2018-06-10: John - The Beginning
Take-away: Jesus empowers us to become who we’ve been created to be. In relationship to God our Father.
I. Me and We
It was my second church after graduating from seminary. The church was about three times larger than my previous church and I felt pretty itemindated by it all. I wasn’t like confident guy. Not at all. Instead, I wondered how long it would take before the church realized I had no idea what I was doing.
I still wonder that.
Anyway, I wanted to make a good impression. Of course, we make good impressions by good beginnings. I’m not sure that happend.
First, we had misjudged the move. We had packed all of our clothes and the truck had picked up our stuff. What I didn’t count on was that I wouldn’t be able to get my clothes until after Monday, which did me absolutely no good on Sunday. I woke up realizing that I wouldkn’t have anything “Sunday like” to wear.
I could have went out and purchased new clothes, but with a young family it wasn’t in our budget.
So, I showed up Sunday mornign with what I had. I can’t remember what I wore, but I know I was one of the worse dressed folks in the place. I’m sure the church was wondering what the bishop had gotten them into by sending them this guy who didn’t even know how to dress!
I wanted a good beginning becuase good beginnings are great.
A. Great Beginnings
It was the best of times it was the worse of times
My name is??? (Moby Dick)
John starts his Gospel with a great beginning: In the beginning…the word.
A. The story Builds
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Those reading his Gospel, and perhaps us as well, may assume that John is going to write, “In the beginning was God.” John changes it. John is telling us something about who Jesus is and why this story matters more than any other story.
Jesus, we learn, was with God from the beginning of everything.
* In the beginning God…er…the Word
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
In fact, he had a hand in creating all things. Not one thing, John says, came into being without God.
The big thing thou, is that life came into being through Jesus. Jesus is the source of life. Life abudant.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
(He is) the source of all
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
What’s a story without coflict? Even though Jesus is the source of all that is, even though he is the source of life, that which he created, rejected him. They didn’t accept him, or even know him. Instead, they turned away from him.
(He was) rejected
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
There were some however, who didn’t turn away. Instead, they turned to him. Those who did so were transformed. They became God’s own children, not the flesh and blood kind of children, but children born of God’s spirit.
They were the ones who were transformed!
(He gave) Power to Become (children)
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
We learn that Jesus, who was God, wasn’t content remaining aloof and far away. He knew that we couldn’t scale the mountain that sin created between us. So, he came down to us. He moved into our world so that we might see his glory. The glory of love.
(He is) With Us
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
While Moses brought the law, which was seen as good because it showed how we could live with God, through Jesus, we discover grace and truth. Truth about reality, and grace because of our sin.
(He is) Better than the Law
No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
Jesus is much better than the law because Jesus has made God known. He has revealed to us who the father is, that he is love and offers us life!
III. You and Us
A. What will WE do with this story?
So, John’s beginning seems more like an outline. He will unpack this outline as his story unfolds. The question we are asked is: What will we do with Jesus’ story? Just like those who came before, will we recognize him? Will we embrace him? Will we accept him?
Will we embrace the power to become God’s children and be transformed?
John’s story isn’t about what we believe or know. John’s story gives us a person in Jesus whom we must follow.
Allow it to transform us (becoming)
We Belong, We Believe, We Become (which order?)
B. Not about what we believe or know…but who
c. Relationship - Not using Jesus for our own purposes, but allowing him to be the Word, God with us.