Let’s turn in our Bibles now to John chapter one as we continue our journey through the Bible.
John open the Gospel with the words,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word (1:1).
Very similar to the opening of the Bible itself. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Similar to the way that John opened his first epistle when he said, “That which was from the beginning which we have seen, which we have heard, which we have handled of the word of life” (1 John 1:1). And so he is declaring now this Word, the Logos, was with God in the beginning and that He was God.
The same [he affirms in verse two] was in the beginning with God (1:2).
We understand that the Godhead is made up of three persons, yet one God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God,” the word God is in the plural form, the Elohim. And the plural pronouns are used throughout the creation days. “God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Much is spoken about the creation of the universe.
Paul tells us in Colossians chapter one that Jesus was, of course, the creator “who is the image [he said] of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Not only the Creator but the object of creation and “He is before all things, and by him all things are held together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
In the book of Revelation as John takes us into the heavenly scene and we see the throne of God surrounded by the cherubim. We hear the cherubim in their worship of God declaring the eternal nature of God, “Holy, holy, holy, which was, which is, and which is to come.” And then the elders responding to that worship saying, “Thou art worthy, to receive the glory and the honour: for Thou hast created all things, and for Your good pleasure they are and were created” (Revelations 4:8,11).
So though there are many gods that are worshipped by different people, there is only one true and living God who is the Creator of all things. That is the God that we worship. There are many people who, the Bible speaks about, worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. And that is irrational.
The place we’re taking over in Murrieta Hot Springs is going to take a lot of clean up and one of the things that is going to have to be cleaned up is that the lesbians have been going down there to touch the water that comes from they say 50,000 feet deep in the earth. The well goes down or the spring goes down 50,000 feet. And so they go and put their feet in the water to get close to Mother Earth. The worship of the earth and of course, this is something that is quite common in the New Age. The worship of the earth itself and so we’ll get that cleaned up, too. But they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator who is blessed forevermore. And that’s endemic to the world itself.
Again the affirmation in verse three,
All things were made by him (1:3);
In the beginning God created. The Logos, all things were made by Him. And as we read out of Colossians one, “He has created all things by Him and for Him were all things made that are made.”
and without him was not any thing made that was made (1:3).
Paul pretty much covered the bases, too, as far as declaring things visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions: He created all things” (Colossians 1:16). All things were made by him, and for him. So this whole universe, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The whole universe, as the disciples prayed in Acts chapter four, after the threats by the Sanhedrin, they said, “O Lord, thou art God. Thou hast created the heavens, and the earth, and everything that is in them” (Acts 4:24). All of the life forms. That is the God that we worship. That is the God that we serve. The God who has created all things.
And here we are told that it is none other than Jesus Christ who was the Creator. “All things made by Him. Without Him was not any thing made that was made.”
In him was life (1:4);
John tells us in his first epistle, “This is the record that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in the Son and He who has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12). Here in John’s gospel, Jesus is recorded as saying, “I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly” (John 10:10). The Lord is come to bring us abundant life, eternal life. This life is in Him. “And He who has the son has life.”
and this life [John tells us] is the light of men (1:4).
Light in contrast to the darkness, the darkness of the world. So John goes on to say,
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (1:5).
As you get many different translations of the Bible, it becomes obvious that this Greek phrase here is difficult to translate into English. There are some Greek words for which we do not have a true English equivalent. And this is one of those. One of the translations will read, “And the darkness apprehended it not.” But both of those “comprehended” or “apprehended” gives the idea of not understanding and of course, that is so, too.
But another translation is, “And the darkness could not extinguish it” or “the darkness could not put it out.” The light was shining in the darkness, the darkness could not put it out or extinguish it. True that darkness did try to extinguish the light. They tried to put it out. And that is always the case of man, and Jesus tells us why.
“This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil, and they will not come to the light lest their evil deeds be exposed” (John 3:19,20). We find that the Lord is speaking here of this light that came but men won’t come to it. And because they hate the light, they seek to extinguish the light because it exposes the evil that is going on in the world today. Is exposed by the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The life was the light of men. It shined in the darkness but the darkness could not extinguish it or put it out though it tried, it cannot.
Jesus said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).
There was a man who was sent (1:6)
Now we get a little parenthesis here. “There was a man who was sent,”
from God, and his name was John. The same came as a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe (1:6,7).
The whole purpose of John’s gospel is to bring people to a faith in Jesus Christ. He admits that. In the twentieth chapter, John says, “Many other things did Jesus which are not written: But these things are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God; and by believing have life in His name” (John 20:30,31). So John tells you that He’s deliberately recorded events, certain things of the life of Jesus which prove that Jesus was the Son of God, that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that you might have life through your faith in Jesus Christ.
He came as a witness that all men through Him might believe. John tells us concerning John the Baptist that,
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light. That is the true Light [that is Jesus], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (1:8-11).
And so the declaration concerning Jesus. In the world. Again the affirmation, the world was made by Him. But the tragedy is that the world didn’t know Him.
That remains a tragedy today. So much of the world doesn’t know their Creator. So much of the world is still in darkness. Not having the light of life. Jesus said to His disciples, and here it comes, “You are the light of the world.” And you are to shine forth in the darkness of this world. The church is to be the light of the world. And Jesus said concerning the church, “the gates of hell cannot prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). They can’t extinguish the light.
It’s interesting to me that in China, there’s been a real endeavor to extinguish the light. When the communists took over in China, they put to death thousands of Christians and they made the worship of Jesus Christ a crime that was deserving of prison. Thousands upon thousands of Chinese were imprisoned because of their belief and faith in Jesus Christ. And after the years of persecution, and the endeavor of the government to extinguish the light; as the Bamboo Curtain began to open, it was discovered that the church had grown almost exponentially in China and there were millions of believers in China in the house church.
When we were over in China a few years ago, I was talking with one of the government leaders, Mr. Han. We were at a dinner together and after dinner, he invited us to come down for a cup of coffee. He wanted to talk to us. So he was sharing with us how that there is a province there in China that they estimate ninety percent of the people in the province are believers.
He said the interesting thing about these Christians is that when each province has to bring to the government its quota of rice, during the harvesting of the rice, there will be trucks lined up for ten, fifteen miles to deliver the rice, their quota, to the government. And he said they go through and inspect all of the loads of rice and it just takes hours for them to get there.
He said, but when the Christians come from this province, they drive right up to the front and dump their rice. And all of the people waiting in line are complaining because how come you let them come right up and dump it. And he said, they have discovered that from the Christians, the rice is always top quality. There are no rocks or gravel in it. And the others all put gravel and all to bring the weight up. And so they go through and carefully inspect the rice that is dumped from all of these other provinces.
But, he said, the Christian province, we can trust them because they’re Christians and though the government doesn’t really understand Christianity and has sought to squelch the light, yet they do see the effect of the light in the witness of the good rice that the Christian province always brings in bringing their quota to the government. Good witness. We need to be those kind of witnesses for the Lord.
So John came for a witness. He wasn’t the light but He came to bear witness of that light, the true light that lights every man who comes into the world. In the world, world was made by Him but the world knew Him not. He came to His own and this is the real tragedy, He came as the Messiah to Israel. The promised Messiah. God had promised that “unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. And of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, to order it, and establish it in justice and in righteousness from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:6,7). The promise of the Messiah to come and reign. He came to His own but tragically, His own received Him not.
The prophecy of Isaiah 53, “He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Despised and rejected. As Daniel prophesied, “But the Messiah will be cut off” (Daniel 9:26). And thus, He was cut off. He came to His own, His own received Him not.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (1:12):
Tonight, God has given to us who believe in Jesus Christ and who have received Him, He’s given us the power to become the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love God has bestowed unto us,” John said, “that we should be called the sons of God. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, it doesn’t yet appear what we’re going to be: we know when he appears, we’re going to be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:1,2).
And of course, the scriptures said that God has given to us “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The Bible said “if we are sons, then we are heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.” Paul tells us that “the whole world is groaning and travailing together. Waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, to wit, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:15,17,22,23). But now I am a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ. I’ve been given that power, that authority to be a son of God.
And then he says,
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (1:13).
The sovereignty of God in salvation. Born again, not by the will of man, the will of the flesh but by God.
And the Word was made flesh (1:14),
The incarnation. God said, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). The Word became flesh,
and He dwelt among us (1:14),
Or made His tent among us, more literally. Or tabernacled among us. The mystery of the incarnation. Paul speaks about it to Timothy. “Great is the mystery of godliness: For God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. The Bible is very clear and very distinct in this declaration, affirming over and over that God was manifested in the flesh in the person, of course, of Jesus.
That marvellous book of Hebrews opens us with a lesson concerning Jesus. “God, who at sundry times, divers manners spoke unto us to the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his own dear Son, whom he has made or appointed the heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [Again, the declaration that Jesus was the active One in the creation of the universe]; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power—[All things are held together by Him (Colossians 1:17)]—when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be unto him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he brings in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him” (Hebrews 1:1-6).
The book of Hebrews declaring much the same concerning Jesus Christ, the Creator, but He is the outshining of the glory of God. He is the expressed image of God. And that is why Jesus in the fourteenth chapter of John could say to Philip, “Have I been so long a time with you and haven’t you seen me, Philip? Don’t you realize that if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father” (John 14:9)?
So He was the expressed image, God manifested in the flesh. “The Word was made flesh and pitched His tent among us.” “That which was from the beginning which we have seen, which we have heard, which we have handled of the word of life” (1 John 1:1). For that Word was manifested, and of course,
(we beheld his glory (1:14),
Here John tells us that “we beheld His glory,”
the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (1:14).
The only begotten of the Father. “For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). There are those who sort of say, We’re all sons of God. Trying to put yourself on a par with Jesus, not so. We are sons by adoption. He is the “only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Mormons would make Jesus a brother to Lucifer. But that would then imply that Lucifer was begotten by God. But the declaration is that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father. And full of grace and full of truth.
John bare witness of him (1:15),
This is a treatise designed to prove to you that Jesus is the Son of God. So in offering the proof that Jesus is the Son of God, John is going to bring before us various witnesses to witness of this fact. Just like an attorney presenting a case in court, calling in the various witnesses. And the first witness that he gives is John the Baptist. He will later bring in God as a witness. He’ll bring in the Holy Spirit as a witness to bare witness of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. So he’s presenting the case bringing the witnesses to verify the truth that he is affirming in this Gospel.
Incidentally, inasmuch as the Gospel was written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing have life in His name. This is an excellent book to encourage an unbelieving friend to read. Because the design of the book is to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, that He is the Son of God.
There is a very interesting scripture in Isaiah that says that, “As the rain comes down from heaven and waters the earth, and returns not thither, but gives seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So is my word that goeth forth out of my mouth [saith the Lord]: it shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish the purpose for which I have sent it” (Isaiah 55:10,11). The purpose for which God has sent this gospel of John is to confirm and affirm to you that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. And God’s word won’t return void. And thus as a person reads, faith is planted in their heart to believe Jesus as the Son of God. John bare witness of Him.
He cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, the One who is coming after me who is preferred before me: for he was before me (1:15).
John the Baptist was a cousin to Jesus and John was born before Jesus, half a year or so older than Jesus. But John affirms, “He is preferred before me: for He was before me,” indicating the pre-existence of Jesus in glory.
And of his fulness have all we received, grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (1:16,17).
“We beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We beheld that. John said I was a witness. But now John the Baptist is bearing witness of this. That the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son (1:18),
And again, the emphasis “the only begotten Son,”
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (1:18).
Or manifested Him or led Him forth in full revelation. He has revealed Him. The Bible says that no man can look on God and live. When Moses asked, “I’d like to see You. God said, You can’t see Me, and live, Moses. You stay in the cleft of the rock, I’ll pass by and you can see the afterglow” (Exodus 33:18,20,22). And that was so powerful it irradiated his face. When he came down, had to cover it with a veil. But you can’t see God and live.
But the only begotten Son, bosom of the Father, He hath manifested, revealed Him unto us, declared Him.
And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent the priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you (1:19)?
John was down there at the river Jordan baptizing and thousands of people were coming down. He was a popular prophet. The people were drawn to him. And so the priests sent their emissaries down to ask him the question, Just who are you anyhow? And they asked him, By what authority do you baptize these people? So they came down,
And John confessed, he denied not; he confessed, I am not the Messiah. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Then are you that prophet (1:20,21)?
The one that Moses prophesied, “There shall arise a Prophet, like unto myself; unto Him shall you give heed” (Deuteronomy 18:15). Are you that prophet?
And he answered, No. Then, Who are you (1:21,22)?
There’s an interesting thing here when they asked Him, Are you Elijah? He answered, No. Yet before his birth, his father Zacharias, you remember the story in Luke chapter one, was a priest. And he had come in to serve his two-week term and his lot fell to offer the incense before the Lord. When he went in to offer the incense, the angel Gabriel was standing there beside the altar and he was frightened. The angel Gabriel said, Fear not, Zacharias. Your prayer has been heard. What prayer?
It turns out he was an old man and his wife was very old and they had never had a child. And they had been praying that God would give them a child, a son. Now how many years had they been praying that? When the angel said, Your wife, Elisabeth, is going to conceive and bear a son. He says, How can that be? She’s old and stricken with years. The word “stricken” means bent over, osteoporosis. And so the angel declared, You want a sign? You won’t be able to speak until the day that the child is born. But when the angel announced that he was going to have a son, he was to call his name John, the angel told him that he would go forth in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers.
The last chapter of the Old Testament, Malachi, the last chapter, God promised, prophesied that He was going to send Elijah again, to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers. That Elijah would be the forerunner of the Messiah and the Kingdom Age. So the Jews have been looking for Elijah.
At their passover feast, they always leave the door open. They always set an extra plate at the table just in case Elijah shows up this year. And we want to have a place set for him. The forerunner of the Messiah. It’s a promise in Malachi, in fact, the very last part of the last chapter of Malachi is this promise of Elijah. Jesus, after the death of Elijah—the order of Herod at the request of Herodias’ daughter who danced before him, when he beheaded John the Baptist—Jesus, when He heard of John’s death said, “What went you out in the wilderness to see? What did you go out there for? Did you want to just see the reeds by the river blowing in the wind? Did you just want to see a prophet? Jesus said, Yea, more than a prophet. For this was he of whom the scriptures spake. And Jesus declared that he was Elijah. If you’re able to receive it, this is Elijah of whom the scriptures spake (Matthew 11:7-10,14).
Now if Jesus said he was Elijah, why is it that John said he wasn’t Elijah. Because the prophecy of Elijah’s coming in Malachi is the coming of Elijah before the Lord comes in glory to establish His kingdom. So when they said to Jesus one day, How is it then that the scriptures say Elijah must first come? And Jesus said, Elijah shall first come. But if you can receive it, John was Elijah.
John went forth in the spirit and the power of Elijah but he wasn’t the fulfillment of the prophecy of Elijah’s coming to prepare the way of the Messiah and the establishing of the kingdom. So that John said, No. In other words, I’m not here as the fulfillment of the prophecy that’s going to set up the kingdom of God but yet he was there in the spirit and the power of Elijah as a forerunner. But Elijah shall come.
In Revelation chapter eleven, of course, we read of the two witnesses and certainly one of those two witnesses will be Elijah. The other one we don’t know for certain. So are you then Elijah? No, I’m not. Are you the prophet? No. Then who are you?
that we might give an answer to them that sent us (1:22).
We’ve been sent down here to find out who you are. Now we got to go back and report, so who are you? Who shall we tell them you are?
What do you say of yourself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias (1:22,23).
I’m the voice of one in the wilderness. I’ve come to tell you to make straight the way of the Lord. It is interesting that in those days whenever a king was going to travel throughout the province or the kingdom, there would be forerunners who would go before the king to get together crews of people to repair all the highways. Removing the rocks, filling in the low places, and just smoothing the way so that when the king came, he would have a smooth ride. Prepare the way for the king is coming was the idea. Prepare the roads, get things ready, get things spruced up. The king is coming. And so he said, that’s what I am. I’m just one that’s gone before to tell everybody, Prepare things, the king is coming.
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why do you baptize then, if you’re not that Messiah, or Elijah, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there is one standing among you, whom you do not know; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose sandals I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and he said, Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the earth (1:24-29).
And so, John’s proclamation concerning Jesus. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the earth. The people were very familiar with lambs being used as a sacrifice in the sin offerings. They were very familiar with the experience of their fathers in Egypt where the lamb was sacrificed and the blood put on the side doorposts and upon the lintel of the house so that the first born would not be slain. They were very familiar with the sacrificial lambs in order to put away sin. And so the declaration as John saw Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.”
Peter later writing said, “For we are redeemed from our life of emptiness, not with the blood of bulls or goats, not with silver; But with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, who was slain as a lamb without spot and without blemish” (1 Peter 1:18,19). Jesus became God’s sacrificial Lamb to put away our sins.
In Genesis, we read concerning Abraham who was commanded of the Lord to offer to Him his son, his only son Isaac whom he loved. To offer him as a sacrifice on the mount that God would show him. And Abraham gathered his servants and with Isaac they journeyed for three days from Hebron until they came to mount Moriah there at Jerusalem. And as Abraham had the servants wait at the base of the mountain, he and his son started up the mountainside and Abraham’s son said, Dad, you forgot something. We’ve got the wood, we’ve got the fire but you forgot the sacrifice. Abraham said, Son, Jehovah-Jireh, God will provide Himself a sacrifice. As he built the altar, put Isaac on it, as he raised the knife, God said, Okay, hold it, that’s far enough. Behold, a ram’s caught in the thicket, take and offer it. Now I see that you would not withhold anything from Me. And so Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh: and he said, The Lord will provide, In the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen (Genesis 22:3-14).
So they were familiar with sacrifices. And so John declaring, Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. There on mount Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac, there God offered His only begotten Son whom He loved to be the sacrifice for our sins.
This is he of whom I said, After me there’s coming a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which will baptize with the Holy Spirit (1:30-33).
John said I saw the Spirit of God just coming like a dove and descending and lightening upon Him. And the One that sent me to baptize, I didn’t know who the Messiah was but He told me that whoever I saw the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, that was the One. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God (1:34).
So here’s our witness. These things we write unto you that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and by believing. So here’s the witness, John says, I saw and I bare witness. This is the Son of God. So now we have our first witness of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
Again the next day after when John was standing with two of his disciples; And they were looking upon Jesus as he walked, John said to his disciples, Behold the Lamb of God (1:35,36)!
Here is a real man of God. Of course we know that John said, He must increase and I must decrease. To his own disciples, those who were following John, when Jesus walked by he turned them away from him and said, There He is, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He wasn’t trying to hold man unto himself. His purpose wasn’t to build a group around himself. And we find that so often this happens in ministries, in churches where a person is trying to draw a group around himself. Not so with John. He was seeking to point men to Jesus. To turn them from him to Jesus. To two of his disciples, he said, Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and He said unto them, What are you seeking? They said unto him, Rabbi, [Notice John now interprets this Hebrew word Rabbi, he said] (which is to say, being interpreted, Master or Teacher,) where do you live (1:37,38)?
Where are you dwelling?
And Jesus said, Come and see (1:39).
The beginning of Jesus’ drawing disciples unto Himself. Beginning with these two disciples of John the Baptist who John pointed to Jesus and said, That’s the One. Behold the Lamb of God.
They came and saw where he was dwelling, and they abode with him that day: for it was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother (1:39,40).
The interesting thing about Andrew, we read about him a few times, he’s always named with those who were called apostles but whenever we find Andrew, we find him bringing people to Jesus. That seemed to be his ministry. When the multitude was out on the hillside, they didn’t have any food except they said there’s a little boy here with five loaves and two fish, and Jesus said, Bring him to Me. Andrew brought the little boy to Jesus. It was Andrew.
When the Greeks came just before the crucifixion and said, We would see Jesus. Philip went to Andrew and said, They want to see Jesus. And Andrew came to Jesus concerning it (John 12:20-22). So he was always bringing people to Jesus, a good ministry to have.
He first finds his own brother Simon, and he said unto him, We have found the Messiah, [and again he interprets] which is, being interpreted, the Christ (1:41).
I think that sometimes the word Christ has become to us almost a name rather than a designation of His mission as the Anointed One, the Messiah. Quite often you’ve no doubt noticed that when we come to the word Christ, I use the term Messiah because that, it just has a different connotation in our mind. Somehow we don’t always associate. Like the Lord Jesus Christ, we think of that as first, middle and last name because we have first, middle and last names. And so we’re prone to think of that as first, middle and last name.
Lord is not His name. That’s His title that signifies our relationship to Him. Jesus is His name. Thou shall call His name Jesus. A beautiful name because it means Jehovah is salvation. Yeshua. Christ is declaring His mission. That’s who He is. He is the promised Messiah. That’s not His name. That’s who He is, the Messiah.
John, however, interprets it to the Greeks because the Greek word Messiah means the same as the Hebrew, the Anointed One, the Anointing. Whenever a king was inaugurated, they would pour a vessel of oil over his head. And that was the anointing for the king. So Jesus being God’s anointed is, He is God’s King. The One that God has appointed King.
You remember when Samuel was told by the Lord to go down to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse and anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the king over Israel because God had rejected Saul because Saul was disobedient and would not submit to God, God rejected Saul from reigning. So he came down to the house of Jesse and Jesse paraded his sons through and he saw the first son, Eliab and he was good looking and well built and all and he thought, Oh yes, this is surely the one. And God said, No, no, you look on the outward appearance, I’m looking on the heart. And so he paraded his sons through and finally Samuel said, Is that all there is? Oh well no, we got one little kid out there in the field, he’s watching the sheep but he’s got a little guy. Bring him in. So when he saw David, he took the oil and he poured it over the head. Can you imagine what David must have thought standing there, this old man is there pouring oil over his head? But that is the anointing, the anointed one, anointed to be king.
The same was true of the prophet, anointed for the office by the pouring of the oil upon him. So the Anointed One, the Messiah would indicate it is God’s anointed King and God’s anointed Priest. And Jesus, of course, is both priest and king, a priest after the order of Melchizedek, a high priest and the One who is our mediator between God and us. An anointed as the priest anointed as the king, the Messiah or the Christ, God’s anointed.
Andrew went out and got his brother, Simon, and said, We have found the Messiah, which being interpreted is the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jonah (1:42):
I believe that Jesus is here just exercising His gift of word of knowledge, He says, You’re Simon, the son of Jonah.
You shall be called Cephas or stone, [and again notice he interprets that for us] which is by interpretation, A stone (1:42).
Or Petros by interpretation into the Greek. Our Greek is interpreted here into English, the stone. But you shall be called Cephas.
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip (1:43),
Notice, Andrew found Peter and brought him to Jesus. Jesus didn’t go out to find Andrew and the other disciple of John but they came after Jesus. But Jesus found Philip.
and He said unto him, Follow me (1:43).
There were those who came to Jesus and there were those that Jesus sought and found.
Now Philip was of Bethsaida (1:44),
Bethsaida was on the northern shores of the sea of Galilee. It is near the area where Jesus fed the five thousand men plus the women and children.
It is the hometown of Peter and Andrew (1:44).
It’s quite possible that growing up, Philip, Peter and Andrew all knew each other. Now Philip found Nathaniel. Jesus found Philip,
Philip found Nathaniel, and he said unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth (1:45),
Necessary to identify Him from Nazareth because there were many who were named Jesus. It was a popular Hebrew name, Joshua. Very popular Hebrew name. So they would say Joshua of Bethlehem or Joshua of Bethsaida or Joshua of Nazareth which would then identify Jesus.
And Nathaniel said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth (1:46)?
Evidently a town with a bad reputation and Nathaniel just questioning if anything good could come,
Philip just said to him, Come and see (1:46).
It’s interesting that when they came to Jesus and said, Where do you live? He just said, Come and see. Now when Nathaniel says, Can any good thing come out of; he says, Come and see. There’s nothing like a personal experience.
The psalmist said, O taste and see that the Lord is good. But unless you taste, you’ll never see. A lot of people have formed opinions without ever trying, without ever tasting, without ever coming. They are sort of like, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Well, come and see. Experience. And thus the invitation is always, Experience the promises of God, the Word of God. It’s something that isn’t to be studied analytically and all from a distance, it’s something to participate in. Come and see.
Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and He said of him, Behold here is an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile (1:47)!
There’s no deceitfulness. This guy’s a straight shooter. This guy’s square.
Nathaniel said unto him, How do you know me? Jesus answered and said, Before Philip called you, when you were sitting under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathaniel answered and said unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God [another witness, the witness of Nathaniel, Thou art the Son of God]; thou art the King of Israel (1:48,49).
The Anointed One, the Anointed King.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? [Stick around, man, you’ll see a lot more than that.] thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter you are going to see the heavens open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man (1:50,51).
You remember back when Jacob was fleeing from his brother, Esau, when he came to Bethel and he was tired and he laid down using a rock for a pillow. As he fell asleep, he had a dream and he saw this ladder going up into heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending on the ladder. Heaven and earth were connected. The ladder upon which heaven was touching earth. And when he awoke in the morning after this dream, he said, Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not. When I came here last night dog tired, weary, running for my life, looking at this barren, rocky area, there was nothing to suggest the presence of God. Exhausted I fell asleep. But God is in this barren, desolate place. He’s here. Notice, the Lord is in this place, not He was but He is in this place but I knew it not. I know it now. God is in this place.
It’s glorious when you discover God in the places of barrenness in your life. In those places where there is nothing outwardly to suggest the presence of God and yet to come to the realization, God is here. Heaven connected to earth.
Jesus is more or less declaring here, I’m the ladder by which heaven and earth is brought together, can be brought together. You’re going to see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. They were ascending and descending on the ladder. They’re going to be ascending and descending, I’m the ladder by which heaven touches earth.
This is exactly what Job was looking for. In his dilemma, not understanding what was going on, and his friends not understanding. One of his friends said, Hey man, just get right with God and things will be okay. And Job says, Thanks a lot, buddy. I mean, I look around I see the evidence of God all around me but I can’t see Him. And who am I that I can plead my case with God? who am I to come to God? He’s so great, He’s so vast, I’m sure He’s there but He’s so vast I can’t touch Him. O that I had a daysman who could stand between us, who can lay His hand on us both. He saw his dilemma; the greatness of God and the smallness of me, the nothingness of me. The gap here is too great to be bridged. I can’t reach Him, I can’t touch Him. I can’t plead my cause. Oh, If I only had someone who could stand between us, who could lay his hand on us both.
And the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us. Touching God because He was God. But He became flesh and He touched me. The daysman who stands between us and touches us both. Exactly what Job was crying for, what Job needed and which all of us need. Someone who stands and can stand between us. Someone who knows my weaknesses and understands my infirmities. One who can understand me and touch me and yet in the same token, full of grace and truth, and He can touch the Father because He is one with the Father. O how glorious that through Jesus Christ, I can have fellowship with the Father for He can touch us both.
And so the record of John concerning Jesus in chapter one. Now he’s going to go on and he’s going to pick out certain of the miracles of Jesus. Jesus did a lot more but he is picking now special events by which Jesus is proving that He is indeed God who has come in a body of flesh. And we’ll look at these as we move through the gospel of John.
Father, we are so grateful for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who has come to this earth that He might touch us and that we might touch Him. That by touching Him we can touch You. We thank You, Lord, that He came as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. The sacrifice for our sins. We receive Him now as our Lord, as our Messiah, the King. And we surrender our lives to Him. In Jesus’ name, Lord, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8069