Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Day 152: John 1:1-18 & Psalm 148 - Who is Jesus?

Today's Reading: John 1:1-18 & Psalm 148

Get the full reading plan

Who is Jesus?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. - John 1:1-3, ESV

The Gospel of John is distinct, clearly different in content, scope and purpose from Matthew, Mark and Luke. The first three Gospels have been called "synoptic" Gospels, providing a "synopsis" (summary) of the life and ministry of Jesus. John's Gospel is less synopsis and more exposition, less summary and more explanation, less history and more theology, less narrative and more Christology.

What does all this mean? John's driving focus is to exalt the glory of Christ and put the fullness of the person and work of Christ on display for all to see and believe. 

John begins his Christ-exalting Gospel with a beautiful, poetic prologue of 18 verses. He begins with a unique title for Christ, "the Word." This is the only place in Scripture where Jesus is so explicitly called "the Word," though John makes it clear that whenever the Bible speaks of "the Word," it is pointing in the direction of Jesus. When John says that Jesus is "the Word," he means . . .

1. Jesus is the eternal Word. "He was in the beginning with God."

2. Jesus is the Word of creation. When God spoke the universe into existence, Jesus was the creative Word God spoke.

3. Jesus is the Word who is God. God's very Word is fully God because He is God's own wisdom, God's own mind.

4. Jesus is the Word of Life. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (v. 4)

5. Jesus is the Word that shines the light of God into darkness and cannot be overcome. (v. 5)

6. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Perhaps the most shocking statement in the Prologue for both Jewish and Greek readers is the line proclaiming that the very Word of God, the "logos" (reason) of the universe, because flesh and dwelt among us. (v. 14)

7. Jesus is the Word full of grace and truth. Jesus brings the grace and truth that we need for salvation in Himself. (v. 17)

This is Jesus: eternal, creative, fully God, life, light, incarnate, full of grace and truth. 

Do you know Him? Have you received Him? Do you believe in Him?

" . . . to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" - John 1:12 

Prayer Based on Psalm 148:

Praise the Lord!

O Lord, may You be praised from the heavens;
    praised in the heights!
Praised by all Your angels;
    praised by all Your hosts!

May sun and moon praise You, Lord,
    all Your shining stars!
May the highest heavens praise You,
    and the waters above the heavens!

Let them all praise Your name, O Lord!
    For You commanded and they were created.
And You have established them forever and ever;
    You gave a decree, and they shall not pass away.

May You be praised, O Lord, from the earth,
    from great sea creatures and all deeps,
by fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling Your word!

Mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
    creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
    princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
    old men and children!

Let them all praise Your name, O Lord,
    for Your name alone is exalted;
    Your majesty is above earth and heaven.
You have raised up a horn for Your people,
    Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ,    
         to draw praise to You from all Your saints,
            from the lips of the people who are near to You.

Praise the Lord!

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