The Gospel of John #01: An exposition of John 1:1-5. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 24, 2010.
To some he is nothing more than a confused, crazed religious leader. To others he was a good, descent man; an honorable teacher and ethical guide. Still others consider him a myth. The result of an overactive imagination fueled by religious zeal. Some think he was one of many manifestations of “The Divine.” To those who hold to a biblical faith he is the Son of God; the Son of man. Fully God and fully man. The only one of his kind. God made flesh. Immanuel, God with us. The Lord Jesus Christ. Given the claims of Scripture, it is the most important question you will ever answer, “Who is he?” Who is Jesus of Nazareth? What is your Christology? Your doctrine of Christ?
When he rode into Jerusalem on Sunday of Passion week to the shouts of, “Hosanna!” The crowd asked, “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:10). When he spoke and the violent waters of the Sea of Galilee became smooth as glass the disciples whispered, “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey his voice?” (Mark 4:41). When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic the scribes and Pharisees demanded, “Who is this who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 9:9).
That is the question. Who is this Jesus? Is he a myth? Is he only a man? If so you can afford to ignore him. If on the other hand he is God, as the Scriptures claim, then he demands your allegiance. You ignore him to your own peril. It is not the kind of question you can easily push aside. The stakes are just too high. Our text this morning is found in the opening words of the Gospel of John.
Text: John 1:1-5
John’s Gospel has been the source of comfort and encouragement for Christians throughout the ages. It has been called, “God’s love letter to the world.” Martin Luther, the great reformer, referred to it as the chief Gospel. He said, “If some tyrant succeeded in destroying the Holy Scriptures and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and the Gospel according to John escaped him, Christianity would be saved.” Some of the best known and most loved texts of the Word of God are from this Gospel.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 6:35 – “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
John 10:10 – “I am the good shepherd.”
John 11:25 – “I am the resurrection and the life.”
John 15:1 – “I am the true vine…”
Many a believer has found perfect peace through the precious words of John 14 – “Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come back, and take you to be with me, that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going…I am the way and the the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.”
John, writing from Ephesus, is clear about his purpose. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
His purpose is evangelistic. He is writing to bring others to a saving knowledge of Christ. A gospel is a selective history with a purpose. John arranges the story to point to the uniqueness of Jesus as the Lord’s Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. His purpose is to set forth a picture of Christ in all His glory so that you fall at His feet in worship. The focus throughout is on the glory of Christ. Our text sets the tone for the book with its glorious description of the exalted Christ.
One of the unique features of John’s gospel is that the more you study it, the bigger Christ appears. It is like Lucy’s experience with Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia. As she gazed into Aslan’s large wise face he said…
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That’s because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
The more you study the gospel, the better you understand what Christ has done. The better you understand what Christ has done – the more glorious He becomes! With that in mind let’s look at our text – John 1:1-5.
What is abundantly clear and foundational from our text is that…
Thesis: An authentic Gospel demands an exalted doctrine of Christ.
The purpose of our gathering is to bring glory and honor to our God. The biblical Gospel is a Christ-honoring, Christ-exalting message and this passage is unparalleled in its description of Christ. It is believed that the entire prologue (1:1-18) is an ancient hymn glorifying Christ. The opening verses certainly set the tone not only for the prologue but for the whole of John’s Gospel.
There are four affirmations about Christ I want us to note from this text.
- He is the Eternal One. (1:1-2)
- He is God. (1:1-2)
- He is the Creator of everything! (1:3)
- He is life and light. (1:4-5)
Conclusion: As such He cannot be ignored. You cannot easily dismiss Him or casually brush Him aside. He demands your allegiance. He commands your adoration. He is worthy of you soul, your life, your all.