John 1:1-18 Who Is Jesus, And Why Does It Matter?

by | Apr 17, 2024 | John, New Testament

Key verse of this book- John 20:31 …these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

I. The Nature Of The Word Vs. 1-5

A. Eternal & Divine Vs. 1, 2

Word- Logos- A declaration; a thought. A manifestation or expression.

1. V. 1a, 2– When the beginning started, the Word was already there. He pre-existed time.
2. V. 1b– The Word was with God; a separate and distinct entity, not simply an attribute or extension of God.

a. With- pros- literally, “face to face”. Speaks of fellowship and distinction.

3. V. 1c- The Word was God.

a. Pre-existence before time points to divinity and an eternal nature.
b. The New World Translation (Jehovah’s Witness Bible) translates this as follows: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was a god”.
c. With the insertion of the definite article “a”, the NWT diminishes the uniqueness of Jesus, and suggests that there are many gods.
d. The Jehovah’s Witness church believes that Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man. If true, then everything that follows would apply to Michael. ☹

B. The Creator V. 3

1. Colossians 1:16, 17 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
2. If Jesus was simply “a” god, then there are other gods who are making or will make other things.

C. Life And Light Vs. 4, 5

1. Life- zoe- speaks of both physical life and spiritual life; temporal and eternal.

a. Since Jesus created all things, He is the origin of physical and spiritual life.
b. Scientists can assemble all the chemicals for life, but they cannot produce life.

2. Light- In this Gospel, light metaphorically speaks of truth.

a. John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
b. John 11:10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.

3. The spiritual life that is in Jesus can bring spiritual truth to those who receive it, so that they may walk in truth, and not stumble through life.
4. Spiritual & moral light is much more than mere human intelligence and reason.
5. V. 5- Comprehend- to overcome, to grasp, to comprehend. (opposing spiritual realities)

a. It is presumptuous of man to think he can live without God, and still have the fullness of spiritual and moral. It is also dangerous.

II. The Manifestation Of The Word Vs. 6-13

A. Introduced By John The Baptist Vs. 6-9

1. Vs. 6, 7– John the Baptist did not invent his ministry, but was chosen by God to point people’s attention to Jesus. God’s goal was that people might believe in Jesus.

a. John came as a witness, to testify to what he had seen. “Witness”- 47x’s in John.

2. V. 8– John (and the Christian) is the source of light, but we are to witness of the light.

a. Followers of Jesus are also sent (led) to bear witness of the light of Jesus.
b. Speaking of Jesus is done with the hope of the listener believing in Jesus.
c. That was the goal of the Gospel writer, John the Baptist, God (in sending John), and should be our goal and hope.

3. True light– As opposed to false. Belief isn’t enough; the object of belief must be true.

a. The true light is available to every man and woman and child.

B. Rejected By Some Vs. 10, 11

1. V. 10– Though Jesus was popular w/the masses, they didn’t understand who He was.

a. The masses didn’t rightly recognize their Creator.

2. V. 11– He came to His own (Jewish nation), but they, as a nation, rejected Him.

a. The Jewish nation had God’s word which predicted the coming of Jesus.
b. Receive- Like a husband taking a wife; an intimate, trusting relationship.
c. That kind of relationship was (is) what God wants with humanity, with you.

C. Received By Others Vs. 12, 13

1. V. 12a- Received Him- received Him into an intimate, trusting relationship.
2. V. 12c- Believed in His name- not just receiving Jesus, but believing in His name.

a. In His name- an ancient way of saying that one believes in everything associated with that person. Accepting and believing everything about them, for who they are.

3. V. 12b- Those who receive and believe become children of God.

a. Spiritual life with the Father. Flow of life from Father to child. Spiritual oneness.

4. V. 13- Becoming a child of God isn’t from man’s effort, but of God’s effort toward man.

III. The Incarnation Of The Word Vs. 14-18

A. The Word Became Flesh V. 14

1. V. 14- And the Word became flesh- Jesus put on flesh, and became something he never
was: man. He laid aside His divine attributes without laying aside His divinity.
2. V. 14- and dwelt among us– “tabernacled”; “pitched His tent for a while”.
3. V. 14- and we beheld His glory-John saw the glory of Jesus; miracles, transfiguration, the teaching, the suffering with dignity and honor, the resurrected Jesus, etc.
4. V. 14- the glory as the only begotten of the Father– The uniquely born one of the Father
5. V. 14- full of grace and truth– The perfect blend and balance.

a. Grace- favor, help, good will: given to another. Undeserved favor, divine friendship
b. Truth- kindness is not enough. We must have truth. Jesus was full of both.
c. J. Carl Laney- These attributes have the fullest and most exquisite display in Jesus.

B. John Points To Jesus’ Pre-existence V. 15

1. In that culture, honor and preference was given to men according to age.
2. John pointed to the pre-eminence and pre-existence of Jesus, though John was Jesus’ cousin and six months older.

C. What The Incarnate Word Brought Vs. 16-18

1. V. 16– John now gives a personal testimony if having received blessings upon blessings

a. The Gospel writer says that he/they had received from the fullness of Jesus.
b. Grace for grace- grace upon grace. One gracious blessing after another.
c. When one blessing came, another was ready to be given in endless supply.
d. Jesus is full of grace and truth, and he blesses and blesses again His people. (V. 12)

2. V. 17- Moses gave the Law, which compared to the grace and truth of Jesus, was rigid.

a. God was merciful and gracious in the Old Testament, but the fullness of mercy, grace, and truth were manifested in the person of Jesus.

3. V. 18- God hasn’t been seen by the human eye, but Jesus came to “lead the way” to God