Tuesday, September 14, 2021

2021.09.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 1:1–18

Read John 1:1–18

Questions from the Scripture text: When was the Word already there (John 1:1)? With whom was the Word at that time? Who was He at that time? Who was with (literally, “toward,” or “facing”) God in the beginning (John 1:2)? What was  made through Him (John 1:3)? What wasn’t made through Him? What was in Him (John 1:4)? What did men receive from this light? What does the light do now (John 1:5)? What has the former light of men become? What can’t the darkness grasp? What was the name of the man sent from God in John 1:6? What did this man come to do (John 1:7)? Why did he bear witness of the Light? Was that man the Light (John 1:8)? Then what was he sent to do? To whom does the true Light give light (John 1:9)? Where was the true Light coming? Where was He, in John 1:10? What was made through Him? What (Whom!) did the world not know, when He was in the world? To what things does John 1:11 say that He came? But what people did not receive Him? What right did the Light give to those who received Him (John 1:12)? What did “receiving Him” mean they had believed in? From where did this birth to believe in Him NOT come (John 1:13a, b, c, d)? From where DID this birth to believe in Him come (verse 13e)? What did the Word become (John 1:14)? What does this mean the Word had been before? When the Word became flesh, what did He do? What did the evangelist (John) behold? What kind of glory did they behold in the enfleshed Word? What did this glory mean that He was full of? Who bore witness of Him? Why did John the Evangelist say that Jesus was preferred to him (John 1:15)? From what have received (John 1:16)? What did we receive from His fullness? What was given through Moses (John 1:17)? Through Whom did grace and truth come? Who has seen God (John 1:18)? When has someone seen God? Who has declared (exegeted) God? Where is this Son that declares God? 

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Song of Adoration all come from John 1:1–18, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts

It’s not surprising that a hymn that has been beloved in the church for a thousand years would be full of truths from this passage in John. One of the most essential beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus is the uncreated Creator (John 1:3), who has life as inherent in Himself and not derivative from another (John 1:4a), and that He is the One Who first gave light to Adam’s eyes and continues to do so for every man (verse 4b, John 1:9, cf. Genesis 2:7).  

When God’s glory was famously displayed to (and hidden from, cf. Exodus 33:20–23) Moses in Exodus 34:5–6, He famously declared Himself, “Yahweh, Yahweh God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” “Goodness and truth”—or steadfast love and faithfulness—are commonly translated from Hebrew by the same Greek words as what NKJV translates “grace and truth” in John 1:14

That is to say that the evangelist is making a direct claim that Jesus Christ is the Yahweh Whose glory could not be seen by men (John 1:18a), but that when He became flesh, men could finally behold that glory (John 1:14). Indeed, men have now beheld God completely in Christ, for the only begotten Son has made Him fully known (the literal meaning of the word translated “declared” in John 1:18b, which is an ancestor of our word “exegete,” cf. John 14:9). 

And what is it that we see, when we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:6)? We see love. We see Yahweh God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in covenant-love and faithfulness. We see Him Who became flesh not only that we might behold Him, but that He might die for us. This is the love that gives everlasting life (cf. John 3:16; John 6:51), and that produces in us the love for Him—and joy in Him—Who first loved us.

What is the only way for you to see/know God? What especially, about God, do you see when you see Jesus? What should your response be? What does that feel like? What does that look like?

Sample prayer: O Lord, Who are full of steadfast love and faithfulness, we adore You. Grant Your Spirit’s ministry, by which the light of the knowledge of Your glory would shine in our hearts in the face of Jesus Christ. Forgive us for when our love has grown cold and joy has grown dim, for this exposes that we have failed to consider and respond to Christ as Your display of Yourself. So help us, for the sake of Your glory, and for the love in which You gave Him, we ask in His Name, AMEN! 

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH494 “O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts”


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