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THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST
John’s Prologue (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. John’s prologue is remarkable. In eighteen brief verses, John introduces Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to the world.
B. In this lesson, we are going to briefly look at what John has to say about Jesus in John 1:1-9.
I. THE WORD (John 1:1-3)
A. Information on “the Word”
a. Strong (3056): logos: something said…specifically the Divine Expression (that is, Christ)
b. Thayer: a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a concept or idea…In John denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God
c. Vine: denotes the expression of thought
2. Jesus is “the Word” of God.
a. Words express concepts; Jesus expresses God.
1) John 14:7, 9
If ye had known me, you should have known my Father also…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father.
2) Hebrews 1:3a
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…
b. Words have power; Jesus has power. He was the active agent in the Creation.
1) John 1:3
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
2) In Genesis one, the phrase, “And God said,” is used eight times as God brought things into existence (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26).
c. Words have character.
1) Words are either true or untrue.
2) The Word of God is truth (John 17:17).
3) The nature of Jesus is truth (John 14:6)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
B. John sets forth three things about the Word.
1. He is continual.
a. In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1a).
b. Two verses:
1) John 8:58
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
2) I Timothy 1:17
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.
2. He is a constituent of the Godhead.
a. …and the Word was God and the Word was with God. The same was in the beginning with God (John 1:1b-2).
b. NOTE: Jesus is God. He is a divine being.
c. He was also “with” God.
1) He existed beside the Father as one of three members of the Godhead.
2) John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
3. He is the Creator.
a. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3).
b. Only deity has the power to create.
c. Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
II. LIGHT (John 1:4-9)
A. John 1:4
1. The first part of John 1:4 is transitional. It connects Jesus to the Creation in verse 3. “In him was life…”
a. He did not just created inanimate objects.
b. He was responsible for bringing life into the Creation.
c. “He was the agent by which the vegetable world became animated; by which brutes live; and by which man became a living soul, or was endowed with immortality” (e-sword, Barnes).
2. This life was also the light of men.
a. In addition to His role as the Creator, He was also light.
b. Light has many qualities: illuminates, heals, has energy, and dispels darkness. Jesus came to do all of these things for man.
B. In addition to creating life, this Light did things and had others do things for Him.
1. He manifested Himself.
a. …and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness… (John 1:4b-5a).
b. Darkness was in the world and within the hearts of men.
2. He was misunderstood.
a. …and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:5b).
b. Comprehended it not
1) The world did not take, seize, or possess the light.
2) They did not take hold of it so as to make it their own.
3) Two views:
a) The darkness did not accept the light.
b) The darkness did not overcome, that is, appropriate the light and eclipse it. “The whole phrase is a startling paradox. The light does not banish the darkness; the darkness does not overpower the light. Light and darkness coexist in the world side by side” (Wescott, e-sword, Vincent).
3. The Light had a messenger sent before it (John 1:6-8)
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light…
4. The mission of the light is given to us in John 1:9.
…that was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
a. Jesus was the “true” light. He was not false, but the true, dependable one.
b. Lighteth: removes darkness, error, ignorance from the mind
c. Every man
1) The Quaker text: “The Quakers appeal to this phrase for their belief that to every man there is given an inner light that is a sufficient guide.”
2) Jesus has the ability to light every man, but every man will not receive the light (See John 1:12).