John 1:1-18 The second half of our Essential 100 iterations of the epic story called The Bible will focus on the New Testament. The New Testament tells the story of the life of Jesus Christ, his death, resurrection, and the forming of the early Christian church. Today, trying not to be judgmental or exclusive, we hate to be dogmatic about Jesus’ identity. Many would claim that many “”roads lead to God, develop good people, and God is love….so let’s not argue. This is a comfortable and a friendly stance but it does not deal with the claims Jesus made about himself. So we will start with the reports about who Jesus himself said he is. Next week we will move on to his teachings.
The apostle John was known as “the beloved disciple”. He is believed to be the youngest of the disciples, the last to die, and the only to die a natural death. He is believed to be the author of Revelation. John does not lay out a chronological presentation for his understanding of Jesus but approaches his testimony more thematically, organizing around seven “I AM” statements Jesus made.
John opens his testimony with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.” (John 1:1) John parallels Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John claims that Jesus is God and was present from the very beginning of time. The Old Testament ended with the people of Israel yet again falling into idolatry but God still being true to his covenant that he would create a nation through Abraham that would bless all people. John picks up this theme of our epic story showing that our epic hero, God, is still unfolding a plan that was there from the beginning. God is going to step into our reality; we call it incarnation. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Where does it begin for you? We all have our conception story and many are not very pretty. We carry scars from the world we were born into. There is a parallel story of our lives that unfolds in the New Testament. It is a story of a God who created us and invites us to be his children because he loves and cares. Are we ready to receive that story to frame our lives? Claiming a “beginnings” story that identifies our core identity is important. We are not a “mistake” or a “surprise” but a beloved child of God. Let’s take a moment to start our day with thanks. Blessings.