Last week we looked at Hebrews 12 and how we run. if you missed the past two weeks messages, please go back and listen to them. I believe they are defining messages for us as a body. We need to be on the same page as we move forward, and prayerfully considering the things I have said over the last couple of weeks I believe will help us all to get on the same page.
The main idea of the message last week is that we are called into a race when we are saved, and in order to run, and run well, we must fix our eyes on Jesus. So, over the next couple months we are going to be doing just that. We are going to be looking at who Jesus is, what He did, and what He said. The reason we are doing this is two fold. first of all, we all need to be fixing our eyes on Jesus, to grow our personal relationships with him. We need to gaze upon the majesty of who He is, so that our hearts will be drawn to worship Him more. Secondly, we need to be looking at how Jesus did ministry so we can know how we are called to do ministry. As our hearts worship Him more, we should be ministering to others in a way that lifts their gaze to see Him for who He is.
So, who is he? Today we are going to be looking at the amazing truth that the one who created the world, became a part of it, so you could know HIm.
Before we get started, I have something I want you to write down. write down some of the things that you know about Jesus. try to make it one or two words each, but things that you typically think of when you think of Jesus. Now, lets read the text. John 1:1-5
So, what we have here is the gospel of John, describing Jesus to us in a way that was targeted to to the culture that he was speaking to. so before we even get into the text itself, I want to point out that John here is bringing an unchangeable message and presenting it in a way that two of the main philosophies of the time would understand. Stoicism and early gnosticism were very popular at the time he seems to have written this book. The Greek thoughts of the day were of the concept of “Word”. This concept in their minds gave meaning to the universe. Their word was impersonal, and was a principle of reason. John, it the very beginning sets out to take their expression of “word” and calls it “the Word” and makes it personal, and ties it to creation. You see, those philosophers had a little bit right, there was something about words that made sense of the universe, but they didn’t understand that it was The Word that was the Key, a personal, being. This shows me something, as i read and study this text. John knew the culture he was living and writing in. He writes this book as an evangelistic tool, and he uses language and concepts that were prevalent in the culture that he lived in in order to share the truth of Christ with that culture.
That leads me to what he is actually saying about “the Word”
Jesus Eternally Existed with The Father: This may seem like a pretty normal thought for you if you have grown up in church, but this was not always the case in the history of the church. You see, early on in the church, there arose a heresy that said that Jesus was created by the father. That heresy was struck down by the council of Nicea, from which we get the Nicean creed. Her though, we have in clear explanation that Jesus was in the beginning with God. Think about that for a minute, Jesus had lived in community and communion with God the Father from Eternity past. there was no break in their relationship, perfect unity and union between the three persons of the trinity. So, even before Jesus put on flesh, there was God the Father, God the Son , and God the holy Spirit. Existing together in perfect unbroken unity.
All things were made through Jesus: This is a powerful truth that we need to understand, for us to really grasp the weight of the incarnation. You see, not only did the Son exist with the Father, he was the means through which the father created. Here we see that in verse three it clearly spells it out. Nothing was made without the word. If you read the Genesis, account, how did God create? He spoke things into being, or as in the case of Adam, he Breathed into them. God’s creative voice is Jesus. I don’t understand it, but the scriptures hold to it, so I believe it. Think for a minute what you know about sound. What is sound? Sounds are created when something vibrates and causes waves in the air. and our ears respond ot the waves and interpret the sounds. Now, think about language. Language is a learned thing right? we have to associate meaning to sounds. sounds by themselves wont translate without the proper context and training. Now, here is my feeble attempt to explain how I conceptualize God Creating through the Word. When God speaks, there are no waves that go out of HIs mouth, but The son goes out of HIs mouth, and because He is omnipotent (all Powerful) there is no learning that needs to take place on the part of th thing being created, it just becomes. created by the Word, send out from the Father. And All creation knows the voice of its creator. Think about the storm that Jesus calmed with His voice, or the Fig tree that He cursed, and it withered. Creation knows its creator’s voice. Jesus was the one through whom all things were made. So when you look at a sunset, or a beautiful baby, or an amazing scene. Most of us think about God creating it, but what you should think now is that God created it through Jesus. Furthermore, it says that “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” This again, is a powerful verse. IN some respects he is saying here that since everything was created through Christ, all life owes a thanks to Jesus for being alive.
The Creator of the universe, the eternally existing word, wrapped Himself in flesh and dwelt among us. This is the point that I want us to really dwell on this week. The truth that the God man, Jesus Christ was the same word through whom all things were created. And He came down. Wrapped in humanity. It says it so well in verses 10 and 11. Can you imagine the humility and condescension it took for Him to wrap himself in the flesh that he created? When you are the one through whom wall things are made, and you would leave that to become one of your creations. Thats is crazy. Think about it for a minute. You are the very conduit of God’s creative power. You are the sound waves that cause life to exist, and you wrap yourself in the very flesh that you made. The most difficult thing of all in this is said right here, that the world did not know Him or receive Him. Can you imagine what that must have been like. I don’t even know if I can wrap my head around this. The son, willingly put on flesh and dwelt among us! I don’t know if that kinda hurts your brain a little bit, but it does mine. But why did He put on flesh? look at verse 16 for the answer. We receiver Grace upon grace, from His fullness. What does that mean? well, that from the fullness of all that He came to do, His life, death, and resurrection, we are the recipients of grace. And not just a little bit of grace, it says grace piled on top of grace.
Three points of application from today. 1. Whatever new you learned about Jesus today, worship Him more for it. Dwell on it, study it. meditate on it. It is huge for your understanding of all that He is , and it helps us to fix our eyes on Him. 2. When you are in a place of trouble, remember, that the one who created you, put on flesh for you and dwelt among us. He knows the depths of what we are going through. He knows pain, and struggle, rejections and despair. 3. This is the point I want us to think about from the standpoint of how we minister to those around us. A term I want us all to become familiar with is Incarnationial ministry. It is looking at the incarnation of Christ as the example for how we are to minister to those around us. He went into a culture, wrapped himself in a way he would be understood by the culture, and preached, loved and sacrificed for those who needed Him. As Christians, we need to be doing the same for those around us. We need to not be afraid of meeting people where they are, and reaching out as they are. We are not called to sit in an ivory tower and call people to clean themselves up and come to Jesus, we need to put on the flesh that they are wearing, go into hard and uncomfortable places, and love them with the love of Christ. We also don’t rely on sending money either. Now, I am all for sending money to people who are doing ministry, in fact, 10% of all our income is automatically earmarked to go out from here. We give to a number of organizations all over the world and here at home. We need to keep that up, and give more if we can. But we also need to be looking for ways to do the ministry in our own sphere of influence as well.