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Jesus in John - The Word, Life, and Light

John 1:1-18  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:19
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Jesus is the Creator, but is He a created being? How is Jesus the Light to mankind? Who was the witness to the Light?

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Beginning and Creation

John 1:1–2 KJV 1900
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:1-2
The being we are dealing with is called the Word. At the risk of being a spoiler, we know that John is referring to Jesus as The Word. He is the only inspired writer to do so, but does so in a number of His writings.
1 John 1:1
Revelation 19:13
1 John 1:1 KJV 1900
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
Revelation 19:13 KJV 1900
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
The Word was in the beginning. This is a similar phrase to what we read at the beginning of Genesis.
Genesis 1:1
Genesis 1:1 KJV 1900
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Notice that this is the first verse of the Bible and that God is assumed, not explained.
God’s word tells us that we should already be familiar with the idea that there is a Creator by looking at the Creation. This is the Natural Revelation of God.
Romans 1:20
Romans 1:20 KJV 1900
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
When we see the Natural Revelation of God and realize it must have taken a Creator, we wonder who created everything. The Bible is Special Revelation from God to tell us the answer to that question. The Bible says “God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible goes on to answer other questions, such as “What is God like?”
John 1:1 KJV 1900
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Verse 1 ends by clarifying that the one called the “Word” was God.
Further, in verse 1, the Greek expresses the verb translated “was” in the Imperfect tense, which has a continuous state of action, similar to the present tense. Therefore, we get a sense of a continuous existence, not a punctiliar or point of existence. Jesus was not created at a point in the beginning, He was already existing in the beginning. We may paraphrase, “In the beginning the word was existing, and the word was existing with God, and the word was existing as God.”
John 1:2 KJV 1900
The same was in the beginning with God.
The same is true for verse 2. We may paraphrase, “This one was existing in the beginning with God.”
The idea of Zionism, or Jesus being created, is false. In the beginning the Word continually was, the Word was continually with God, and the Word continually was God.
Further, the Creation is described as being due to Him.
John 1:3
John 1:3 KJV 1900
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus was the first created being and then He created everything. However, their own version of the Bible, the New Living Translation, contradicts this very idea by having John 1:3 express the same thought.
“God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” - New Living Translation
Notice the flaw in logic if we were to ask a Jehovah’s Witness:
Is Jesus a created being? They would answer “Yes!”
According to verse 3, what was created except through Jesus? They would have to answer “Nothing!”
Therefore, Jesus would have to have created Himself because He is a created being and “nothing was created except through him.”
Verse 3 states the idea of Jesus as Creator of all things twice. First, it states it positively that all things were made by him. Then it states it negatively, that without Jesus not one thing came into being. No matter which side of the coin you look at, Jesus was the Creator of created things. If Jesus was a created thing, then He would have to both exist and not exist simultaneously in order to create Himself.
Other verses echo this statement.
Ephesians 3:9
Colossians 1:16
Ephesians 3:9 KJV 1900
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Colossians 1:16 KJV 1900
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:

Life and Light

John 1:4–5 KJV 1900
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:4-5
The Law of Biogenesis states that in order to get life you need life. Man did not arise from non-living matter.
Genesis 2:7
Job 33:4
Genesis 2:7 KJV 1900
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Job 33:4 KJV 1900
The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
Jesus, as Creator, is the giver of life to mankind.
He is also an eternal being.
Therefore, it makes sense to say that He is the giver of eternal life as well.
Hebrews 5:9
Hebrews 5:9 KJV 1900
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Since man disobeyed God’s commandments he was under the punishment of death, which means a separation from God.
Romans 6:23
Isaiah 59:1-2
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Isaiah 59:1–2 KJV 1900
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Man was lost in darkness. However, Jesus came to man to offer humankind the light, the way out of darkness. Jesus came to offer an escape to eternal life.
Hebrews 5:9
Hebrews 5:9 KJV 1900
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
The eternal life Jesus offers is the light to mankind.
John 1:4
John 1:4 KJV 1900
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Jesus shines his light of hope into the darkness where mankind is.
John 1:5
John 1:5 KJV 1900
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The King James Version states that the darkness did not comprehend the light. Other versions state that the darkness did not “overcome” the light. The Greek word here can mean to “grasp.” While it may be true that some in darkness did not comprehend the light, a more accurate rendering might be that the darkness could not or did not grasp the light. We use the word “grasp” with a double meaning, 1) to physically grab something, or 2) to comprehend something. John really may be saying that the darkness did not take hold of the light or understand it.

The Witness to the Light

John 1:6–8 KJV 1900
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John 1:6-8
John the Baptist was not an ordinary person who happened to be an eyewitness to the Christ. He was “sent from God.”
Luke 1:13-17
Luke 1:13–17 KJV 1900
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John the Baptist would be the Elias that was prophesied to come.
Malachi 4:5-6
Malachi 4:5–6 KJV 1900
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, And the heart of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
God would send a prophet like Elijah and that person was fulfilled in John the Baptist. Jesus confirmed it Himself.
Matthew 11:13-14
Matthew 11:13–14 KJV 1900
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
The synoptic authors may deal in more detail of John the Baptist’s teaching and activity. John the author may focus more on the angle of John the Baptist as a witness to Christ. Notice again the reference to John the Baptist, but in the context of to whom he was pointing.
John was sent by God to be a witness to Jesus that He was the Christ.
John 1:6-8
John 1:6–8 KJV 1900
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
It’s interesting to note that the word translated “witness” in the English is the Greek word “martureo” which is where we get the English word “martyr.” We usually think of a martyr as someone who is killed for what they believe. John the Baptist would fulfill that definition by believing in Jesus, speaking the righteousness of Jesus, and dying because of it.
Mark 6:17-27
Mark 6:17–27 KJV 1900
For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
The word translated “observe” in the KJV really should be “protect.” The ASV translates it as “kept him safe.” Herod may have put John in prison to protect him from Herodias, but after promising anything to Herodias’ daughter, Herodias instructed her daughter to ask Herod for John’s head. Reluctantly, Herod fulfilled her request by killing John.
John 1:6-8
John 1:19-20
John 1:29
John 1:8
John 1:6–8 KJV 1900
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John 1:19–20 KJV 1900
And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
John 1:29 KJV 1900
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:8 KJV 1900
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Jesus is the true Light.
John 1:9
John 1:9 KJV 1900
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Jesus “enlightens” or gives light to every man. This verse is not saying every man that comes into the world. The Greek verb “coming” is an adverbial participle. Adverbs modify other words, including verbs. When they modify verbs, they answer the question of “How.” The verb says something is being done, the adverb answers how it is being done. The adverb translated “cometh” is modifying the verb of “lighteth.” Therefore, Jesus is enlightening every man. How? By coming into the world. Jesus is the light and by coming into the world, He brings light to every man.
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