John 1 – Salvation Plan Revealed
In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God is presented as speaking creation into existence. God speaks the word and it happens: heaven and earth, ocean and streams, trees and grass, birds and fish, animals and humans. Everything, seen and unseen, called into being by God’s spoken word.
In deliberate parallel to the opening words of Genesis, John presents God as speaking salvation into existence.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 NIV
The Word is Jesus, God’s One and Only Son, a part of God. This time God’s word takes on human form and enters history in the person of Jesus. Jesus speaks the word and it happens: forgiveness and judgment, healing and illumination, mercy and grace, joy and love, freedom and resurrection. Everything broken and fallen, sinful and diseased, called into salvation by God’s spoken word.
Why? For, somewhere along the line things went wrong (Genesis tells that story, too) and are in desperate need of fixing. The fixing is all accomplished by speaking–God speaking salvation into being in the person of Jesus. Jesus, in this account, not only speaks the word of God; he IS the Word of God.
Keeping company with these words, we begin to realize that our words are more important than we ever supposed. Saying “I believe,” for instance, marks the difference between life and death. Our words accrue dignity and gravity in conversations with Jesus. For Jesus doesn’t impose salvation as a solution; he NARRATES salvation into being through leisurely conversation, intimate personal relationships, compassionate responses, passionate prayer, and–putting it all together–a sacrificial death. We don’t casually walk away from words like that.
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” John 1 14, The Message
John the Baptist, an earthly cousin and the one chosen to prepare the way for Jesus’ salvation, testifies of Who Jesus is…
“This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:15-18, NIV
JESUS IS THE ONE AND ONLY….
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” John 1:29-30, NIV
Jesus was with God at the beginning of Creation. Can we wrap our heads around this Truth? (Three-in-One: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit.)
Jesus is part of God, God’s Son, come down from heaven in human form and moved into the lives of common people. Has Jesus moved into the neighborhood of your life and taken up residence there?
Is Jesus welcome to live where you live, go along with you in life’s activities, eat dinner with you and hear the conversations around the table?
Is the Holy Spirit of Jesus living in us a help, comfort, challenge with encouragement? How?
Long ago there was a popular phrase used to help us think before we act. “What would Jesus do?” As a teen and young adult, we learned to ask ourselves this question before doing anything.
Do we behave in ways that reflect our belief?
Do we dismiss the intrusion of the enemy or battle it?
Jesus. It’s all about Jesus. He wants a close, intimate relationship with us that is above all other relationships. It is the most important relationship you will ever have, for this relationship extends into eternity. Jesus died to save us. How can we deny His love for us?
Jesus of Nazareth is God come in the flesh. When Philip called Him “the son of Joseph,” he was not denying Jesus’ virgin birth or divine nature. That was merely His legal identification, for a Jewish person was identified according to who his father was (John 6:42). The witness of this entire chapter is clear: Jesus of Nazareth is God come in the flesh!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending your Son, a part of You, with You from the beginning. Thank you for speaking salvation into existence for all of us. It was your plan all along to bring humanity back to an intimate relationship with You, our Creator. You are purpose, mission, and plans. You are God. Above all you are Love that the world have never known until they know You. Thank you for your love, mercy and grace for me. Thank you for continuing to work on me and in me. Help me to love like you love. Thank you, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.