John 1:9-18

IV.   John 1:9-13    Now the writer expands further upon the “true Light”,  which is the Lord Jesus Christ.  John the Baptist was a witness, sent as a testimony of that Light, but he was not the Light.  This Light has come in order to bring Light to “Every man that comes into the world”.  Here again we see the breadth of God’s Love, and the manner in which He has chosen for the Light to be made known.

Question:  What do the following passages have to say about “being in the Light”?   John 12:35,36;  1 John 1:5-10;  Romans 13:11-14.

In verses 10,11 it is shown that, while the Light came to the dark world of mankind to bring Light, the world rejected the Light.  This is the situation of all mankind.  The world is dominated by death and darkness.  The results of this inner nature is seen by the works of the outward nature.  The world was made by Christ, but it does not want Him.  The world wants, rather, to be left in darkness.  To “know” means to be responsible to, and mankind does not want that.

“His own” probably initially refers to the nation of Israel.  However, it is also true that all mankind as His creation reject Him in the same way.  People may acknowledge Christ, as many did during his earthly life.  However, to “receive” Him is to do much more than acknowledge, it is to “take possession” in a personal and total sense.

In verses 12,13 there is a wonderful promise, contrasting the discouraging side of Christ being rejected.  It begins with “but”.  This is an important transition.  While most reject, there are those who “receive”, and do not reject.  These are the ones who acknowledge that they are in death and darkness and need someone to bring them out, and that someone is the promised Messiah.  They did not yet fully understand about His crucifixion and Resurrection, but they did understand from the Scriptures that He was their Redeemer.  When they “believed and received” Him, they were given the special privilege of becoming one of God’s children, a family member.  

This privilege did not come about by any persons own doing, but by the power of God alone.  It is a permeant birth because it is accomplished by God, not by man.

V.   John 1:14-18   Again John refers to Christ as “the Word”.  Now he relates that the Word was made flesh, that is, He came from eternal habitation and lived among the world as a human.  This is the Incarnation, which is what our Christmas is about.  Read Philippians 2:5-11 for an other explanation of the Incarnation.

      A.  He was “made” flesh:  He came into existence by the will of another, His Father.  He exists as God from eternity, but as a man there was a moment of time when he “became”.

      B.  He “dwelt” among us:  this is a word that could be literally translated, He “tabernacled” among us.  Or, to put it in more modern terms, he “pitched a tent” among us.  This speaks of his human body.  He came to live among His creation as one of them, looking like them, having the same feelings and needs as them.  This was in order that He would become our Redeemer.  

Hebrews speaks about this in great detail.  That letter gives detailed explanations about how Jesus “pitched a tent” among people and why.

He showed the glory of God as a human, by doing His Father’s will and not his own.

Question:  What does 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 teach us about how God is made known?  Whom should we be talking about, closely studying?

John speaks of this often thought this Gospel.

      C.  He, Christ, is the only Son, completely filled with grace and truth, the two always going together.  Apart from Him there is no grace or truth.  God is gracious, kind, benevolent, and generous – yet these do not negate His holiness, haters of sin, justice, or condemnation.  He offers grace and truth, and those who receive and believe become the recipients.  Those who reject also become recipients, cutoff the latter.

We do not fully grasp the concept about the power of darkness.  This is not a “Star Wars” idea where there is a “dark-side” of immense power.  The darkness in Scriptures is sin and death, with al of its temporary and eternal consequences.  The power of this darkness is not merely deeds, but eternal death. This is one reason that deeds cannot change a persons eternal destiny, for the deeds of mankind are form a nature of darkness and death.

      D.  Verses 15-18 are the words of John the Baptist, recored here by John the Apostle.  Those who received Him, as John declares, receive His illness.  Or, grace and truth become a gift for those who receive and believe.  He then uses the phrase, “and grace for grace”.   This is an unusual statement, which might be written, “grace against grace” or “grace in place of grace”.  The next two verses provide an explanation.

The Law spoken of here is the 10 Commandments, and the Levitical laws given for the daily life of the people of Israel.  It is not only the 10 Commandments.  This “Law” was given to Moses and then by him to the people.  In this Law, God was showing grace in one manner, because He was giving them the requirements for righteousness.  Of course, they could not keep His Law and were punished often.  This is the real purpose of the Law, to show that it cannot be kept so that we might perceive our need for another way.

The second “grace” mentioned is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He came to perfectly fulfill the Law of God on our behalf, thereby becoming the One through Whom any person could become righteous.  He fulfilled what we could not.  Because of this, He can impute righteousness to all who believe and receive.  See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Finally, Christ has declared God and His plan of redemption for mankind.  He does this as the One who comes from intimate relationship with the Father.  Only He has this intimacy, and He has come to declare Gcd’s love and plan.

VI.  Conclusion      

      A.  The Word of God is of utmost importance.  So much so that the written Word and the Living Word, Christ, are equated.

      B.  Christ reveals God, no other can.  As one studies Jesus Christ he/she studies God.  To know the deep things of Christ: His incarnation, nature, servant-hood, obedience, suffering……all of these doctrinal topics need to be taught and learned.  Doctrine is often ignored in favor of “practical” knowledge..  Yet, apart from these doctrines one cannot truly know Christ.

      C.  Those who have believed and received have been given a tremendous gift – not only an eternal home in Heaven one day, but freedom from death and darkness.  Life and Light have been paid for and given as a gift freely, generously.  We, then, who have received “grace for grace” ought to live for the One who made it all possible, Jesus Christ.  See 2 Corinthians 5:15.

      D.  The Gospel of John is written for a clear purpose, John 2:11; 20:31.  As this book misread and studied, keep this purpose in  ind.  It will make a great difference in the understanding.  This prologue, 1:1-18, is provided to assist in making the study and understanding possible.

Keeping the Gospel of John in proper context is a necessity.  One example will hopefully suffice to illustrate:

In John 10:10 we have the stamen, often quoted” “The thief comes not but to kill, steal, and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and life more abundantly.”  These words are used frequently to teach that Christ wants His people mohave a good, prosperous, healthy, enjoyable life.  However, the context supports another thought.  First, read earlier in this portion and ask, “Who is Jesus speaking to?”  When this is answered, you may find that the meaning of verse 10 is somewhat different.  Remember, context determines meaning and interpretation.  Here, the speakers and authors intent needs to be considered rather that popular understanding.

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