John Chapter 1

March 20, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking hereor you can watch it below:

John Chapter 1 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

John 1:1-51 (NIV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. 19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'” 24 Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The gospel of John is different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke in a number of ways. John speaks more clearly than any other of the deity of Christ. It was the last of the gospels to be written, almost 40 years after the end of Jesus life on earth. Whereas Matthew, Mark, and Luke, (THE Synoptic Gospels) were all written to specific cultural groups, (like Mark to the Romans) John was written as more of a universal Gospel, to all people of all times. John’s purpose is to unveil the Man, Jesus, and to reveal Him as God.

In the opening chapters of John we will be introduced to four people. They are John the Baptist, Nathanael, Nicodemus, and the “woman at the well.”

“John was Jesus’ forerunner, sent to prepare Israel for His coming. Nathanael represented the godly Israelite who responded at the very first evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Nicodemus represented the religious leaders who realized from Christ’s miracles that Jesus is “a Teacher . . . come from God,” but whose spiritual blindness kept them from understanding the true message of the Old Testament, and whose spiritual deadness made them antagonistic to the Son of God. The woman at the well represents the myriad of human beings outside the chosen people who, when they meet Jesus, put their confidence in Israel’s Saviour.”

John 1:1-18

The Word. This title, “the Word,” teaches that Jesus is now, and always has been, the One through whom God expresses Himself. But how did God express Himself in history past, even before the Incarnation?

In Creation John 1:3 The planet and all that He put on it

In life John 1:4 Living creatures including us made in His image

In light John 1:5 Light represents holiness, righteousness, good. In contrast, darkness as a moral term represents evil, all those warped and twisted ways in which sin had perverted the good in man, and brought pain to individuals and society. “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
There is a moral awareness planted deep in the heart of every person.

Then, finally, the Word became flesh. “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”
How is grace portrayed in John? The Creator of the universe entered the world He had made and made a way through the Cross for us to have life.

John 1:19-51

There is a pattern revealed in these verses that is often followed in the rest of his Gospel. Both John the Baptist and Nathanael have some type of small personal miracle or revelation followed by a short discourse that causes them to fully believe in Jesus the Christ.

With John the Baptist, it is a dove and the voice of God. With Nathanael it is Jesus telling Him he was under a fig tree.

Even though they both had very strong preconceived ideas about Messiah, (John the Baptist talked about the stern judgments that Messiah would execute, and yet here was the gentle cousin he had known throughout his youth. Nathanael knew that Messiah would come from somewhere other than Nazareth) these personal miraculous encounters with Jesus caused each of these men to immediately recognized the hand of God and they set aside their preconceived notions, to submit to the authority of Jesus.

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