Today’s passage: John 1:1-18
Why would you want to write a book, or even a booklet, of 3000 to 30000 words? What would compel you to do this?
Well, John, a disciple and companion of Jesus, did want to write a book….in fact he wrote two books and three letters which now form part of the New Testament in the Holy Bible. And incredibly he did this when he was known as an “unschooled/uneducated” fisherman from the back blocks (Acts 4:13). And yet in his late life he took on the task of giving his own account of his three years with Jesus, and at the end of his gospel he tells us why.
John 20:31. “But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name”
John did not set out to write a biography or a history (others did …Mark ,Matthew and Luke) but rather John wanted to put on record his amazing discovery, made while walking around Palestine with his Rabbi; and records his discovery in the words of Peter, with which he agrees:
John 6:68 “…you have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”
John grew up in a society steeped in history. He knew of Israel’s and Judah’s failure to follow the Lord God which resulted in defeat and exile, and then the return (as we have just seen in Ezra and Nehemiah) and of the official determination that as a nation this must not be allowed happen again. He was surrounded by all the mechanisms his leaders could devise, the various groups as they struggled to help their population to comply with these rules (the Pharisees, the Saducees, the priests, the politicians) so as to never give God any possible reason to exile or destroy them again. But by doing this they added more and more rules and regulations of increasing severity and complexity (a result Jesus condemns in Matthew 23) and in effect condemned their disciples and their nation to see God as a harsh disciplinarian who could never be satisfied.
John discovers that God is not like he has been told but is a loving compassionate Father who loves His children and wants what is in their best interests; and then brings Himself into their world as a fellow member of the human race to show us this love.
In this guise, the Incarnate God-man, we will explore John’s descriptors and discoveries in the coming weeks as we unravel what John saw and heard and touched in his three years of immersive experience with Jesus (1 John 1:1-3).
It changed John; will you allow it to change you?…..so that you too can know God as your Lord, Saviour, Friends and Brother?