Tag Archives: Jesus

John’s Jesus

Let’s read  John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

As you read this, understand that Jesus is the Word.  Let’s re-read the verse by replacing “the Word” with “Jesus”.

“In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God.” 

This leads us to two distinct conversations:  the first is the deity of Jesus and the second is his eternal existence, since he was with God in the beginning – before anything was made.

First – we are told that Jesus was God.  It is important that we understand this.  It is not that Jesus was a god – one of many gods.  To make it say this, you have to change the Greek language from which this was written.  Every Greek scholar that has translated the Bible properly has translated it to mean the same thing – that Jesus was God, not that Jesus was a god. See a comparison of Bible translations here: www.biblestudytools.com/john/1-1-compare.html.  The literal word-for-word translation would actually say “and God was the Word”.  There is only one God and there is no doubt that what was written was that Jesus was God.

Second – we are told that he was “In the beginning” – in other words, before anything was created, before anything else existed.  In the beginning, before anything, was Jesus.  The only One who existed before anything was created, before anything else existed, was God.  When we say that God is eternal, we are saying that He has always existed, that He has no beginning – that is the definition of “eternal”.  All things have a beginning, since God made all things.  Only God does not have a beginning, because only God is eternal.  As we think about these two things together, this should make sense to us.  Jesus was “In the beginning” because he was God.

Which brings us to John 1:3:

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Here we read exactly what we were just discussing – that all things were made in the universe through Jesus – nothing was made without him.  He is the Creator, along with the Father and the Spirit.  See Genesis 1:1-3 (BTW – Genesis means “the beginning”):

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

So we now see that God created all things, that Jesus was with God in the beginning and that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the face of the waters.  This is the Trinity.  There is only one God but we can see that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all eternal, pre-existing, non-created persons who created all things.

It is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who the Father is speaking to in Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

So Jesus is the God who created the universe, spoke it into being.  He created the greatest star, trillions of light years away from us and the smallest grain of sand here on this earth.

John 1:4 tells us that it is Jesus who has created life.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

He is where life came from.  He is the one who brought the living to life.  It did not happen by accident – it was the work of the Word, Jesus.

So we see that Jesus is God, that he is eternal, that he is the Creator, that he is the giver of life.  Now we head down to John 1:14.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Here we read that Jesus was not only God but that the Word became flesh.  This is what we celebrate at Christmas:  That God came down to be born as a man.  Isaiah 7:14 says:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophetically told us that this would happen when he wrote that a virgin would give birth and would call his name “Immanuel”.  Immanuel means God with us.  This verse in John reveals the fulfillment of this prophecy in the Word made flesh.  God born in human form. Philippians 2:5-11 tells us more about this:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

So we can see that Jesus is fully God but also fully man.  Why did Jesus become man? This was necessary because sin came by the first Adam, therefore it needed to be removed by a second Adam.  In other words, since it was a man who brought sin into the world, it needed to be a man who would remove it.  However, how impossible is it for a man to do this, since every one falls short of the holiness and glory of God (Romans 3:23), since nobody’s perfect, since we all have sinned?  Therefore only God Himself could do this since He is the only one who is sinless and perfect.  Do you see what a conundrum this is – that only a man could remove sin but only God is able to do this?  Yet that is exactly who Jesus is – the only one who is able to remove sin because he is fully God and fully man.

“Why would God do this?”  Only because of the Grace of God towards man.  Grace means to receive something that we don’t deserve, that we didn’t earn.  Jesus becomes a man because God has Grace towards mankind.  Recognize that man was not the only one to fall, that angels fell as well.  The greatest angel to fall was Satan.  He was one of God’s brightest creation.  However, Satan chose to try to become like God and went against God.  He sinned by doing so and brought one-third of the angels with him.  These bad angels, whom we also call demons, work against God every day.  Yet, imagine – if after centuries of going against God, sinning against the Holy One, one of these demons decided that he changed his mind.  He realized how futile it was to go against God.  He understood how evil his actions were.  He repented and asked God for forgiveness.  Would he now go into Heaven?  Absolutely not.  God has created the Lake of Fire, what we call Hell, for Satan and his demons (Matt 25:41) and there is no escape for them.

This is right and proper.  If someone were to murder your loved one, it would be a wicked judge who said, ”You are guilty of murder, but I forgive you.  You do not have to go to prison.”  If a human judge knows that it is right to punish a murderer and send him to jail, how much more must God do so, who is the most righteous judge and by nature must do what is right?  You might say, “But I’ve never murdered” but God says in Matt 5:21-22:

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

The bad angels will go to hell because it is what they deserve and it is also what we deserve because we too want to be like God, to have control, to do our own will, to think that we are right and that He is wrong.  We too sin against the Holy One every day.  Yet, if we repent and ask God for forgiveness, God will forgive us.  Why?  How?  Because Jesus did not become fully God and fully angel.  Jesus became fully God and fully man.  Why?  Here, we turn to John 3:16.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Here we learn how God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that any who believe will not perish but have eternal life.  Let’s spend some time in this verse to break down the major points: 1-God so loved the world; 2-He gave His only begotten son; 3-All who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.

We ask the question again – “Why would God forgive us and not the angels?”  Because that is how much He loves us.  He loves us more than we can think or imagine – it is beyond our understanding.  Some people, perhaps yourself, might die for someone who loves them, but who would die for someone who hates them?  More than that, who would give their only son for someone who hates them?  For that is who we were – people who hated God.  We proved it by neglecting His law, doing our own will, believing that we are right and He is wrong, turning our backs on Him and ignoring Him most of the day, even though He is watching over us every moment of every second of the day.  A child who did that to their parent would be a hateful child.  A worker who did that to their boss would be a hateful worker.  A person who did that to their God would be a hateful servant.  Yet this is the Love of God: He loves us so much that He would give His only begotten son to die so that we could be with Him forever.

Our second point is that Jesus is the son of God in a way that we are not.  Jesus is the same as the Father in the same way that a natural born child is the same as their parents – they have the same genes, the same eyes, the same laugh, etc.  They’re made of the same stuff, the same substance.  Sometimes, we like to say that we are all children of God.  Here we turn back to John 1:12.

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Not everyone is a child of God.  Only those who receive him are given the right to become children of God.  What does it mean to receive Jesus?  The rest of verse 12 explains – those who believe in His Name.  This means that we need to believe the things that we’ve spoken about up to now – Jesus is the eternal, Creator God who gave life and who also was born as a man to take away the sins of the world.  Not everyone is a child of God.  Only those who believe in Jesus.

Let’s come back to John 3:16, and look at this third point.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Those who are His children, those who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  We can have eternal life by believing in Jesus.  The other option is to perish.  To perish means to not have eternal life in Heaven but instead to live in Hell, in the place that was meant for Satan and His demons.  It is not the place that God created for men.  For men, He created Heaven and wants everyone to be there.  But He has given us a choice:  do we want to be with Him and give up our lives and our control and our will to Him and make Him God, Lord, Master?  Or do we want to continue to hold on to those things and keep trying to be god ourselves?  God gives us whichever we choose. If we choose to be with God, He will bring us into Heaven.  If we choose to be god ourselves, He keeps us away from Heaven, where He is, and allows us to go to the only other option – Hell.  We enter into heaven by receiving Jesus, believing all that we have just discussed about him.  We enter hell by rejecting all that we have discussed and continuing to try to enter heaven by our own efforts.

Think about what you’ve read.  Pray about it.  We urge you to give yourself over to Jesus, to allow Him to be your Lord.  If you do, let us know because we are praying for you.

Jesus 101- The Word

Who is Jesus?  What is Jesus?  He is the eternal Son of God, who humbled himself and became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever. He became man, by taking to himself a true body, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

That’s a lot of information is a small paragraph but it is the essentials of who and what Jesus is.  Let’s break it down into parts:

Eternal – so he always was and always will be.  In other words, he existed before he was born and exists after his death.

Son of God – also known as the Second Person of the Godhead/Trinity, the Word, the Logos [dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]It is awesome and beyond our comprehension that Jesus, the Second Person of the Godhead, left His throne in Heaven and the praises of the angels so that He could become one of His own Creation and came to us in the flesh – all so we could be with God forever[/dropshadowbox]

Humbled himself – When God becomes man, this is a humble act. Phil 2:5-11

Became Man – God became part of His creation at His human birth

Continues to be God and Man – at this moment, he is God and even though he is now in Heaven, he is man

These two natures are distinct (separate) – Jesus is not a new thing (like a demigod – mixture of god and man). He is God – He is fully God – but at the exact same time, he is fully man – made of the same stuff (or substance) as all other humans.  (As an illustration – his God stuff did not dissolve into his man stuff (or vice-versa) like sugar dissolves into water and becomes a mixture.  It is more like oil and vinegar, which no matter how hard you shake, it never mixes but is always separate.)

These two natures are in the one person – both God and man in one person at the same time but distinct from each other

Jesus is these two natures since his birth and then forever – even now as he sits at the right hand of the Father, he is both God and man

He took on a true body, just like yours and mine

Conceived by the Holy Spirit, so that God is the Father and not Joseph, who is simply the step-father. This was not some physical act but a miraculous one.  There was no sex, just a supernatural pregnancy.

Born of the virgin Mary – who was still a virgin at the birth of Jesus because the act of conception was miraculous

Was born without sin – even though as children of Adam and Eve, we are all under the curse, have all lost our original righteousness and now have a sin nature, Jesus, through the miracle of God, did not inherit this original sin or sin nature. [dropshadowbox align=”left” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Jesus is the image of the invisible God – Col 1:15 – and so when we look upon him, we see God: His Righteousness, Holiness, Goodness, Love, Sinlessness, Glory, Mercy, Grace, Truth[/dropshadowbox]

So if Jesus is eternal but was only born 2,000 years ago, then he must have existed before he was born. How did that work? What was he before he was born?

John 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus, before he was born and became man, was the Word.

In the Greek, this Word is Logos.  It was a concept that both the Greeks and Jews understood.  The Greeks saw the Logos as the reason behind the universe – in other words, the logical or rational thinking that runs everything.  Logos is where we get our English word, Logic. Since the universe seems to be governed by laws that are totally rational, logical, the Logos was that mind behind it.  The understanding of the scientists and philosophers (who were the thinkers) of those days rightly saw that these rational laws must have come from a rational Creator.  This “reason” of this Creator was called the Logos.  Hence, from the Greek viewpoint, the Logos was the reason – or the thoughts or the mind – of God.  The Jews, believing that our thoughts are who we are, recognized that the reason and thoughts of God, is God, and therefore understood that this Logos therefore was God.

In John 1:1-3, we see that there is truth in all of the above.  The Word was with God in the beginning.  God can only exist with His thoughts, His mind.  Rene Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am” and he is right.  God cannot exist without His thoughts, His mind – His Logos.  So before He even began Creation, God existed – and the Logos (the Word) was with Him.  The Word then is with God from the beginning and stays with God forever.  Up until the birth of Jesus, the Word is within God and part of God – as our mind and reason is within us and part of us as long as we live.  It is only when Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit, that the Word becomes flesh.  Once this happens, Jesus does not “change back” to being just the Word, the Logos.  He is now the Word but he is now also man.  Fully God and fully man forevermore.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]When people say, “I thought you can’t see God and live? But people saw Jesus” or “Doesn’t the Bible say that God never sleeps? But Jesus slept,” they have made the error of mixing together the Word of God with Jesus the Man. Jesus is both the Word and the Man in one person, but never mixing the two. The Word can’t be seen and never sleeps, but the Man can be seen and does sleep.[/dropshadowbox]

As amazing as all of this is, the most amazing part of all of this is that the Word humbled himself and became man so that anyone who received Him would become children of God.  (John 1:12).  The Word did not think being equal to God as something to hold on to but instead humbled himself to become born as a man.  This he did so that he could grow to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and after three days rose from the dead so that we could be made right with God and resume our original place – with Him forever.

This is truly just Jesus 101 – a summary view of Jesus.  The Bible gives us many more details and much information regarding Him.  Best of all, for those of us who receive Him, we will have all eternity to ponder the infinite Word and enjoy Him forever.