The Christ of Christmas
TEXT: John 1:1-5
TOPIC: THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS
Pastor Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama
December 25, 2005
Nobody can be so brutally honest as a child. One child wrote a letter to his aunt that went like this:
Dear Aunt Sarah:
Thank you for the Christmas present that you sent to me. The present you sent to me for Christmas was almost as good as the one I really wanted!
When God gave us his Christmas present in the form of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, without question He gave us a greater gift than we could have ever imagined or wanted. In these few verses we are going to study, John gives us the theology of Christmas.
Unlike the other gospel writers, God was not concerned so much about the where and the when of Christmas as he was the who and the why of Christmas. John assumed the reality of the manger, but he wanted us to understand the revelation of the
When you compare John to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, you will discover quickly that John was not the broadest writer, but he was definitely the deepest. You read nothing in John's gospel about the birth of Jesus. You do not read about the manger, the
angels, the shepherds, nor Bethlehem. John does not talk about the baptism of Jesus; the temptation of Jesus. You read nothing about the garden of Gethsemane. Not one of the thirty-nine parables that Jesus told are found in John's gospel.
Bible scholars tell us that in the original language John only used a total of 600 different words to write his gospel, and he wrote on a seventh grade reading level. Yet, John, without question, was the most profound theologian of all of the gospel writers.
In these five short verses of sixty-five words, John gives us enough truth and enough theology about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ to fill up five books and 65,000 words.
Unlike Matthew and Luke who look at the birth of Jesus primarily through the eyes of man, John looks at the birthday of a king through the eyes of God. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will help all of us to appreciate the greatest Christmas gift ever given: the Christ of Christmas.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
I. Who Jesus Was, John 1:1
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Now we know who John meant by the "Word" because in John 1:14 he tells us,
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
A. He Is Eternally God, John 1:1
John begins by telling us "In the beginning was the Word." Now this phrase does not refer to a start, it refers to a state. The Word did not have a temporal start; he existed in an eternal state. The first three words are very recognizable because they also begin the first book of the Bible. But there is a major difference. In Genesis you look forward from these words to the creation of man. But in John you look backward from these words to the existence of God.
The word "was" in the Greek language is in the imperfect tense which signifies an action of the past that continues into the present. You could translate it this way: "In the beginning was the Word, is the Word, and always will be the Word."
Like God the Father, God the Son never had a beginning and will never have an ending. The Lord Jesus eternally existed in a time when there was no time, and now lives in a place where there is no time. Jesus had his birth in Bethlehem, but not his beginning. In other words, there never was a time when Jesus was not God, and there never was a time when Jesus was not. Think about this, Jesus is the only person ever born who, at the moment of his birth, was older than his mother, and as old as his father.
A few years ago, a couple of months before Christmas, the wife of a mail carrier had been killed in a car accident. This mail carrier had been overcome with grief and was trying to work through his sorrow, and he had stayed late at his post office sorting through the mountain of mail that always comes through at Christmastime. His job that day was to go through the mail that had been lost and to find out where it should be re-routed.
Well he opened the letter that was addressed to "Santa Claus" and he noticed that the address at the top of the letter was his own address. Looking down at the bottom of the letter he saw that it was his only daughter's signature, and the letter read:
My Mommy died two months ago and since then my Daddy has been
crying himself to sleep every night. He says only eternity will heal him.
Would you please send a little bit of eternity to my Dad this Christmas?1
Well God not only sent us a little bit of eternity, He sent us the very heart of heaven. Not only is He eternally God, he is Equally God.
B. He Is Equally God, John 1:1
The reason why Jesus is called the Word is because He was a perfect expression of God, being God Himself. A word is the visible expression of an invisible thought. You can see what I am thinking by what I am saying. Jesus was the visible expression of the invisible God.
But this word was "with God." The word with literally means "toward" or "facing" and could be translated "face to face." The word was "face to face" with God. Now this is a reference to the Trinity. This reminds us that God is one God manifested in three persons.
When you study the Bible you find out that the Trinity is as old as the first verse in the Bible. Genesis 1:1 tells us that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The word for God is Elohim, which is plural, but it carries with it a singular verb. In Genesis 1:26 when God decided to create man, He said, "Let Us make man in Our image," for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all involved in the creation.
Now there are those who immediately accuse us of worshipping three Gods. They say, "1 + 1 + 1 = 3." Well, their math is right, but their theology is wrong. Because 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. We worship one God, but that one God has manifested Himself and expressed Himself through three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Even the universe in which we live expresses the triune God we worship. This is a triune
universe. It is made up of space, matter, and time. These three things are also made up of threes. Space is length, breadth, and height; matter is energy, motion, and substance;
time is past, present, and future. Man himself is body, soul, and spirit.
Jesus is Eternally God. He is Equally God, which means He is essentially God.
C. He Is Essentially God, John 1:1
The latter part of verse one is the plainest statement in the Bible on the deity of Jesus, "the Word was God." That is why Jesus could say, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." That is why Jesus could say, "I and my Father are One." He is the only son who could ever say that of his father.
Over and over and over Jesus proved that He was God in the flesh. He was God in his power. He could say to the wind and the waves "peace be still," and they would lay down like wipped puppies at his feet. He was God in his pardon. He could say to a man lame not only "get up and walk, but your sins are forgiven you." He was God in his position. People would come and bow down before him and worship him and He would accept their worship. He was God in his perception. He could tell a woman at a well he had never met, that she had had five husbands and was living with a man not her husband. Because of this, He was definitely God in his person!
II. What Jesus Did, John 1:3
Now John gives a real eye opener. Because he said, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (v.3) Here we learn two other things about the Lord Jesus.
A. He Is The Maker Of Creation
Give the answer to this question. Who created the world - God or Jesus? The answer to that question is yes. I know the Bible says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," but that God was none other than God the Son.
A little boy was talking to his mother one time and he said, "Mama, who made the moon?" The mother said, "God made the moon." The little boy said, "Well then, who made the stars?" The mother said, "God made the stars too." The little boy said, "Well, who made the trees?" The mother said, "God made the trees too, son."
Well the little boy obviously was becoming more and more frustrated with the same answer, and finally he said, "Well, I want to ask this question. Doesn't Jesus ever do anything?"
Well, I want to tell you that Jesus did it all. "All things," the Bible says, "were made by Hin and for Him Him."
Do you understand what that means? That means that Jesus was not a created being, He was a Creator Being. That little newborn baby of Luke 2 was also the great Creator God of Genesis 1. You see, we not only learn in verse one that Jesus was beyond creation. We learn in verse three that Jesus is behind creation. That's right. The Creator of the creation became a creature in the creation.
Down from His glory
Ever living story;
The great Creator came
And Jesus is His name.
B. He Is The Master Of Creation
Because Jesus is the creator of all things He is also the controller of all things. Colossians 1:16-17 tells us, For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.
The word "consist" literally means "to hold together." Jesus is the one who is holding all of this together. He is "the glue of the galaxies." Puny man can't even make the trains run on time, and yet we look at our great planet and realize that it does not travel in a true circle; it travels in three directions at the same time. It revolves on its axis; it travels around the sun; and it's path is deflected by other planets. Still it does not lose more than one one hundredth of a second every one hundred years. We can only say that Jesus is in control.
Then we look at the building block of this universe which is an atom, an entity so small that each atom is less than one hundred fifty millionth of an inch in diameter. If you could take the molecules of a single drop of water, convert them into grains of sand, there would be enough sand to build a concrete highway half a mile wide and one foot thick all the way from New York to San Francisco.
Combine that with the fact that one cell from your body contains 200 billion molecules of atoms. Whether you look at the universe with a telescope and see how big it is, or you look at this universe with a microscope and see how small it is. When you see the order, the symmetry, the harmony, the beauty of all that is, only a fool would fail to conclude God did it, and God is in control.
III. Why Jesus Came, John 1:4-5
So far, we've learned two simple truths. The Lord Jesus, God's dear Son, was also God in the flesh; co-equal and co-eternal with God. We also learned that the Lord Jesus was the agent of creation. Not one thing that has been made was made without Him. But the Creator was not content with just creating a creation, now the Creator wants to become a creature in His own creation. Why?
A. To Bring Life To The Dead
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (v.4)
Now only the dead need life. But this world is full of walking corpses who don't even realize they are dead.
I heard about a farmer years ago who was trying to teach his son the ways of life on a farm. He took his son out to the hen house, grabbed a chicken and said, "Son, your Mama wants a chicken for dinner, so you know what we have to do." With that he cut the chicken's head off, and the chicken began to flop around on the ground. Well, the little boy's eyes got wide with amazement, and he said, "Daddy, look at that. There is a
chicken that's dead and doesn't know it."
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:1, "And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins." Every person without Jesus is dead, because Jesus not only has life, and therefore gives life, Jesus is life.
But Jesus is also the secret of effective life. Jesus said in John 10:10, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly."
But Jesus is also the source of eternal life. Jesus said in John 11:25-26, "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.'"
Life is more than walking, talking, eating, breathing, sleeping, and dying. Real life, abundant life, joyful life, is knowing God through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. To Bring Light To The Dark
"And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:5
You see, a person without Jesus is not only spiritually dead, he is also spiritually darkened. Jesus said in John 8:12, "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'"
Paul said to the Ephesians, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord." (Eph. 5:8) God called the Apostle Paul to preach the gospel to a lost world, "to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light." (Acts 26:18)
You see, Jesus not only came to regenerate the dead, He came to illuminate the dark. The first thing God said to a dark world was, 'Let there be light'; and there was light." (Genesis 1:3) The first thing that God does for a lost sinner is give him light that he might see.
One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is II Corinthians 4:6, "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
What is so heartbreaking is to see a world that is stumbling around in the dark looking for the light in all the wrong places.
Only God could give man the greatest gift of all, and He did in the Lord Jesus. Only the Lord Jesus can give man the greatest gift of all - that is life for his dead soul, and light to his darkened heart.
Rev. E. P. Scott, a pioneer missionary to India, came up on a savage band of natives on a war expedition. They seized him and pointed their spears directly at his heart. Feeling utterly helpless, not knowing what else to do, Scott pulled out his violin and began to play and sing in their native language:
All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
He closed his eyes expecting death at any moment. But when nothing happened after singing the third stanza, he opened his eyes, and to his amazement he saw that the spears had fallen from the hands of his captors, and tears filled their eyes. They invited him to their homes and through the years he won many of them to Jesus Christ.
Only Jesus could do that. Only Jesus could give life to a dead soul. Only Jesus could give light to a darkened heart because He is the Christ of Christmas.
Bow your head and close your eyes. Do you know this Christ of Christmas? Is He real to you? Today you can choose to trust Christ, the eternal One of God, as your Savior and Lord.