The Gospel of John – The Lamb of God

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“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.” John 1:29-30

Everyone wants to make Jesus to fit into their views. They want Jesus to be who they want Him to be. We need to look at the scripture and see just who Jesus is. The Gospel of John answers that question. Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Lamb of God who came to cover our sins with His blood. “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.” (Exodus 12:21-23) Jesus is the Lamb that was slain so that when God looks at us all He sees is the blood of Jesus. Just like in Exodus when the death angel came, he passed over the house. Jesus is also the Lamb of God mediating for us in heaven. “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:7)

How amazing that God would do all of this just for us.

The Gospel of John – God’s Movement

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“John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” John 1:26-27

The religious leaders just did not understand John the Baptist. They came asking who he was and what right did he have to be baptizing people. They wanted to know if John the Baptist was Elijah or the Messiah. They had studied the Old Testament but they just did not understand what John the Baptist was telling them. I don’t believe they wanted an answer. They just wanted him to go away. God was leading people to the ministry of John and they did not like that. It is amazing to me that when God starts to move, the people have to find some other reason for the movement than that God is in control. We all have our way that we think God should move and the way He should act. It seems that God never moves the way we want Him to move. God moves in the weak things of the world. Any good marketing person would not appoint John the Baptist to start a new movement. They would not hire him as the PR man. If you looked at John the Baptist, you would be asking yourself, why is this movement growing? It was growing because it was God’s plan. It seems in my life that I don’t understand God’s plan, but I have to accept it by faith and put my trust in God and His plan.

“This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

The Gospel of John – Transitional Period

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“This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” John 1:19

John the Baptist came to announce a transitional period in the history of the world. John the Baptist came telling us “The object of all prophecy, the purpose of the Mosaic law, the end of all sacrifices, the desire of all nations, is at hand.” The True Shepherd, who stood at the door waiting to be admitted as John the Baptist opened the door and bowed low so that Jesus Christ could made His presence known. John the Baptist stood in the wilderness crying, “This is He of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth is here.”

The religious leaders of John the Baptist did not like this transitional period. It meant that they were losing their power and influence. “But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:7-10) Even today we see the same thing happening with some of our religious leaders. They would not have liked what John the Baptist was saying about Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of John – The Unique One

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“No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” John 1:18

The meaning of unique is having no equal or equivalent; incomparable. In other words there is nothing like it. There are no examples in this world that we can use to explain who Jesus is. Jesus is unique. He is one of a kind. He came to earth to show us what God is like. Jesus showed us that God is love. That God is a merciful God and that He will supply us with all the grace that we need to live the life that God wants us to live here on earth.

Jesus came to earth to show us how to be a servant. The disciples did not understand this no more than we do. For three years, Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, and for three years they understood that Jesus was talking about a worldly kingdom. They looked forward to throwing their weight around the kingdom. They planned on how they were going to help their friends and how they were going to settle old scores. This unique one that came showed us a kingdom on earth that would last forever and it was not a kingdom of this world. It was a kingdom of heaven and we are to bring that kingdom to earth. We are to be like the Unique One and be the servant that He showed us.

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

The Gospel of John – Unfailing Love

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“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17

As I prayed about what to write about this scripture, all I could think about is how blessed I am. I think about God’s grace and His love for me. How that I have done nothing to deserve His love and grace. Through Moses God gave us the law and with the law no one could have the relationship with God that He wanted. Then God’s unfailing love showed up and Jesus came to earth so that we could have the personal relationship that God wanted from the creation of the world. God created Adam and Eve so that He could have a relationship with them. “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” (Genesis 1:31) What happened then? We stepped into the picture and as always we messed things up. We rebelled against God. The great part of this story is that God knew all along what we were going to do. He had the plan already in place to bring us back to Him. “Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” (Ephesians 1:11) Through God’s unfailing love, we now can have a relationship with God.

The Gospel of John – Dwell with Us

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“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

The older I get and the more that I learn about God and the world, the more I stand in amazement. The God that created everything and is the ruler of the universe, came to earth to dwell with us. To be a part of every human that will accept Him. He came to pay for our foolishness. Our foolishness in sinning and rebelling against Him. I know that I did not want any part of God when I was out in sin, but He still loved me. He still wanted me, just me. How amazing is that!

“And dwell (tabernacle) among us.” Jesus pitched His tent on earth for thirty-three years. This is a reference to the tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness. When they traveled through the wilderness God was with them in the tabernacle. If they wanted to communicate with God they had to go to the tabernacle. The tabernacle was unattractive in appearance. It was not anything like the costly and magnificent temple of Solomon. It was just a place to meet God. The woman at the well asked Jesus, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” (John 4:20) Jesus answered her, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Jesus came so that we could worship God anywhere. Jesus came to dwell within us. The Church of Jesus Christ is not a building; it is every believer.

The Gospel of John – New Birth

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“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John 1:13-14

John is telling us that Jesus came so that we can become children of God. Without Jesus we cannot be adopted into God’s Kingdom. All men are not children of God. Only those that believe and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior will become children of God. We are not Christians by natural birth. We cannot pass our new birth to our children. Everyone has to come to God on their own. Everyone has to be born of the new birth that comes only from God.

The first part of this scripture tells us the human side of the new birth. What we as sinners must do to have this life that Jesus Christ offers. Then it tells us God’s side of our relationship. He will provide the new birth so that we can be adopted into His family.

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (Galatians 3:26)

The Gospel of John – Hound of Heaven

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“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:10-12

C.S. Lewis expressed the sense of the divine pursuit: “God was the great Angler playing His fish, and I never dreamed that the hook was in my tongue. He likened God to a cat chasing a mouse. He stated that God was the divine chess player, gradually moving him into an impossible position.” What love God has for us that even as we rebels against Him He still pursuits us.

There was a beagle that lived in our neighborhood. When he barked you would think that he was a huge blood hound. When I first saw him, I was shocked. He would come through our yard and sometimes he would stop and you could pet him, but most of the time he was on a hunt. When he was on a hunt, he might look at you. but he did not have time for you. He was persuading something. God is that way, He is on our trail and He will not stop until we come to Him. He is the hound of heaven. This scripture tells us that God came to earth and His own people rejected Him. Even with this rejection, God came and continued the pursuit.

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

The Gospel of John – Crying in the Wilderness

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“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.” John 1:6-8

John the Baptist was the opening act for Jesus. If Jesus was preaching at a football stadium, do you think that John the Baptist would be the opening act. I don’t think that most people would think that he would be the top choice for the job. To say that John the Baptist was unique would be an understatement. He was a wilderness man; a man who from childhood lived in the wilderness. He wore clothing made of camel’s hair and ate locusts and wild honey. His message was not polished, but blunt and to the point. Rather than receiving all that came he verbally attacked some of his audience. And yet this man was chosen by God for this mission. This man was God’s voice crying in the wilderness. He was successful in attracting large audiences. His message had a great impact on all who would listen to him. He was a humble man that listened to God and he knew that at some point he was to back out of his ministry so that Jesus could take the main role. He knew without a doubt that it was not his message but it was God’s message.

What an example for us today. We think that we cannot work for God if we are not educated and our message is not polished. We think that we have to put on this great show if people are going to come to our church. As we can see with John the Baptist, God brings the crowds and God gives the message; not us. Today why don’t you be the one crying in the wilderness?

The Gospel of John – John the Baptist

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“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.” John 1:6-8

John the Baptist was one of the most significant and well-know figures in the Bible. John was known as “the Baptist” because he was baptizing people. He was the first prophet called by God since Malachi. This was a period of over 400 years. John’s mission was prophesied by Isaiah some 700 years before he came. “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” (Isaiah 40:3-5) John’s mission was to make the way for the coming of Jesus. He was to let everyone know that Jesus was the Son of God. The coming of John the Baptist was just one more thing that proves that Jesus is God. God has this master plan and it is working out just as God planned it to work. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5) It is amazing that God’s plan always works out. God has a plan for your life and it will work out if you just give it to God.