The theme this year is "Believe." Having already considered how we are called to believe and take a greater step of faith in our belief; there are questions we need to ask. In vague terms, we can certainly promote the idea of belief in God and what He can do. But what if we continually asked questions to help us seek God on a deeper level? Not to just set the ceiling with low expectations, but to eagerly seek God to strengthen and test our belief. To ask questions that are meaningful in understanding who Jesus is, how He leads and calls us to Himself, how He desires that we would always aim to take steps in our intimacy with Him. As we seek to increase our ability to believe, we will be studying the book of John. In this book, John admits to not giving the full story, informing us in 21:25 that it wouldn’t be possible to record everything that Jesus did because of the number of miracles and signs He did. Instead, John postures this book as one that is written only including what is necessary for us to see and believe. But if we are to see or believe, we must first submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Allowing Him to lead as we study and ask good questions.
John 1:1-4: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We could easily read this introduction and miss its significance. From the very first words of the book, John aims to help us see that Jesus wasn’t just a man. Jesus was the word and was with God in the beginning. Before anything else, Jesus was there. Not only that, He also had to do with creation and life itself. Not only life here on earth but also our eternal spiritual life with Him. John’s emphasis is to help us see from the first line that Jesus is God. Not god; God. The God. The only God who is the creator and sustainer of life. The one who can give eternal life and restore - the all-powerful God. When John says “in the beginning was the “Word.” He is specifically focusing on the person of Jesus. The Greek word is “Logos,” which is also the title of our study in the book of John. We see him continue to use this same language and explain it in I John 1:1-2
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seeing, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was the Father and was made manifest to us"
Yet in the opening of John 1, we see a focus on the whole of God and are reminded in 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that testify.” John is trying to help all of his readers to understand the power and the supremacy of the person he is going to talk about in this book. Making sure that as we approach this book, we come with reverence and respect, understanding that John is communicating about a being that is so much greater than man. Throughout this book, John proves the deity and personhood of Jesus that He identifies for us in the opening lines of the book.
At this point, you may be asking "So what is the appropriate question we should be asking?" The answer is that there are many. But for starters, what if we asked the question "How can I posture myself to best respond to each verse and chapter of this book?"
My prayer for you is that the Holy Spirit will help you answer this question well!
Take the next few minutes to acknowledge God:
- Acknowledge Him and praise Him as the all-powerful God.
- Worship and adore Him because He is Holy.
- Bow before Him and ask that He would speak to you through the words of John’s book.