and Jacob's ladder. The ladder being Jesus Christ, showing that He is the only way to Heaven.