Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Behold Your God!

John 1:1-18
No portion of the New Testament speaks more clearly and more precisely to me of the person of Jesus Christ than John’s description in his beginning verses.  I am not saying that the accounts of the other disciples do not hold as much weight as John's, nor do they have less value, less truth.  All were eyewitnesses of the life Jesus led while He walked the earth, and what the men who faithfully followed Him beheld with their eyes and heard with their ears is accurately preserved and in harmony with one another.  But John gives us an account that is filled with greater intimacy, and his words convey unequalled wonder and awe over Who Jesus Christ was, and still is.

In just eighteen verses, John effectively provides us with proof of Jesus’ preexistence and His plan to redeem mankind from the fall that cursed them and separated them from God.  In the first three verses, John declares that the Word, Jesus Christ, was not only from the beginning of all creation, but that He was the Creator and was before the beginning, eternally and divinely God in the flesh.  It is no wonder John writes with such passion, for the literal translation of verse one is “face-to-face with God.”

John understood that the man he walked with, ate with, slept alongside, and reclined upon at the Passover meal was more than just a man with a message or a cause.  He grasped the full extent of Jesus’ uniqueness.  John comprehended the magnitude of Christ’s divine nature and the reason for Him stepping down from His throne and becoming human.  In verse fourteen, the verb “became” does not signify being created as natural man is created.  Instead it implies that God emptied Himself upon the person of Jesus Christ, becoming flesh with every human attribute, yet maintaining His sovereignty and holiness in perfect unity with Jesus (Phil. 2:6-11).

There are key words within these verses that speak of the nature of Jesus Christ.  John refers to Him as “the Word” Who was “with God” and “was God” (v. 1).  He is the “life” that all men so desperately need for redemption (v. 4).  He is the “light” to those standing in darkness, the “light” that shines gloriously upon the pathway He provided to salvation (v. 4 and 5).  And to all of those who have believed the Word, He has given “the right to become children of God” by being “born of God” through God's Son, Jesus Christ (v. 12 and 13).  With great effectiveness and in one simple, yet profound, statement, John declares that God is a just God and He is also a merciful one (v. 17).

As he continues to build upon the person and character of Jesus, John confirms his testimony by stating that God, through the person of Jesus, had “made His dwelling among” them.  God did so, not in a tabernacle built by human hands, but by appearing in flesh and blood, in human form.  John professes that even in His human state, God revealed Himself to them and His glory was unmistakable.  “God the One and Only” now stood among them and had made Himself “known” to the world (v. 14).  And to a world steeped in sin and darkness, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (v. 17)

I invite you to re-read these verses through John’s eyes.  We sometimes forget the divine nature of our Lord.  All too often, we whittle Him down to fit our individual perception of Him and forget Who He really is.  There will come a day when all men will finally see Him in His glory and realize their mistake.  But for now, behold your God!  Stand in awe with John and see Jesus as he saw Him.  He is the same as He has always been from before the beginning and always will be throughout eternity.  He is I Am, Jesus Christ, the Living God!

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