Introducing Jesus

Bible Book: John  1 : 1-5
Subject: Jesus, Who Is; Christ; Lordship; Savior
Introduction

John 1:1-5:

"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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (NKJV)"

Someone has said, "If you cannot be important, know someone important to introduce to others." But even that can be risky business, for introducing a person to a large audience requires skill and preparation. The man who was called upon to introduce President Herbert Hoover years ago learned this lesson the hard way. He stood to introduce President Hoover at a very important and packed out meeting by saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I present President Hupert Heever.” Needless to say, he never lived down that flawed introduction.

John the Apostle had a challenging introduction, for as he wrote the words in our text today he was introducing Jesus Christ to the world. What an opportunity, but what a responsibility as well.

John did a marvelous job introducing our Lord. One man called the Gospel of John the greatest book in the Bible. Wilbert F. Howard in the "Introduction and Exegesis" to John, in The Interpreters Bible, volume 8, page 437, says of John's Gospel that it is "the crown of all the scriptures." Thousands upon thousands of books have been written concerning John’s gospel. It is apparent he did a wonderful, remarkable job in this most important of all introductions.

Three things influence an introduction. In John's case, each of these is critical.

i. The Person doing the Introduction

In this case it was a man named John, the son of Zebedee and Salome. After rabbinical school he and his brother James set up a fishing business, probably in co-op with one Simon Barjonas - better known as Simon Peter. John was born and reared in Galilee. He heard John the Baptist preach and was touched by the scathing condemnation of sin and the sincere call to repentance that John the Baptist preached. One day, while listening to John the Baptist preach, he notice the Baptist turn dramatically and point his finger at a man. Then with his voice full of authority and conviction, John the Baptist spoke and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." John looked upon Jesus Christ - he would never be the same again. Anyone who looks long and lovingly at the Lord will be different forever. John soon became a disciple of Jesus and left his nets, along with his brother, and followed Jesus. He became one of the twelve Disciples of Christ. In fact, he came to be in the inner circle with Jesus - Peter, James and John. John was an over-zealous, ambitious character. He once asked Jesus to call down fire on a city because they did not repent as they should have. It was his mother, Salome that went to Jesus to ask that her sons get to sit on his right and left hand in the kingdom Jesus had promised. Jesus even nicknamed the pair, Sons of Thunder. But He followed Jesus sincerely and Jesus changed him. He was so changed in fact that he became known as the beloved disciple. He leaned on Christ at the Last Supper. He stood by Mary at the cross and Jesus spoke to him, "Mother, behold they son, Son behold thy mother." He entrusted the care of his mother to John. John saw the risen Christ. He was there when Jesus gave the Great Commission. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven. He was there when the Spirit fell at Pentecost. John went on to outlive all the other disciples. He wrote this Gospel we are about to study, three epistles and the book of Revelation. He wrote the words, "God is love." He is the one who wrote, "Love one another." The Son of Thunder has become more like the Son of God. So you see, the person doing the introduction is no John-come-lately! He was there all the time.

ii. The People to whom the Introduction is made

Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote what are called Synoptic Gospels, which means that they follow a similar pattern and design. But John wrote a different kind of gospel. Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote to a somewhat specialized audience.

The Synoptic Gospels have been described as follows:

Matthew wrote primarily to the Jews.

Mark wrote primarily to the Romans.

Luke wrote primarily to the Greeks.

But John wrote to the WHOLE WORLD! By the time John wrote his Gospel, Christianity was spreading over the entire ancient world, thus John was not writing just to tell the story of Jesus, rather he was writing to tell what the events in Jesus' life meant. The other writers told what happened, John told the meaning regarding what had happened. Clement of Alexandria said that John had written us a Spiritual Gospel while the others had written a biographical Gospel.

iii. The Person being Introduced

Not only does the person doing the introduction, and the people to whom the introduction is being made, influence the introduction, but also the person being introduced will influence the introduction most of all.

John knew Jesus by personal experience. He knew that the world needed a clear presentation of Jesus Christ. He wrote the gospel that bears his name for the express purpose that everyone might know Jesus! See John 20:30-31: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John begins with a prologue of 18 verses, five of which we shall look at today. He goes on show seven signs which points to the fact that Jesus is the Son Of God. He also reports the seven "I Ams" of Christ, each of which reveal Jesus to be the Son of God. In all of this, John simply wants everyone to believe in and receive Jesus as Savior.

It was about 90 to 100 AD when John penned these words and he was an old man by that time. His memory was as keen as that of a boy - even better. For years he had thought of all that Jesus had done and said. He had told the stories to thousands. John even remembered the little things, like how many water pots there were at Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle? He remembered what kind of bread the little lad shared when Jesus fed 5,000 people with it. He recalled how far out on the water was the boat the night that Jesus came walking on the water to his disciples – he told us they were between three and four miles. We know these thing because John gave them to us in his Gospel. John's finely tuned memory makes Jesus come alive to all who will read his Gospel or listen to it expounded.

Now let us look at John introduction of Jesus by seeing 5 important facts about Christ in the first 5 verses.

I. The Preexistence of Jesus

"In the beginning was the Word..."

I recently heard a TV preacher say that one of the signs that God loves us is that he made Jesus. Ladies and Gentlemen, God did not make Jesus. Jesus is not a created being. He always was. There never was a time when he was not. The "was" in verse 1 means "continuing." Jesus was continuing as He had always continued because He is eternal. Look John 8:58. "Before Abraham was, I am." They tried to stone him for saying that, for they knew what it meant.

You might ask what difference it makes that Jesus was preexistence. His preexistence tells us that God has always been like Jesus. God was not mean and then Jesus came along and changed him into a loving God. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. God has always been like Jesus, for God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are ONE!

II. The Position of Jesus

“with God"

The word "was" means he was continually face to face with God. Jesus came from Glory, for He lived in heaven before he came to earth. What difference does that make to us? What is God really like? Who better to show us and tell us than one who has been face to face with Him before the creation of the world? Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

Even on earth, Jesus did what the Father told Him to do and said what He was to say. In other words, coming to earth in human form meant that Jesus was subjecting Himself to the divine purpose of our salvation. You can see this clearly in Philippians 2:5 and following. Never, however, was Jesus separated from the Father, except when He took our place, bore our sins, and quoted from the cross the words of Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” To die for us, Jesus was separated from the Father and became sin that we might obtain His righteousness.

Now, think about a third point…

III. The Person of Jesus

"Was God"

Colossians 2:9 tells us that all the fullness of the Deity lives in the bodily form of Jesus. Jesus was GOD, Jesus is GOD and Jesus will always be God! Man wants to know what God is like. Look at Jesus. Man’s ideas of God are flawed, but Christs' presentation of God is faithful.

Now, be assured of this fact – there are not two Gods. God is One! God is presented to us in three person – The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, yet there is only one God. This is a conundrum to the mind of man, but the Bible presents this as true. Many human explanations have been attempted to explain how this can be, but all of them fall short. The fact is, there is one God , only ONE GOD!

Think for a moment about you speaking withone in England by way of Skype. You are in one place, but you are being seen thousands of miles away. At the same time, you may be speaking to yourself during the conversation with someone else. So, you are physically in one place, but you are consciously thinking to yourself (which is speaking to yourself in an unseen place), while having a conversation with a person in yet another place thousands of miles away. Which one are you, really? Are you the one the person sees in England on a screen, the one in the chair in America or are you the one speaking to yourself during the conversation with another person? You are one person! Yet, you can be in three worlds at one time. Is that a good example? No! But, it can help us in a small way understand that a God who can allow us to do something like I’ve described can surely do things much greater than that. He is One God – in three persons. Just believe it!

IV. The Possession of Jesus

“all things were made by Him..."

Look at Colossians 1:16. Hebrews 1:10.  Hebrews 1:2. Psalm 24:1.  Revelation 4:11. This is HIS world! Jesus owns everything and He can do with it what He determines is best. It is a good idea to find out what He desires you to do with your life, since your life is a gift from Him and He can do with it whatever pleases Him. You may or many not like that, but your opinion does not change the facts.

Now, let’s hasten to the last thought…

V. The Purpose of Jesus

“light and life”

The world lay in darkness – lost – before Jesus came. Jesus appeared on the scene to be the Light and to bring Life to all who would repent of sin and believe upon Him.

There is the story of a man who was lost in a cave and felt doomed to die of starvation. He could not see an inch in front of his face. He felt his way along the wall of the cave but was fearful that he might fall into some unseen abyss. Just then, he heard some men speaking to him from above his position. They bore a hole down several feet and dropped a light down to him. In a few minutes he found his way to the steps that led him to safety. He was saved by the message he heard and the light he received. That is exactly what Jesus came to do for us. He is God’s WORD and He is the LIGHT.

One thing is certain and John tells us this truth. The darkness cannot overcome the light. Where light appears, darkness flees. Jesus is the light, and where the Light appears now darkness can remain. The darkness cannot understand Him! The darkness is doomed to defeat when the light comes. He came to give Life and to be the Savior of all who will accept Him through repentance of sin and faith in Him as Lord.

Conclusion

Jesus is called the Word. Why? Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Out of God's heart, His inner being, came the Word. The word reveals. Jesus said that He and the Father are One. He came for the purpose of revealing God, God's love, God's way for lost humanity to obtain life, abundant life and eternal life.

There was a little boy who overheard his mother say that his birth certificate had been lost. He went to his mother and asked if it was true. She replied that, yes, she had lost his birth certificate. The boy, in childlike simplicity said, “Oh no, I’ve lost my reason for being born!"

My friend, without Christ, you have lost your reason for being born, but you don't have to stay that way. That's way John introduced Jesus. Come to Him today.