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August 30, 2020 7:03 pm
You pick up your Bible and wondered, is there more here than meets the eye. Is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right well it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than Inc. the last page would like you said you have read the book but you know his gospel starts off. He tells us, is the very beginning today. Today let's well good morning and welcome to more than related back Dorothy and we're glad you joined us really dive into the Bible this morning and do some grid exploration together and actually we we came up with an idea of what to do to carry us through boy almost the next six months. I guess it is to me while yeah because we want we want you to actually getting the word yourself and to read the word yourself and we always recommend the people sit down. If you've never done it before and find gospel is working. You can pick no and read your gospel from front to back, and that we often recommend doing the book of John, so worry are going to do the book of John Q so don't become a blessing will start with John one today would do it. Chapter week.
It'll take us half a year.
The chapter week and actually because I plodded out we will will get to just just the beginning of the passion week in John we get to this year and we flip into 2021 more solidly in the passion we call it up to go up to Easter so we could still become a great so interestingly enough, when you look at the book of John. Sometimes it did doesn't do exactly what you think would be when someone tells you what this is kind of a, it's a biography it's it's a it's a it's a historical account of Jesus ministry and so you expect when you do a historical account it'll start with the beginning of Jesus life and go to the energy is like just roughly true.
That's what we expect of a pastor.
We really not biography the way we know it really wasn't happening in the first history so if you're looking at it that way. And if someone told you will gospel just about the life of Jesus. While it is is and is largely chronological but but if you do that without understanding and then you jump into John and you read the beginning. John your head starts to spin much, much bigger story is like if you're going to write the story of my life it would start in Maryland many decades back years of starting telephone California and that's kind of the way.
Actually gospel of Luke starts it does well were in this place at this time and I want you to know these facts in the order they happened so we know each gospel begins a little bit differently according to the authors purpose right right and so you know Mark starts right off when hey let me take that son of God. Boom. The action Matthew starts with a genealogy placing Jesus in Jewish history so now John's gospel begins for creation. There is a different beginning John's gospel.
So that's what you want to do this with you because if if you just ran into John got this a beginning the second that's I was supposed to start with the birth of Jesus and Christmas and stuff like that. I know so this is a different kind of start and will explain a second, but we thought would be it would be really good just for me to read for you.
The entire sector look at today and it sets its actually just the opening verses of John's Gospel all 18 first.
English is John's introductory statement, which he opens free box he's going to then continue to fail for the rest of the 20 chapters so we need to listen carefully and that's kind of the Bible study skill word and concentrate on today. How do you listen what do you hear when you listen or can we learn to listen well seeking to hear the author's intent right. How do you read a story how to pay attention to how the author introduces the characters, where are you what's happening all this details are important. So when John begins his gospel. He lays out pretty much the entire story in these first 18 verses and then he will go back and illustrate it right through the next 20 chapters so we'll talk more about that in a second but but but just listen carefully and Seahawk. How strange it would be if you're expecting for the story of Jesus to start with a baby in a manger and this is out starts right to he really is going to tell us the whole story in microcosm and then go back and illustrate it. John 11. Reading out of the English standard version because you and follow this. Listen. Listen carefully right so in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made in him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God's name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light but came to bear witness about the light the true light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive but to all who did receive him, he believed, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God and the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the father full of grace and truth.
John bore witness about him and cried out, this was he of whom I said, he who comes after me ranks before me because he was before me for from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only God who is at the father's side, he has made him known somewhat. Did you hear that's the question I love to ask a group. After we read aloud a portion of Scripture and I frequently read a large portion allowed so that I can read it very fluently and all they do is listen. So here were asking you what did you hear hear.
And I think the first time I read this I was shocked by the fact that this one word keeps coming back word word yeah so I mean the it's natural to ask yourself why would John when John characters Jesus the Lord. In fact, is it even fair to say that when he says the word is talking about Jesus. Well, absolutely. It is this yes because he says that at the beginning right in the beginning was the word and then coming to the end of his introduction says and that word became flesh and dwelt among us, so we can touch and see him in here and that's his segue into have to get after verse 18. Also in boom about Jesus Jesus Jesus so yeah the Word became flesh so so why would you choose that work. The word well what is word what is the word communicate something right in the word that the actual term that John uses here is the word. The Greek word low glass which means that an utterance and intelligent communication of something a word which means something which communicate something so he saying.
By the beginning God is speaking, and he has always been speaking, but he has spoken in a particular way by becoming flesh and the sun yeah and he says of the house that he says the word was with God and the Word was God, which is little confusing at first but if you just my point here is the fact if you look at the timescale when we talk about in the beginning you if you ask anyone in the Bible where you find the words in the beginning of Genesis.
When this is now in the beginning God through the heavens. There is a John's doing a deliberate mess with our heads in terms of taking all of times. History starting from creation and saying you in the beginning with creation. Of course John one Gina Janice Genesis 11 but then John 11 was the word was there too, so he saying that Jesus has some kind of eternal component that takes us all the way back to the creation of the universe. And that's just a gigantic mind expander when you want to talk about the life of Jesus okay said John to talk about the communication of God right being from the very beginning, God is always been communicating right and he communicated in his son and then came the sun right so that's that's something we heard something that I heard which which implies now as we address John we are there some message okay think there's a word and eternal message from so what to listen for that. One of the skills we need to develop is as we read remembering what we read before right all the things that John puts in his introduction are important and as I've been paying attention to that. Recently I missed Dinesh did how carefully he brings forward in the rest of his gospel. All of the things he lays out here. So what one of the things that I heard is this repetition of light lots of light and light light and life.
He introduces the idea of being born being born of God, not just born as a human.
He introduces the idea of a witness. He comes back to that two or three times and he says that there was a witness sent by God other than the sun himself.
There's this witness.
This guy named John John whom we know is John the Baptist. Although they just knew it was John baptizer actually is is the waves, not the dunker just so he's an important character in the story. Yet he's he's outlined not on he's detailed at the end of this chapter skews me but I know nothing about the word, we forget about words are communicated for sure.
So we need to expect the fact that in the coming chapters. Jesus is going to have a message for some kind of eternal worse so we are watch for that. This is there something more than just a minute going on here, but another thing about the word is which we know we seldom think about is the fact that a word is a command often and in ancient times. You are the only people in ancient times who could give a command and it would be obeyed was a king so they would they would give the words you know like when you have, you know, your second-in-command would say, you know. Okay, let's do this and that you just give the word you give the word which is sort to command. So there is a there's a unit Star Trek Capt. Picard and engage make it so so so so you know, so this is this whole command idea.
So when you say word were not just communicating information or actually talking about an imperative in the ending. And again when you go back to Genesis 1 to compare when you see God creating the universe. God doesn't use sticks and stones and welders and right. He just uses his word routers so you know God God said, let there be like just sit and actually he was 11 says that important component of faith that we understand that it's by the word of God right creation came to be. He's bold. He spoke and reality happened. So is a Jew you would naturally be making that connection as you read this right here about the fact that God can command and things happen.
Well that that command word that created the universe is Jesus about that for my okay said, that opens another thing that that occurs over and over and over again in this introduction and it and you don't pick it up.
It's a little bit between the lines, but there's a little word that John has used over and over again. He uses it eight times. The Greek word beginning my and it gets translated as made several times here it's translated as came to be. It's translated as can become. It shows up as he has a higher rank, but the word means. It happened it came to be. It make it so get in my heart I know that's what made me think about the fact that I heard that I was listen for that and I actually in reading John one allowed. I actually prefer to read it from the new American Standard, because it comes out a little more clearly in verse three. All things came into being.
That's that were given my day happened into being speaking of the word of God through him, and it's the same word that he says later in verse 12, all who received him, he gave the right to come into being children of God. That's right. It's the same word that shows up in 14 and the word came into being as flesh see when we begin to read with that level of understanding. Oh, we see the unity of John's introduction yeah and it highlights again. This point there were not just talking about words that talk about stuff we are actually talking. The stuff is in the real content of the universe is happening here.
So John's purpose.
Yeah this moved his purpose and you know if you're reading carefully watching this, that what you just mentioned should be a real enticement because he says he says that that we can become children of God, that sounds like an extraordinary promise to us, and that that's maybe that hints at something of his purpose for Jesus coming as well as John's trying to convince us of that purpose as well and in the whole purpose is that we might hear the witness and believe the truth of it. Believe the truth about this one became flesh so that's really John's whole purpose and he alludes to it.
Actually in chapter 11. In verse seven says he John the Baptist came for a witness that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe in him right and then jumped to 12 right all who did receive him, who believed in my name, will have will talk about the name thing later, he gave the right to become children of God. So, seem like what's critical here is belief in that belief benefits us this incredible thing about becoming children of God.
Be nice to know what that's all about. Okay well start unfolding that forest very shortly at Winnie when the actual action begins were still kind of in his prologue here but John himself, put his purpose very clearly at the end of the book, but he tells us that purpose.
At the beginning and his prologue, but then way at the end. In chapter 20. He says the at the very end. The only things remaining is the last resurrection time. Now Jesus did many signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book.
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name, so there is a point so I'm telling you this so that you may believe the truth about this one who came, and thereby have life in his name yet, so this justice in a simple biography. The history Channel FYI is an integrating life John saying that that one am writing to you is going to contribute to your ability to believe who Jesus is and in your believing who Jesus is the benefit to you as you become a son of God with one eternal life. Yeah, right. So this is this is gigantic. This is gigantic.
So John's got a purpose in John's purpose.
In a real sense is to is to take what he lays out there in the first chapter we just read what which it's almost outrageous to such huge it's eternal it's dynamic it's creation is like well what it's it's almost unbelievable. And if your response when you read that this first section to verse 18 about what this is either crazy or is bigger than ever expected. Then what you what he's hoping you do is say okay so prove that to me. You get to that conclusion. And that's with the rest of the brands about thesis word became flesh and dwelt among us, that we could see his glory all of grace and truth.
And then he says again in in verse 17, the law was given through Moses, grace and truth were realized were brought into real experience through the only begotten which at this point to what we sorta know what truth is. Okay, know much about what grace well I'm not even sure we always know what truth that are accurate since we were talking about the word. The words communicating content maybe were going to get true content.
Okay, that's one of our expectations. But then again grace I mean when is grace.
Grace just drops word out here would really, really, I thought, word, and talk about biography.
What does grace have to do with lysozyme to show you what grace is, in reality and when he says he's the only one, the only begotten is in the bosom of father he has come to explain him to fully declare company completely understandable. The character and the nature of God fall of grace and truth will truth is the way things really are not a laughing lad like them to be the way somebody told told me they were it's real reality, the way things are is an absolute truth in Jesus is the one who came to declare he seems to set the standard as well as seems to step set the yeah the highest bar about where you get your truth from misery. John's claim right so those should set our expectations very high to we should be and when we read the rest.
This book maybe get a view into reality that we didn't have work because we have a new emissary. Jesus was going to give us a view into that reality.
So that's that's a high expectation permits were not just about biography would have truth about something that's far beyond even when I can presuppose so this this is really sort of exciting. And this truth is life-changing in his life has to do with having Like Having Real Life Way, God intended it, not just getting your way through your experience here on yet so this isn't just tips how to live a full life now because it does bug me a lot because one people say what the Bible is a handbook about how to live life and I get where they're coming from, but from John's perspective when starting this. Does nobody saying what he's saying is working to focus on Jesus and through who Jesus is. Who is this who is this word command as well as information as well as truth as well as embodied grace as well as an understanding of who God the father is. That's gonna change everything and that has everything to do with understanding who God is, as it says that he's going to make known who God is. Something about knowing who God is, changes gives us an understanding of who we are right and that's what John is doing here by placing it in this eternal context and how do we fit and how do we fit winners are the son of God part. How can we become sons of God, so these this children have, how can I be a child of God really yeah this is just been part of the human is not enough is not enough just being boring as you are wanted child is not enough just being born because people should have children. That's not enough.
So this is if you know, we looked at these first 18 verses there really they really throw a boulder in our path, trying to get to the black chases so you know in Bible study when when you see some like this and it makes your trip and you what we what was that well what we've just been talking about is sitting down and going back and just re-chewing on these things the same way. The second you know is he saying this is he saying this is he is he saying there's a possibility we can become the children of God, is the is he saying that Jesus has some kind of connection with creation itself. In the beginning I mean it is he more than just a man's or internal having all these questions come up when you read these 18 instead of just tripping on phone in your face so I don't know what that is. Let's keep going well well yeah because you get an answer right.
Some of those questions are gonna linger in the air as you continue to read and so John has just opened all these boxes to show you in. Yeah. And so you should be excited about saying okay buddy prove it to my IM I read John when I just have stopped in my tracks and like all let's read more. I know I mean that this is so really when you look at this, intro to John's account of Jesus life. What you're looking at. From John's perspective is his conclusion that Jesus and we normally put conclusions at the end of things. John decides to entice you to read the account by putting his conclusion at the big inning of things and it's and it's a no holds barred.
I mean he goes hyperbolic everywhere. He says you Jesus. Jesus you know in the beginning was the word in this kite is the word so what.
So he decides to to just sort of blow you over at the beginning, hoping that it raises up billion questions when we've open a bunch of Moretti and wasn't mean to me wasn't mean about Jesus is about why he came with the purpose does God have a purpose to raise all these questions that's good. Have those questions in your mind and then out run down a piece of paper something and say okay John prove to me and so John launches into the life of Jesus and says will listen and until he gets to the 20 chapter 20 what you just read and says so.
The decedent did you see I ever about all these things just a lot more signs in this I could've written a whole bunch more but I've done this much so that you might believe that Jesus is this promised Messiah.
He's the Christ. Indeed, the son of God so and at that point in chapter 20 says so did I do it for today. I can't incident that is the same gospel. It's the same message that the other gospel writers wrote single-purpose out in the same purpose, but John's approach is different and he's very selective in the signs that he chooses to write about there not all the same things that had already been written about because the other Gospels. What we call the synoptic Gospels were all written much earlier in the Gospel of John, so the gospel of John was written very late, maybe 90 yeah and so we presume he has actually read the other gospel circulation.
He knows their Conrad and from this perspective, the walking with Jesus.
He also knows the stories that were not told her so that's why John's gospel seems to have the highest amount of what we call unique accounts of things that are mentioned in the other Gospels who think he's filling in the gaps. Worse, so Cantwell and something else to kind of to keep in mind is who John is or was know he was the disciple who is identified as one of those very very inner circle.
One Peter James and John were those three that were the closest to Jesus, and of those three. John is constantly referred to as the one Jesus loved so he was a special position. Perhaps Jesus, the closest friend flash and he was among the youngest of the disciples so and he lived the longest of that. So we get the perspective and old man looking back on his life with Jesus with very clear remembrance of what he did and what he said and he brings into it. His understanding of what those things mean right and who is Jesus, and hence we had a whole lifetime to ruminate on those three years.
He walked with Jesus and when he does, he picks up his pen and he writes down in the beginning was the word in the right was with God and the Word was God and the Word became flesh and this is the person I walked with for three years and he realized in our experience the grace and the truth of God, bright and where those me all works I find out where it is. So were hoping you are to because next week were going to jump into chapter 2.
So we want you to to read with us. So finish up reading chapter 1 and then read chapter 2 next week and as you read chapter 2 before we come back together next Saturday shut down for yourself what you heard when you read it and then ask questions about it and and were to do exactly the same thing in them are going to come together and talk about John to okay but we won't always take the time to read a long passage and not allowed.
But I want to point out to you that right after verse 18. John started telling the story says okay here's John the Baptist the witness and look at what John the Baptist said and did, and he shows us how that transfer was made from John the Baptist to Jesus Christ and then before they get to the end of chapter 1 Jesus will be walking with the first five that is possible. So that's rampant in chapter 2. It's only Jesus and five guys right but here we go.
But here we are oh so so we don't want you to miss that. It's really exciting and keep asking yourself these questions, ask yourself, will God prove to me and what I'm reading and the rest of John that what John is claiming at the outset is exactly the same conclusion that John came to show me why show me why John is telling us this story and how they contribute to this.
So how time we are out of time so join us next time and make sure you read John two and see if we can talk about it in writing questions and you can email us love to hear from you. Your website more than thanks for being with her Thanksgiving