The amazing truth about Jesus
John 1 offers a mind-blowing insight into just how incredible Jesus is.
The Bible opens with the words "In the beginning", and so we should certainly stand up and take notice when we see that John's Gospel starts with exactly the same three words. What is John trying to say in the opening few paragraphs of his biography of Jesus? Let's take a look and see...
John 1:1-2: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."
John leaves us in no doubt about the true identity of Jesus. He wasn't just any old preacher, Jesus (who John calls 'the Word') was with God from the beginning, and more than that he was and is God.
John 1:3: "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."
Here's where John reveals something we didn't know from Genesis 1. All things — the universe, earth, animals, plants and humans — were made through Jesus.
John 1:4: "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
This is a somewhat cryptic verse, but we discover more in verses 6-9, where John shares how Jesus "gives light to everyone". He is the one who shows us the way to God. He lights up our path and reveals the truth about God and how we can be in relationship with Him.
John 1:10-11: "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him."
To me, this is a really sad verse. The creator of the universe came amongst us, and he wasn't recognised for who he was. Instead as Isaiah 53:3 says, he was despised and rejected.
John 1:12-13 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
Here's where the God's grace and mercy are on display in the most powerful way. Even though Jesus was rejected, if we accept him, believe him and follow him, he offers the most outrageous gift - the right to become children of God!
John 1:17 "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known."
Jesus changed everything. No longer are God's people judged on whether they uphold the laws given through Moses. They are now freely forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus. No longer are they in the dark about what God is like. Now through Jesus, God has revealed himself fully, and we can know him fully.
It's no wonder John 1 is considered by many to be one of their favourite parts of the Bible. It describes in just a few sentences God's plan from the beginning of time and how through Jesus, you and I can become God's children. And that's just the first 17 verses! If you've never read the book of John, I encourage you to start today. Take your time to understand each sentence and discover more of what God has done for you and I through Jesus.