Author Topic: John 1 -- DISCIPLE’S STUDY BIBLE  (Read 24 times)

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Frank T

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« on: March 10, 2018, 12:58:08 AM »


John 1

John 1:1-18
Jesus Christ, Preexistent—John’s account of Jesus’ beginnings is an absolute account that stretches back beyond time and into eternity. John contributed an essential understanding to the Gospels’ composite picture of Jesus. He affirmed that God’s Messiah was in the beginning. “In the beginning” is different from “from the beginning.” In the beginning speaks of eternity. From the beginning means as far back as humans have had any experience (8:44). Jesus is identified with the Creator rather than the created. He shares the divine attribute of eternal existence. John’s Gospel reveals: (1) Messiah has always been with God; (2) Messiah is called the Word of God; (3) Messiah is God’s agent of creation; (4) Messiah is light in contrast to darkness; (5) Messiah is witnessed to by John the Baptist; (6) Messiah is not known by His own; (7) Messiah is the only begotten of the Father—a distinct and exclusively Johannine expression which means unique, one of a kind; ( 8 ) Messiah is superior to the authority of Judaism; and (9) Messiah is the only one who has seen God face to face. The actual account of Messiah’s birth is in v. 14. The term for “made flesh” in Latin is incarnatus , from which we derive the word “incarnation.” We mean by this term that God entered our history through Jesus Christ in actual human form. We dare not miss the light of Jesus’ humanity (v. 14) among the deep theological expressions about His unique relationship to God. V. 9 may mean that Jesus gives some light to every person who comes into the world, or it may mean that His coming into the world illumines what we really are. Jesus is not only what God is like; He is also what humanity was intended to be. In this sense, we shall be like Him (1 Jn 3:2 ). That is, we shall become really and fully human in Him and completely so in eternity. John’s Christmas story is a vivid visual in black and white, in darkness and light.

John 1:1
Jesus Christ, Word of God—Jesus is explicitly called the Word (Greek logos ) in this verse and in v. 14. The idea of Jesus as Word is one of the most significant insights about Christ in the New Testament. Word of God has roots in the Old Testament word of the Lord revealed to and through the prophets. By the word or speech of God the world was formed and the will of God accomplished (Ge 1). Another Old Testament idea related to word is the notion of wisdom, the personified knowledge of God (Pr 1:20-33 ; 8:22-26 ). These Old Testament ideas are given full meaning and substance by John’s declaration that the Word became flesh (Jn 1:14 ). The Greeks tended to associate word ( logos ) with mind, rational thought. They talked of a rational pattern implanted in the universe. John used the term logos to build a bridge of understanding between the Greek and Hebrew cultures, uniting all of these ideas in applying them to Jesus. Jesus is God’s plan for the world, God’s action agent who secures what God wants done, the application of God’s wisdom. Christ unites creation and redemption. As the Word became flesh, Jesus was God in human form communicating God’s will in all He said and did. He embodied ultimate truth. To communicate or proclaim about God is to point to Jesus. Only in Him can life and the universe be seen as rational and meaningful. Human speech cannot adequately communicate God. The Word become flesh can, did, and does show us the Father.
John 1:1-4
Revelation, Jesus Christ—Jesus is the Word of revelation alive in human flesh. His revelation did not begin at birth in Bethlehem. He has been actively revealing God since creation in which He was active. He shows the nature of the life God creates.
John 1:3
Creation, the Trinity—All three members of the Trinity were present at the creation. The Father spoke the world into being. The Spirit was hovering over the waters (Ge 1:2). All of it happened, however, through the agency of the Son, the Word made flesh. The world was created in order that its inhabitants might bring glory to the Creator. This can be done only as we give full allegiance to the Son, who was with the Father from the beginning and is the Father’s final Word concerning Himself (Heb 1:1-2 ).
John 1:4-5
Jesus Christ, Light—Life involves conflict between God, who is good, and evil powers. Evil is darkness, shutting out opportunity to see or know good. God is the source of light which exposes evil for what it is. Jesus is that light in person exposing the evil of the world and pointing the way to God. Compare 8:12; 12:46; 1 Jn 2:8 .
John 1:4
Jesus Christ, Life—Life is more than physical functioning of the body. Life involves personal relationship and meaning. Full life includes relationship with God. In this sense Jesus is the source of life. He lived the fullest human life ever lived. He is the link to the Creator of life. By His death, He enabled sinners to inherit eternal life. Compare 5:26, 40; 10:10; 14:6.
John 1:6
Jesus Christ, John—John represented God but not in the way Jesus did. John was a messenger leading people to believe in Christ.
John 1:7 , 12 , 50-51
Salvation, Belief—This Gospel has a marked preference for the word “believe.” The word is found in almost every chapter in some form. Compare 19:35; 20:29-31. John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus Christ as the Light of the world, that persons might believe in Him. The Jewish people were reluctant to believe in Jesus. Those who did believe in Him, He made sons and daughters of God. Nathaniel believed in Jesus because Jesus saw him under the fig tree. We should believe in Him because He is the way to God and eternal life.
John 1:7-9
Evangelism, Personal—John illustrated personal witnessing. Despite his own power and popularity, he pointed people to Christ and away from himself. He sought to bring people to believe in Christ.
John 1:9-13
Revelation, Jesus Christ—Jesus is the genuine Light providing knowledge and salvation that God promised to the world. He was the Creator come to be with His beloved creatures. He brought saving power for all who believe in His nature and purpose (His name). Most people have rejected His revelation. All who believe and respond become part of the family of God adopted in love and grace.
John 1:10-13
Election, Faith—Jesus, chosen of God, was rejected by His own people. God elected to reject the people who took pride in their election. Those who accepted Jesus in faith became sons and daughters of God. Election is God’s decision to accept as His people those who trust Jesus for salvation. The opportunity for faith is a gift of God’s grace, not of human achievement.
John 1:11-12
Salvation, Acceptance—Those who receive Christ accept Him. Receiving Christ and believing in Him are the same thing.
John 1:12-13
The Church, God’s Community—To belong to God’s redeemed family requires more than natural birth. God’s children experience a new spiritual birth through faith in Jesus, the divine Son of God. Only God can give the spiritual power to become God’s children.
John 1:12
Evangelism, Call to Salvation—All who receive Christ by repentance and faith (Ac 2:38) become children of God. This call and promise must be declared to all mankind.
John 1:13
Salvation, Initiative—God through Christ took the initiative in making persons children of God. We become children of God through believing in the name of the One God sent to us, not through human descent or will.
John 1:14
Jesus Christ, Glory—Glory is the weight or importance of God. It is the shining light in which God confronts humans as His way of visible revelation of the invisible God. It is the radiant power of the Creator appearing in creation. It is that which the human eye cannot see without facing death (Ex 33:17-23 ). The radiance of God became visible to humans in Jesus Christ.
History, Salvation—See note on Mt 1:1-17 .
John 1:14-18
Revelation, Jesus Christ—God’s presence became a human being and revealed the fullness of God’s identity in flesh. The glory of God (Ex 33:22 ) became visible as grace and truth which all people need. He is a greater revelation than Moses’ Law which revealed God’s guidelines for life. He shows those guidelines can really be lived out in human flesh on earth. He is God in flesh letting us see what otherwise was impossible to see.
John 1:18
Jesus Christ, Son of God—John’s Gospel highlights the close and unique connection of Jesus the Son with God as Father. One way of reenforcing this unique relationship is by the term only begotten or One and Only (Greek monogenes ; 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18). Another way of expressing this distinctive relationship of God the Father to Jesus the Son of God is to stress the distinctiveness of their inner involvement. Jesus does this in John’s Gospel. God sends the Son (3:16-18). God loves the Son (3:35). The Son depends completely on the Father (5:19). The Father, in return, commits everything to the Son (5:19-21). Giving honor to the Son is giving honor to the Father (5:23). Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of God or demonstrated Himself to be so by His works (10:37-38). Father and Son share an eternal glory (17:1). The entire Gospel of John is written that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God (20:31). The relation of the Father and the Son is extended in 1 John. That brief epistle makes twenty references to Jesus as God’s Son.
John 1:19-34
Jesus Christ, John—John’s Gospel does not describe the actual baptism of Jesus as do the other three Gospels (Mt 3:13-17 ; Mk 1:1-11 ; Lk 3:1-20 ). Instead, John gave the testimony of John the Baptist. There were still followers of John the Baptist throughout the first century. It is possible that John included elements in his account which de-emphasized the role of John the Baptist and emphasized the significance of Jesus, the Messiah (vv. 6-8, 19-27). Like Mark and Luke, John recounted the humble place of the Baptist as unworthy to latch the sandals of Messiah. Like all three other Gospels, John quoted Isa 40:3 , assigning John the place of the forerunner. John the Baptist claimed that God gave him a sign to identify the Messiah. That sign was the coming and remaining of the Holy Spirit. The rabbis taught that the Spirit of God left the earth with the last of the prophets and would not return until the coming of the Messiah. In the interval, God Himself was thought to intervene by a direct voice from heaven. We can see, then, how Jesus’ baptism was a confirmation of His messiahship. The Spirit of God came in the visual symbol of a dove, and the voice of God was heard. Christians today revere Jesus, God’s Messiah, through the power of the Spirit. We share in the witness of the New Testament and the Baptist’s remarkable claim, “This is the Son of God” (v. 34).
John 1:24-33
Ordinances, Baptism by John—One of the main elements in John’s message was the announcement of the Messiah (Anointed One) who was coming after him and would be anointed with the Holy Spirit. This great distinction was further emphasized by the difference in their baptisms: John was baptizing in water, but the coming One would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Two additional things are made clear in these verses: (1) John came baptizing in water so that the Messiah might be revealed to Israel; and (2) John recognized the Messiah because the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and remained on Him. This is the plainest statement we have as to why John baptized. He was and is a powerful witness to the messiahship of Jesus as the Son of God. See note on Mt 3:4-17 .
John 1:29 , 36
Jesus Christ, Lamb of God—A lamb symbolized the Jewish sacrifices (Ex 12:3-4 , 21 ; 13:13 ; 29:38-41 ; Lev 4:32 ; 14:10 ; Nu 29:7-11). The Suffering Servant was pictured as a sacrificial lamb (Isa 53 ). Jesus took up all the rich symbolism of Jewish sacrifice on Himself, dying as the Passover Lamb, leading out of slavery to sin, and suffering as the Servant for the sins of many. Through Christ the Lamb atonement is available.
John 1:29
Salvation, Atonement—John the Baptist points to Jesus as God’s Lamb, who makes atonement for the world’s sin. See note on Lev 1:4 .
John 1:29-31
Revelation, Jesus Christ—God worked out a plan of revelation. He introduced the Old Testament system of sacrifices to help people know their need of salvation and the means to restore right relationship with God. He sent John to prepare the way for Jesus and testify about Him. He sent Jesus to accomplish what the sacrificial system introduced—saving relationship to God.
John 1:32-33
Holy Spirit, Jesus—See note on Mt 3:11 .
John 1:33
Revelation, Spirit—God revealed to John that he would see the Spirit come to the Messiah. At Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit of God revealed Jesus as the Son of God to John. He then revealed this to others through his testimony. The revelation chain here included private experience with God, the Spirit’s testimony, and John’s human witness.
John 1:38
Education, Jesus—In the Gospels, Jesus is often called “Rabbi.” See note on Mt 23:8 . Here the writer translated the term for his Gentile readers. It means “Teacher.” See Jn 20:16 .
John 1:41
Jesus Christ, Christ—See note on Mt 16:16 .
Evangelism, Personal—Personal evangelism creates a chain of witnesses. John pointed Andrew to Christ. Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus. Andrew used a simple personal testimony to win his brother. We who know the Savior need to tell others and create a chain of witnesses.
John 1:45
Jesus Christ, Fulfilled—Jesus was the goal of the Old Testament. The Scripture points to Him. Compare Lk 24:44-47 .
John 1:49
Jesus Christ, King—Jesus fulfilled all Israel’s messianic expectations. See note on Mt 27:11 .
John 1:51
Jesus Christ, Son of Man—See note on Mk 10:45 . Jesus was the ladder connecting heaven and earth and bringing heavenly revelation to earth. Compare Ge 28:12 . In His ministry the disciples knew God was present with His people.