Our Wednesday night Bible study group has been delving into the Gospel of John during the last few weeks and we have discovered a number of wonderful portraits of who Jesus is. He is the one,” of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote.” John 1:45 Nathanael called Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.” John 1: 49 In verse 51 Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” John the Baptist told his disciples when he saw Jesus walking towards them, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1: 29 And when Andrew went to tell his brother Peter about Jesus, he simply told him, “we have found the Messiah.” John 1: 41
The Apostle John makes it clear in the very first chapter of John that Jesus is special, someone to take notice of and pay attention to. He says in the first verse of the Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What an amazing introduction to his readers about the person that he would be writing about throughout the rest of the book. In fact, the very next verse amplifies the majesty of Jesus even further, “He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him.” John 1: 2
John doesn’t say “the Word of God,” but “the Word who was with God,” and “was God.” John says of the Word, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1: 4 Verses 9-13, 14, 45 all make it clear that the Word was no other than Jesus. According to John, Jesus is not just a good teacher or some holy man come to lead Israel out of Roman occupation. Jesus is no other than the Word, second person of the Godhead, who dwelt with God, created all that there is on earth, and came to earth in the form of a baby, grew into adulthood, and then went to the Cross to take away the sins of the world. He is the promised Messiah of Israel, the promised King, the Son of Man, the Son of God all wrapped into one, Jesus of Nazareth who would redeem mankind from sin.
The Jews through the Messiah would come and free them from Rome, but Jesus came to free them from the wrath, penalty and guilt of sin. His was a spiritual journey into the world of mankind and it was on the spiritual that He reached out and touched their lives for good. This same Jesus still longs to reach out and touch our lives with His nail pierced hands so that we can stand amongst the redeemed.
Jesus came to this earth that through His life and ministry, “the light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 5 Jesus claimed, “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12: 46 Again Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8: 12 He reminds us that we are to walk in light, “The light is with you a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” John 12: 35, 36
Jesus of course is the light of the world (v. 4) and he draws us from the darkness to Himself. There is no power in heaven or earth than can overcome Jesus, the true light, and those of us who put our trust in Him have eternal life. Jesus, the sacrificial lamb of Scripture has come in the flesh to be our substitute for sin and carry its burden and penalty for us at the cross. As children we learned the little song, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” and that truth does not ring louder than in these first verses of John. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3: 16 Could anything be simpler and more straight forward?