Lesson 4

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn't recognize him. 1:11 He came to his own, and those who were his own didn't receive him. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in his name: 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 1:14 The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

 Today's Lesson

The writer of the Gospel switches back to his main theme, the Word. John the Baptist came to testify to the true light. The true light was coming into the world to reveal God's presence to a world in darkness.


The Word comes into a world that does not know Him, even though it was through His creative power that the world was created. Even though the world was created by and for His use, the world did not recognize Him when he revealed Himself. Verse 11 is one of the saddest verses in all recorded history. The Jewish nation had been called out of obscurity by God to become a people unto His own. The Word of God came to the people of God and they did not receive Him as one who came from God. In a specific sense, those that were "His own" were the chosen nation. But, in a general sense, all mankind was "His own." He created us all. Yet, without the strengthening of God, we would all have rejected Him.


Even though men rejected His Christ, God has other plans. God's purpose was to create a people for himself. As many as would believe in His Christ would be given the right to become God's children. These children are not born of a natural process or the decision or will of man. God gives them new birth. It is God's purpose and God's gift to His creation. Though we reject Him, God displays His grace and mercy to His creation.


In order to fulfill His purpose, God acts. "The Word became flesh, and lived among us." Here is a line in the sand between orthodoxy and schism. The Word is God. The Word became flesh. Here is the mystery of God that men have grappled with since the story was first told. God became flesh. For His own purpose and to achieve His own means, God became flesh. The God who Abraham made a covenant with became flesh. The God that Moses met on Mount Sinai became flesh. The God before whose throne Isaiah quelled became flesh. The true and living God became true and living flesh.


The testimony of the early church was that God had been among them. He has lived with us. We have seen His glory. His glory was the glory of the only Son of God. He was full of grace and truth. Jesus of Nazareth displayed the grace of God by His acceptance of sinners and by His message of the kingdom of God. In His kingdom, the last will be first and the first will be last. He spoke the truth of God to men.


All of the Christian faith hinges on the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Who was He? What did He achieve? The testimony of the Gospel of John is that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Word of God. He was with God in the beginning. He was God. Jesus of Nazareth was God become flesh. He lived among us. Those who believe in Him become the children of God. God has sent a light into our darkness.


How will we respond to Him?


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