Who is Jesus Christ?

Introduction

In history many great figures and leaders have come and gone. They fade into the books of history but Jesus Christ influenced man right from creation, the people of his day, Jesus Christ is still influencing the world today, and will continue to do so until all eternity. Jesus Christ is the greatest individual in human history. More books have been written, music composed, pictures painted, and drama performed about Jesus than any other person or religion of the world. Why? When the world religions focus upon the teachings, ideas, and philosophies of their founders and teachers, Christianity is about a personal relationship with Jesus.

Today I begin a new sermon series from the Gospel of John.

Brief Background

The Gospel of John is called the gospel of gospels because this gospel was written by the disciple closest to our Lord. When we read Matthew, you read through the eyes of a devout disciple. When we read Mark & Luke, you read through the eyes of dedicated believers who knew and loved the Lord but gathered much of their information through the eyewitness and testimony of others. But when we read John, you read the words of the disciple who reclined upon Jesus’ chest. He was one of the close friends along with Peter and James who was with Jesus in his most intimate circumstances and moments. John was one who heard and saw Jesus more than the others. He was one of Jesus’ closest friends. So the Gospel of John has to say more about Jesus than any other book of the Bible.

Time of Writing

The Gospel of John was one of the last books of the NT to be written. It appears to have been written from the city of Ephesus, where the apostle served as pastor after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD. From all indications, he wrote this gospel toward the close of the 1st century. The Synoptics had already been written and circulated as well as the letters of Paul and Peter.

Why did John write this book so late? What is the purpose of this book? 

John 20:31 

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Today we are going to see who is Jesus? Listen, John never starts his gospel with the name Jesus; instead he is presenting a personality without name and calling him “The Word” and calls that Word as God.

John 1:1-5 

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

So we are going to study a bit about the person “The Word.”

John 1:1 

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John begins his Gospel in an unusual manner. The other gospels begin with the historical context of Jesus Christ. Firstly, Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus starting from Abraham and goes through the roots of Israel and shows Jesus as the son of David. Then Luke goes even further back to Abraham and starts the history of Jesus with Adam. However, Mark begins his gospel with the story of John the Baptist.

See how John opens his gospel.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word. John opens his Gospel in the very beginning. John moves beyond human history. He starts “in the beginning.”

Do those words sound familiar to you? They take us back to 

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. John starts with God. In the Bible, you cannot go any further back than God, and that is where John begins, in eternity past with God and his eternal purpose.

What does John tell us about the beginning? In the beginning, was the Word. John says in the beginning before the creation from all eternity was a person called “The Word.” John chose to identify this individual as the Word instead of just giving us His name.

Let’s look a bit about the term, “the Word.” The original Greek that translates Word is the term Logos. Logos was a very common word in the 1st century. John uses this word to reach out to the people of his time.

The two major people John was addressing this was to the Greeks and to the Hebrews. To the Greeks Logos represented the soul of the universe. Logos was the power behind the functioning of the universe. For Greeks it was the Logos from which everything came and existed. To the Hebrews, the Logos represented the Word of God.

Now let us see the creation: 

Genesis 1:1 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. How did God create the heavens and the earth? 

Psalm 33:6 

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 

Genesis 1:3 

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.Therefore in the beginning God created everything and God used his word to create things.

Now let us go back to 

John 1:1 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So John is telling the power that is behind the universe, the Word was there from the beginning. Now John starts to explain on that personality “The Word.”

John 1:1 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1. The Word is eternally God.

In those few words, John informs us that the Word has existed from all eternity. At the beginning of time, the word was there with God. He already “was” when time began. At creation, the Word was already present.

John 1:1 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. The Word is equal to God.

This means that the Word was with God (means: face-to-face with God). John indicates that the Word is separate and distinguishable from the Father. He is a separate person. He was there with God. 

1 John 1:1-2 

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

The word existed from eternity. The Word and the Father are separate personalities.

John 1:1 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

3. The Word is essentially God. The Word is God.

What John tells us in these short verses is that everything that makes God who He is, everything that makes God-God, the Word possesses. In other words, the Word is God in His very essence, His nature. While He is separate from the Father in his person-hood, He is one with God in His essence.

Now who is this Word? 

John 1:14 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
Who is this word who became flesh? 

Philippians 2:6-8 

6 Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

So, John informs us that Jesus Christ is God become flesh. Jesus Christ is the God, Jesus Christ is the Word, and Jesus Christ is the Word become Flesh.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is God. Believe in Him.

4. The Word is the creator.

John 1:3 

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In v1-2 John was speaking about the Word and the relation of Word to the Father God. In v3, John talks about the relationship of the Word to the creation. The Bible says that not only was the Word present at creation, He was also the agent of creation. Everything that exists owes its existence to the Word. He is the Creator. Apart from him, there is no existence.


Colossians 1:15-17
 

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus Christ is the creator God.

5. The Word is the originator of life and light.

John 1:4 

In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.
John moves now from creation in general to the most significant element of creation, life itself. Life is one of John’s distinctive characteristics. He uses the word 36 times (whereas no other NT book uses it more than 17x).

John says that the Word was the originator of life in the creation. It is Word who gave life in creation. It is the Word that gave us life in the womb of our mother. The Word gives life.

John 1:4 

In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.
Now John is telling that the very same Word that gave life in creation and gives life to everything born out of the womb is the same Word who gives spiritual life also. So if you have to be spiritually born you need to have the Word working inside you. That is why it is said that the life was the light of all people.

John 1:4-5 4

In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Light is often contrasted spiritually with darkness. Jesus identifies Himself as the Light of the world. 

John 8:12 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John says that the Word which gives life is the light of the world. It takes away the sins and the darkness of humanity. The darkness of the world cannot overcome the Spiritual light of the Word.

Remember, John is writing this gospel after the resurrection. He knows that Jesus Christ could not be overcome by the spiritual darkness of this world. He is the victor. The light shines (continual) in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

So the Word is the originator of life and light. Word brings life to the spiritually dead hearts of sinful humanity. He brings light to the darkened souls of the lost. He is the Originator of life and light.

Conclusion

With this passage, we understand that the Word is Jesus. Jesus is from the very beginning. Jesus is God Himself. He is the Creator of the world. He is the Originator of Life and Light. To deny Him is to turn from God Himself, the Creator of the world. To deny Him is to continue in spiritual darkness and death. Only Jesus offers true life and light. Do you have a personal relationship with the Creator God, the Originator of spiritual life and light? You can. John’s Prologue doesn’t end with telling us who Jesus is. He informs us that God invaded humanity. He became one of us, became a human being in order to provide a way that a relationship could be established.

The Creator became His creation so that we could be given life/light.

Illustration

There was a boy called Johnny who lived beside a river and his grandfather was a carpenter. Everyday he would see boats in the river and wanted a small boat. Finally after much urging, the grandfather helped Johnny to make a boat. Grandfather guided Johnny and he chiseled out a beautiful boat. Everyday Johnny would take his boat to the river play and return home. One day windy day as Johnny was playing with his boat the waves took the boat a little further from shore. Johnny did all he could but the boat drifted away only to lose sight of the boat down the stream.

One day as Johnny was returning from school he went into a shop to buy some snacks. Something in the shop caught his attention. The very same boat that he had made was in the shop. Johnny said to the shopkeeper, “It’s my boat. I made it, I need it.” “I bought this boat for Rs. 100,” the shopkeeper said. As Johnny was urging and crying for the boat the shopkeeper agreed to sell the boat for Rs. 100 to Johnny. He went home that day and broke his coin box collected all the money and ran and gave it to the shopkeeper and bought back the boat. John was weeping bitterly and cried out looking at the boat, “I once made you, but now I bought you.”

Jesus loves us the same. He gave us life but we went away from him. Jesus finally came into this world and died on the cross and bought us with his blood to give us eternal life.

Believe in Jesus because is he God, He is the creator, and he is the giver of life and light. Amen.