Introducing the Real Jesus
Thursday, September 26, 2019
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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:1-3
Society will accept any number of answers to the question “Who is Jesus?” as long you don’t give the right answer.
You can say with British novelist A.N. Wilson that Jesus was just a good Jewish lad with good moral teachings.
You can claim with Bishop John Shelby Spong that Jesus was a married rabbi and His miracles were falsified.
You can suggest with Professor Morton Smith that Jesus was just an influential magician.
You can even assert with John Allegro that Jesus wasn’t a historical figure at all!
But say with the eyewitnesses that Jesus is divine, and you’ll be ostracized, maligned, and persecuted just as they were.
In fact, at the time John wrote his inspired gospel, all his fellow apostles had been martyred for their proclamation of Christ. Paul was beheaded by Nero. James was put to death by the sword. And, according to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down.
So John, in the last years of his life, sits down with unwavering resolve to add a few final words about this Messiah. His intention is clearly stated:
These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20:31).
John wants to introduce us to the real Jesus, and in the opening lines of his narrative he gives us three emphatic descriptions of Him.
First, he says in verse 1 that Jesus is God.
Consider the fact that John walked with Jesus for three years. He heard His teachings, witnessed His miracles, watched Him die, and then watched Him come back to life. John could have said a lot of things, but he doesn’t want us to miss the main thing: Jesus is Jehovah!
Secondly, John says in verse 2 that Jesus was there in the beginning.
Attacks on the eternality of Christ date all the way back to the early church. In the third century AD, the idea was posed that Jesus was a created demi-god rather than eternal God. This heresy spread until a council of church leaders had to resolve the issue. Their resolution is known today as the Nicene Creed, and we still cherish it.
John doesn’t leave any room for question, however. He makes it clear that Jesus didn’t begin His life in some cold, dank cave on the outskirts of Bethlehem. He is the great “I AM,” and He has no beginning or end.
Lastly, John wants us to know that Jesus is the creator of all that there is. Paul affirms this in Colossians 1:16, where he says of Christ:
"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
So before John dives into his account of Christ’s human birth, human life, and human ministry, he takes us to eternity past and shows us that Jesus was already there, writing it all.
What a powerful introduction to this remarkable gospel . . . and to this remarkable God.
Prayer Point: Thank God for sending His Son to this earth to make the way to come to God. Pray that His salvation will be evident in your life as you come in contact with those around you.
Extra Refreshment: Read in John 1 the introduction of Jesus to the world.