The Gospel of John Week 3

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning September 9th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/476101

John 1:1-4 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

John 1:14 NIV
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Review from Last week:

JOHN comes out in chapter 1 with POWERFUL statements. Before we look at these statements we need to understand how John is framing these proclamations.

The Bookends:
INCLUSIO

An inclusio is a literary device where the writer states a theme or idea at both the beginning and end of a story. It's intended to introduce and conclude a main point. Everything in-between is to be read with the inclusio theme in mind. When you think of inclusio, think bookends.

Matthew

Inclusio Theme: God is present with us in the person of Jesus Christ

1:18, 22-23

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about:…

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We find inclusios in each of the gospels. Let's look:

Mark

Inclusio Theme: The identity of Jesus-- He is the Son of God

1:1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,...

15:39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Luke

Inclusio Theme: The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah fulfills what was promised in the Old Testament

1:1-4

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

24:44-47

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

John

John’s inclusio theme: Anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus will receive eternal life.

1:12

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

20:30-31

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

BELIEVE (to trust in, have faith in) HIS NAME. Not in the name of some pagan god, but the one revealed in truth.


SO WHAT IS IN A NAME?

In Jewish thought, a name is not merely an arbitrary designation, a random combination of sounds. The name conveys the nature and essence of the thing named. It represents the history and reputation of the being named.

This is not as strange or unfamiliar a concept as it may seem at first glance. In English, we often refer to a person's reputation as his "good name." When a company is sold, one thing that may be sold is the company's "good will," that is, the right to use the company's name. The Hebrew concept of a name is very similar to these ideas.

An example of this usage occurs in Ex. 3:13-22: Moses asks God what His "name" is. Moses is not asking "what should I call you;" rather, he is asking "who are you; what are you like; what have you done." That is clear from God's response. God replies that He is eternal, that He is the God of our ancestors, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem us from bondage.

John’s inclusio is all about revealing who Jesus is and the fulfillment of us believing in Him and the work He did.

The first name John calls Jesus is THE WORD:

JOHN IDENTIFIES JESUS IS THE WORD (1:3-4, 14)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


I. Let’s unpack this: Jesus - The Word

A. So as John began his gospel he begins by telling us that “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.”

>Therefore, Jesus’ existence didn’t begin at his earthly birth, but was from the beginning.

B. But in addition to just being there in the beginning, Jesus was an agent of creation.

1. John declared that “Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)

2. Paul said the same thing about Jesus in Colossians 115-17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Did you catch all that? “For by him all things were created…He is before all things.” Both things point to Jesus’ eternal nature.

3. The writer of Hebrews began his letter with these words, HEBREWS 1:1-2, (ESV) “1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

4. So from those verses, we discover that Jesus’ pre-existence precedes the creation of all things.

C. Not only do these New Testament passages speak of Jesus’ role in creation, there is evidence in the Old Testament as well.

1. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

2. The Hebrew word for “God” that appears here is the word “Elohim.”

3. It is a plural noun meaning “Mighty Ones,” a family of Mighty Ones, acting as one.

4. God has chosen to express His personal nature in terms of a family relationship of equal personalities equaling the one God.

5. That’s why in Genesis 1:26 we read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image. In our likeness…’”

6. In Genesis 3:22 after the fall of man we read, “And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’”

7. And in Genesis 11, we see that after the flood the people were all staying in one place and pride was becoming a problem, so God said, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” (Gen. 11:7)

8. So we see all these instances when God is describing himself in the plural.

9. The Father and The Son and the Holy Spirit were there in the beginning making man in their likeness, and disciplining humankind when they needed it.

D. Jesus made numerous other statements during His ministry that pointed to his pre-existence.

1. In John 6:62, (ESV) Jesus asked: “Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?”

>Where had Jesus been before he came to earth? He had been with God.

2. In John 8:58, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Before Abraham was born, I am!”

>If Jesus had been born thousands of years after Abraham, how is it that he was existing before Abraham was born?

3. John the Baptist had said that Jesus preceded him even though Jesus was born after him, “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” (John 1:30)

4. In John 17:5 Jesus said, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

>Obviously, Jesus knew where He had been and what His glory had been like.

E. Paul helps us understand this truth:

When Paul looked at where Jesus had been and what he gave up to come down here, he declared, (Philippians 2:5-11) “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, 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! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

1. Jesus was God and was with God, but he willingly gave up that position and lowered himself and became obedient to death on a cross.

2. But after leaving His heavenly place, God exalted Him back to that highest place.

F. From all of this evidence, can there be any doubt about Jesus’ eternal pre-existence? I don’t think so!

1. So His story did not start with His birth, like ours does.

2. His story has no beginning, because He has no beginning.

G. Now you might be thinking, “Ok, V, Jesus is eternal, but what does this have to do with me?

1. What is the significance of Jesus’ pre-existence?

2. Well, let me tell you it is a big deal and has immense implications.


II. The Significance of Jesus’ Pre-existence.

A. First, and Foremost, Jesus’ pre-existence proves that He is God.

1. As God we know that we can trust Him and that His promises are true.

2. As God we know that He has the power to help us and save us.

3. I think you would agree with me that this is pretty important stuff!

B. Second, Jesus’ pre-existence shows that He cares for us.

1. Our God is not a god who, as the deists claim, created the world, wound it up and set it off into space to run without God’s attention.

2. No, our God is a God who takes an intense interest in His creation.

3. Our God is a God who loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son.

4. If Jesus did not care, He would never have come to earth, leaving the glory of heaven.

5. And he certainly would not have subjected himself to the abuse and suffering of crucifixion, if He did not love us.

6. Our eternal God stepped into time and space so that we might know Him, and inherit eternal life through Him.

7. He really does love us and his kindness ought to lead to our repentance, and our reliance on Him.

C. Third, Jesus’ pre-existence means that there is a plan.

1. Jesus came from glory and wants to bring you and me into that glory.

2. Jesus said in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

3. The love of God and plan of God have been in place since before the creation of the world.

4. Peter explained that plan in 1 Peter 1 with the following words, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:18-20)

5. God’s plan was in place for a long time. It was an expensive plan and a loving plan.

6. John wrote, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

7. And this life that God wants to give us is more glorious than any of us can imagine.

8. 1 Corinthians 2:9 reads, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

9. And how wonderful and exciting is that?!!!

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

A. So as we strive to see Jesus ever more clearly, we begin with a glimpse of His pre-existence.

1. Before He ever put a foot on this earth, He was alive and well.

2. He was reigning with God in all their Glory.

3. He was creating and sustaining all things.

B. His pre-existence is so important because it proves He is God, shows that He cares for us, and means that there is a wonderful plan.

C. As John completes the opening to his Gospel, he says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4-5)

1. Jesus, indeed, is the life and light of men.

2. But sadly, so many people resist the life and light that Jesus offers.

3. Let’s be sure that we are not among that group of people.

4. Let’s allow the life and light of Jesus to come into our lives, and save us and transform us.

5. John wrote, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

6. Won’t you put your trust in Jesus and become a child of God? There’s nothing better!

Further Bible Study on John:

CRU has developed a great 12 week study on The Gospel of John. Dig deeper, grow stronger, and bring God glory.

https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/bible-studies/no-one-understands-jesus-12-week-study-in-the-gospel-of-john.html