When God Became a Man
The Son of God became the Son of Man, that the sons of men might become sons of God.
It's not the Gospel of John, it's the gospel of Jesus!
King Solomon stood in the lavish temple he had built and said,
1 Kings 8:27
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
If God did dwell on the earth, what would He be like? What would He say? What would He do? This is the astounding theme of our text in John. God did indeed dwell on the earth...as a man...a human being!
The four gospels are not biographies. A biography has the idea of entirety, but the last verse of this book makes it clear that this is only a portion.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
The gospels are not the full picture...they are snapshots from the life of Christ.
ill.--Pictures. Each is worth a thousand words, but pictures pale by comparison to the real thing. As amazing as the gospels are, someday we will see the real thing, and walk with Him and talk with Him and touch Him, and we will know everything which that unwritten, earth sized library of books could have imparted to us!
John stresses the prophecies of Christ in the OT, as well as types and symbols. These were old pictures John pulled out of the big book, which pointed to something which was to come later in the NT.
The entire Bible is about Jesus Christ...all of history is HIS story. He's on every page in types, symbols, and shadows. And the gospel of John explains the fulfillment of all of those in the person of Jesus.
Example: It is in John that we learn that Jesus IS the lamb from OT sacrifices. v. 29
Here is the theme of the entire Bible: It is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!
All the other lambs were leading up to this, they were just pictures of the perfect Lamb to come. Now there's no need to sacrifice literal lambs...they were only pictures of Christ, and once you have the fulfillment, you no longer need the 'type.'
It is John who tells us that Jesus is the ladder of the OT. v. 51
Jacob dreamed of a ladder stretched from earth to heaven, and angels went up and down...and now John clarifies that Jesus is that ladder, the only connection which exists between heaven and earth! Jesus is the only one who can take God by one hand and mankind by the other and bring them together in reconciliation!
It is John that tells us that Jesus is the temple of the OT. 2:19-22
Solomon's temple was made of gold, marble, and brass...magnificent... breathtakingly beautiful. And everything in that temple was a picture of Jesus, who was yet to come. Even the color schemes pictures aspects of His character and nature.
As you walk into the courtyard you pass by the brazen altar where the lamb would be slain -- a picture of the cross. You would come to the brazen laver, the water of the Word, and Jesus IS the Word! Inside the temple is the table of shewbread...Jesus, the bread of life. The golden lampstand...Jesus, the light of the world. The altar of incense...our High Priest, making intercession for us.
How can some read the OT and not see Jesus?
John tells us that Jesus is the brass serpent of the OT.
The people of God were being judged, and bitten by snakes, and God told Moses to put a brass snake on a pole and lift it up, and anyone who looks at it would be instantly healed. [This is why the AMA has the snake logo] Israel didn't have to clean up their act or do good works...just look and live! Same for us!
John says, Jesus is going to be lifted up, and you who have been bitten by the sins of the serpent Satan must look to Jesus on that cross, become the very image of sin for us and we will have eternal life!
John tells us that Jesus is the manna of the OT.
Everything about that manna, right down to its shape, size, and color, and consistency, was a picture of Jesus!
1. Jesus' Revelation
v. 1 Jesus is the Word.
Notice the last phrase: the Word WAS God. That verb is in a tense which means eternal existence. He always WAS God. He never BECAME God. He is the eternally existent one. Here He is merely revealed to us...that's why #1 is His Revelation.
3 words about His revelation:
v. 14 'made flesh'
What a profound statement. God Almighty limited His dimensions to that of a human body! We seem to picture Him w/ an aura around him and a holy halo, but he was flesh and bone, with limbs and hair. He had internal organs. He ate and processed food. He wasn't a phantom spirit. He who at His core was God was 100% man...God robed in flesh. He was as much human as we are!
Were all His teeth perfectly straight? Are yours? When He was a teenager, did He ever get a zit? Did He bite His fingernails? I don't know if they offered manicures in those days, but John emphasizes that Jesus was just like you and me. He got thirsty and hungry. He got weary and tired. [4:6] He had to sleep. He would wake up. What would His breath be like? What do you think?! Could he get nose hair? Have you ever seen a Jew? If he plucked one, I believe His eyes would water.
This sounds almost inappropriate talk...like I'm bringing God down to man's level. I didn't do it, God did!
John 11 says that He sighed [groaned from within] over the death of a friend, Lazarus, and then He outwardly wept literal tears, just as on the cross He bled literal blood, and His heart stopped and He died...the eternal God died in human form just like we will. All these things He did just like we do - except to sin - good thing He was human, for He was our substitute!
There's no way we can completely wrap our heads around this truth of God taking on human flesh...this is why it says in…
1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...
100% God / 100% man doesn't compute, it's a mystery/miracle!
The OT oft times predicts His coming as God and King, but sometimes as a man, such as: Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows...
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Which is it? God or Man? Both are right!
ill.--in Luke 2 we have the only story from Jesus' childhood. He wisely answered the questions from the doctors and theologians. I'm sure one of their questions was, "How old are you?" This is speculation, but He could have answered, "On my mother's side I'm 12, but on my Father's side I'm much older than my mother and the same age as my Father! Oh, also, before Abraham was, I am!"
And all His life there was this dual nature. He would get thirsty on His mother's side, but on His Father's side He was the water of life! [hungry...bread of life / no money or possessions...owned cattle on 1,000 hills / wept at the tomb...'Lazarus come forth' / fell under load of the cross...bore the sins of all mankind on His shoulders / on His mother's side He died...on His Father's side He rose!
v. 14 'and dwelt among us'
Don't miss this! "Dwelt" is from the root translated 'tabernacle' [camp], and our minds go back to the OT tabernacle, that portable temple. God had commanded that tabernacle to be built. So, why would God want it built? *To picture Christ. To worship. But most of all, so that He might dwell among His people!
God doesn't want to watch from a distance.
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
My God is on the scene and highly involved in every aspect of every day, and in this age of grace He not only dwells among us but in us who are saved! Incarnation means he took on flesh…identification is when he entered mine!
v. 14 'and we beheld his glory'
When Christ came to earth He revealed the glory of God!
'Beheld' comes from Greek 'theo-omai' = theatre! It means to gaze at intently. The disciples saw the curtain rise and the spotlights shone on that lovely face, and they knew they were looking at God! We beheld His glory!
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
It says His miracles manifested His glory! And as we study this gospel of Jesus I pray we will see His glory and come to know Him better than ever, because it's not just a theatre production...we get to go backstage and take pictures, get the autograph, fellowship and commune with Him, and then He invites us to His house, and after many good times there reveals that it is OUR house, and He has built it for us forever!
You say, I need to know that God, but I don't know how.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Believe and receive!
2. Jesus' Rejection
“Made” - Let's talk about creation first of all. I believe God created all that is, and if there's a big bang, it's still to come, and it will happen to those who reject their Creator!
Atheists and evolutionists say: "You creationists believe what you believe by faith. WE believe what WE believe based on reason."
Let me tell you something right now! We all believe what we believe by faith...because none of us were there! I'll admit that I must not have as much faith as those who believe that it all just spontaneously happened. Fact is, people can believe in whatever they WANT to believe in, and evolutionists must really want it badly because they actually cast reason aside. Let's see, what could be their motive? Could it be so that they don't have to admit there's a God? Could it be so they don't have to answer to Him for their sin?
2 Peter 3:5
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old...
Why don't they believe? Because they don't want to!
What a wonder that the creation rejects the Creator.
v. 11 Why did Israel reject Him?
OT prophecies pointed to Him. Jesus fulfilled 330 direct prophecies. They beheld His glory and His miraculous works. They saw the light, but they put that Light out. He never sinned, and they knew it deep down, and none could convict Him of sin.
Israel was not just ignorant. They were willfully ignorant. Why did they not believe? They didn't want to! And when you don't want to believe, no amount of evidence will convince you.
Jesus gave them every opportunity to come to the truth.
Jesus is the way, but they WOULD NOT walk with Him.
Jesus is the truth, but they WOULD NOT believe Him.
Jesus is the life, and they crucified Him!
Why did Israel reject Jesus? They wanted to.
Why do sinners reject Him today?
vv. 4-5 You would think that if a blind man saw the light he would be thankful. But they weren't.
ill.--if you are in a pitch black room trying to accomplish something, you aren't going to accomplish much of any value. You need the assistance of light. Imagine someone comes along and turns on the light. There's only one reason why you would be angry and not want that light on--if you are in there doing something wrong!
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
What is the opposite of truth? Not error. In the Bible, the opposite of truth is sin. Error is the baggage that comes with your sin. In other words, people reject the truth, not because they believe a lie, but because there's a lifestyle they want to validate, making it ok. Error is just the baggage that comes with that sin.
Our universities today tell young people, "You are not a creation of God, you are the result of a random accident." That sounds stupid...at first glance it looks like a liberal lie. And yet that really resonates with a person who has lots of temptation in their life...it strikes a chord and they like what they hear, because it lets them live how they want. "There's no God, and no accountability. I came from an animal, and I should satisfy my animal instincts!"
That young person doesn't reject the truth for the lie, they reject the truth for the sin they want to do.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
It's willful ignorance in order to justify a lifestyle.
Jesus' revelation, Jesus’ rejection…
3. Jesus' Reception.
v. 12 Many have received Him, and they see the light, and are born again!
Receiving Christ -- it's not the same as:
Joining a church, being baptized/confirmed, living a good life.
Receiving Christ is admitting you are a sinner in need of a Savior, and that Jesus is that Savior who lived a sinless life for you, died a sacrificial death in your place, and rose again, conquering death in your stead so you can too if you receive Him and His gift of eternal life.
Do you want Jesus? You can be assured that He wants you. He said that 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.'
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