The Greatest Story Ever Told- When God Became Man
The Gospel of John is unique from all the other gospels. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John the Beloved revealed the DIVINITY AND HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST. This paper is Part 1 of 4 Parts, a chapter by chapter summary of the 21 chapters in the Gospel of John. The first chapter of the Gospel of John gives us a clear picture of who God is and His origin. The Almighty and Eternal God introduced Himself to the world as the Word because He is the Word and wants to be known as the Word; that the His Word is very important to Him, and to us. John tells us who God is, where He came from, why He came to earth, to whom He came for, and states that Jesus Christ is the WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH Jn1:14, Re19:13.
The Gospel of John Chapter 1 gives us an account of when divinity became humanity, when God became man. From this perspective, we can begin to appreciate the richness and greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is an interesting perspective: Of the four Gospels found in the New Testament of the Bible, John’s Gospel did not include the account of the coming Endtimes, like those found in Mt24, Mk13, and Lk21. Instead, God had John to record and reveal fully the end of the world to come that which Jesus prophesied would happen in the Book of Revelation.
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ- Who Jesus Is and Whom He Descended From
The four Gospels introduced Jesus very differently– telling us who he is, where he came from, and whom he descended from. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was revealed as a Jew- the son of David, and of Abraham Mt1:1,2. In Mark, Jesus was described as the Son of God and a messenger Mk1:1,2. In Luke, Jesus was described as a son of man, a descendant of Adam Lk3:38, like all of us. In the Gospel of John, God introduced Himself as the Word, and that Jesus was ‘the Word made flesh and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14! So from the four Gospels, Jesus is revealed as a Jew, the Son of God, a man, and as the Word of God! We will be studying the Gospel of John in the light that JESUS IS GOD WHO CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN!
The Two Beginnings in the Bible- the Very Beginning and the Near Beginning
John 1:1 states ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God’. The Bible mentions two beginnings. In the VERY BEGINNING as in Jn1:1, only the Word and God existed v1; before anything was and before the Word created everything v3, before the creation of the angels and man. Then in the NEAR BEGINNING Ge1:1, God created the heaven and earth, and then man. According to scientists, the universe is about 14 billion years and the earth, 4.5 billion years old. How long ago was the VERY BEGINNING, a quadrillion years or more ago? It is incomprehensible and astounding. No one knows because God was always there in the VERY BEGINNING. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were created and placed on earth just 6000 years ago. Archaeological data, and historical records and timelines validate the fact that from Adam to us today, it has been only about 6000 years.
Jesus Christ- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
Who is this man Jesus, whom we believe in and whom we worship? Jn1:1-3 tell in the VERY BEGINNING only the Word and God existed and that the Word was God. All things were made by the Word and without the Word was not anything made that was made. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh, and dwelt among us Jn1:14. The apostle Paul wrote ‘And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh’ 1Ti3:16. Jesus, the Word of God ,Re19:13 was with the Father in glory before the world began Jn17:5; Jesus is the image of the invisible God Co1:15; Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of God’s person Heb1:3.
Jesus Christ is the Master of the Universe; the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending Re1:8. Jesus Christ ‘is before all things and by Him all things consist’ Co1:17; ‘all things were created by Him and for Him’ Co1:16; for His glory, honor and pleasure Re4:11. Jesus is equal with God Php2:9. Understanding the person of Jesus Christ helps to build our appreciation, love, and faith in Him. Da11:32 states ‘..the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits’. Everything that God is, is in Jesus Christ, who is God personified. We will now begin the chapter by chapter discussion of the Gospel of John.
Gospel of John Chapter 1- Jesus Christ is Introduced to the World
It is interesting to note the many descriptions of Jesus Christ in John Chapter 1. Here Jesus is described as; the Word, as God v1, the Creator God- ‘all things were made by Him’ v3, in Him was Life; and the Light of men v4, the true Light of every man that cometh into the world v9, a Jew v11, the Word made flesh v14, the only begotten of the Father v14, full of grace and truth v14,17, the only begotten Son v18, the declarer of the Father v18. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world (Saviour) v29, the Son of God v34, the baptizer with the Holy Ghost v35, a Rabbi (Master) v38, the Messiah, the Christ (the Anointed) v41, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph v45, the king of Israel v49, and the Son of man v51. In just this first chapter alone, over 20 titles or descriptions were given of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is described as God and a man. God sent forth John the Baptist to bear witness of Jesus Christ, the Light, v7. John was ‘the voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord’ v23; Is40:3-5. John declared three times that Jesus ‘is preferred before me: for he was before me’ v15,27,30. He said ‘of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace’ v16.
God’s law and standards, the 10 Commandments Ex20:1-17, were given by Moses, but God’s ‘grace and truth came by Jesus Christ’ v17. From the days of Moses 1500 years before, the Jews were looking for the promised Prophet v21; a Deliverer like Moses for Israel Ac7:37, Ro11:26. Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, his brother Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel all then became followers of Jesus Christ v40-49. This is how the Gospel of John chapter 1 began!
John Chapter 2- Jesus Begins His Ministry in Cana of Galilee
Jesus performed his 1st miracle at a marriage feast in Cana v11. Mary his mother, asked Jesus for help. Apparently, either the crowd was great or they were partying for many days, but they ran out of wine v3, a key ingredient for any good party. All the guests wanted more. They had already consumed 6 large waterpots containing about 25 gallons apiece, or roughly 150 gallons of wine (each waterpot held about 3 firkins equals to 25 gallons) v6. Many have speculated whether the wine contained alcohol or not. But the people came to party, and party they did! Jesus instructed the servants to fill the 6 pots to the brim with water, and then to present it to the governor of the feast. The governor was astonished and told the bridegroom that at any feast the good wine is first brought forth, then the junk stuff, ‘when men have well drunk’ v10. Jesus had turned the water into 150 gallons of excellent wine which tasted better than at first v10.
During his 3 years of ministry, Jesus went up yearly to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover, about 50 miles distance from Galilee- a three-day journey! Here we see the 1st of two accounts of Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple, once at the start of his ministry Jn2:13-17; the other, at ending of his ministry before his crucifixion Mt21:12. In both accounts, Jesus certainly did not endear himself to the religious leaders, who profited much by selling temple sacrifices. Jesus was quite violent when he ‘made a scourge of small cords and drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; he poured out the changers’ money and overthrew their tables’ v15. As a sign to the Jews, Jesus said ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up’ v19, meaning ‘the temple of his body’ v21. This was the beginning of the hate relationship the religious Jews had with Jesus who later sought to kill him. Jesus was a great threat to the ruling religious Pharisees who were fearful to lose their wealth, power, and their place in Jerusalem and Judea Jn11:48.
John Chapter 3- The Born Again Experience Revealed
Jn3:16 is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, but only a few people know who said these words, and to whom it was said: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ . Was it John the writer, John the Baptist, or someone else? Was it spoken to the multitudes or just a few people? ANSWER- It was Jesus that spoke these words to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, and it was late at night v1,2. Jesus declared that He was the only begotten Son sent by God, and if we believe in Him, we would not perish, but have everlasting life v16.
Jesus said a man needs to be ‘BORN AGAIN’– not once naturally, but a 2nd time, spiritually and supernaturally by the Spirit, to see and enter into God’s kingdom v3-5, in heaven and on earth! Nicodemus did not understand Jesus then, because he did not know that Jesus was sent by God to die for our sins. All Nicodemus knew was Jesus was a teacher, did miracles, and that God was with him v2. After the crucifixion Nicodemus helped bury Jesus Jn19:39, and a few days later he understood what Jesus meant, when Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus often spoke in the 3rd person regarding himself: ‘He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the NAME of the only begotten Son of God’ v18.
The scene then switches in v23. The apostle John wrote again of the prophet John the Baptist’s connection with JESUS CHRIST, a continuation from John chapter 1, where John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus. John the Baptist made a very profound statement similar to what Jesus said in v18 above: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH OF GOD abideth on him’ v36. John said that an unbeliever is already a condemned person; has no salvation and everlasting life, and the wrath of God abides upon him!
WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST, NO ONE CAN BE SAVED! God’s anger and judgment would be upon us eternally and forever. Basically, we need to believe that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD who came to earth to save us from our sins. Jesus is ‘EMMANUEL.. GOD WITH US’ Mt1:21,23; when divinity became humanity, when God became man. John Chapter 3 is a key chapter in the Bible, for it explains the BORN AGAIN experience v3,5,7, the SALVATION message, and JESUS CHRIST is GOD the SAVIOUR of our eternal souls v16; also about the coming awesome WRATH OF GOD v36!
John Chapter 4- the Samaritan Woman At the Well
In leaving Judea for his home in Galilee, Jesus had to pass through Samaria. The Samaritans were the remnant of 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel that lived in the Northern Kingdom, while Judaea was the home of the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in the Southern Kingdom. The Jews considered the Samaritans as inferior and did not like to associate with them. They had a mixture of the Mosaic Law and idolatry. Jesus, weary from travel at noon, met a woman drawing water from Jacob’s well in Sychar v5. When he asked for a drink, she a Samaritan, replied how is it that he a Jew would associate with her? Jesus told her that if she knew ‘the gift of God’ v10, and who was asking her for water, she would instead ask HIM for the LIVING WATER that He had v10. Jesus said ‘..whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ v14.
Like with Nicodemus, Jesus told the Samaritan woman of the ‘BORN AGAIN experience’; that by partaking of the LIVING WATER that he had, she would not thirst again, but have everlasting life. What is this LIVING WATER that Jesus was talking about? Earlier Jesus told Nicodemus ‘Except a man be born of WATER and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:5. In order to enter into God’s kingdom, we need the LIVING WATER, which is the Word of God to sanctify and cleanse us Ep5:26, and also the HOLY SPIRIT. Jn7:37-39 tell us ‘..If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on Me.. out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake he of the SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive)’.
To be saved, we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and with our heart believe that God raised him from the dead Ro10:9. To receive the HOLY SPIRIT for help, revelation, guidance, and understanding, we must ask God for Him. Jesus said ‘..how much more shall your heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to them that ask Him?’ Lk11:13.
The woman immediately asked Jesus for this LIVING WATER to drink so she would thirst no more. Jesus then told her to call her husband. When she said she had no husband, Jesus revealed that she had 5 husbands and the one she was living with was not her husband v15-18. She quickly changed the subject in order not to be further exposed and asked Jesus where should people worship, in this mountain in Samaria or in Jerusalem? Jesus said neither places; ‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth’ v24. Jesus then revealed to the woman that He is the Christ v25,26! The Samaritan woman was so impressed by Jesus giving her a ‘word of knowledge’ 1Co12:8, that she began to tell the town people that Jesus knew everything about her, and that JESUS IS THE CHRIST v28,29.
In v34-38, there was an interlude when Jesus spoke to his disciples about the importance and joy of missionary work- witnessing to others, telling them about Him and about eternal life. When told to eat, Jesus said ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’ v34, meaning God, the Father. Jesus then tarried with the Samaritans for 2 days, as they requested him to stay v40, and He told them the salvation message. As a result many Samaritans were saved, not only because of the woman, but also because of what Jesus told them v41. They accepted Jesus as ‘THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD’ v42.
This chapter concludes with an account of the healing of a nobleman’s son. The nobleman heard that Jesus had returned from Judaea to Cana, Galilee, so he came from about 25 miles away to ask Jesus to come down to Capernaum to heal his son. Jesus simply told him, ‘Go thy way, thy son liveth..’, and so it was v46-54. This was the 2nd miracle that Jesus did v54!
John Chapter 5- An Impotent Man Healed- Jesus Accused as a Sabbath Breaker
Here we see that Jesus is back in Jerusalem again to attend a Jewish feast v1. There was a great multitude of impaired people waiting by a pool for an angel to stir the water to be healed. The first one to enter in was to be healed v4. Jesus met a man who was lame for 38 years v5. Since the man had no one to carry him into the pool, Jesus performed his 3rd significant miracle in the Gospel of John and healed him v3-9. He told the lame man to ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk’ v8, and later ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee’ v14. The religious Jews then confronted the once lame man, and Jesus for healing on the sabbath day. They sought to kill Jesus, not only because he healed on the sabbath day v16, but because Jesus said He was sent to do the works of God, his Father, and thereby ‘MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD’ v18.
Here and elsewhere in the Gospel of John, Jesus indirectly or directly declared that He is God, the Messiah, the Christ. He continued to declare the salvation message, that only He can give eternal life to them that believe on Him: ‘He that heareth MY WORD, and believeth on him that sent ME, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life’ v24. Jesus then spoke of a bodily resurrection to come– about the dead hearing the voice of the Son of God, referring to Himself v25. He said they will rise out of the grave and live again: ‘..they that have done good, unto the RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have done evil, unto the RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION’ v29. Jesus said the works He did bare witness that the Father had sent Him; that He is from God v36,37. Jesus told the Jews ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me’ v39. Jesus warned the Jews that the writings of Moses accused them of their sinfulness and unbelief, for they did not believe Moses who long ago spoke of Him v45-47.
The Gospel of John Part 2 Chapters 6 through 11 will continue shortly. Please tune in again and thank you for reading!