Turn if you would to John chapter 1. The text I have chosen to deal with today is John 1 verse 1 through verse 14 and I have entitled my sermon “The Credibility of the Incredible Jesus”. Please read with me verses 1-5 and the 9-14. Profound passage isn’t it?
I think you could spend an entire quarter trying to deal with this text if you wanted to find all the ins and outs. Have you ever wondered why John began his gospel like that?
Look at Matthew; what does it start with? A genealogy and the then the birth of Christ. What does Luke start with? The birth of John the baptist and then the birth of Jesus.
Why does John skip all of that and, instead, starts with, “In the beginning was the word and the word was God.”?
I am convinced he was establishing the credibility of Jesus Christ of Nazareth: the one who would usher in a new life for any man willing to believe in Him. Verse 1 is the propositional statement for the whole rest of the book and the theme around which everything else is going to be built. From here on, every word and every event of the entire narrative will be skillfully chosen by the narrator for the purpose of proving the Godhead of Jesus and of persuading all men to believe in Him! John knows that a leader and a teacher must have credibility. When a leader loses his credibility no one continues to follow him and his students no longer listen to him.
There are 2 ways through which one can obtain credibility:
One way one can obtain credibility is through ones past performance. Another is by ones present performance.
Assume, for a moment, that today we are all looking for a new youth minister or pulpit minister. What would we do to commence the process after we received an applicant? We would do a background check. It’s likely that we would do this check before even flying this applicant here to speak with us. As we select this person to come, it’s likely we would publicly share his background. We do this so that before he speaks he has some measure of credibility in the minds of those to whom he speaks. However, each of us know that by his performance in the pulpit he either adds to or takes from that credibility. Credibility is established through background and present performance. Here we see John begins by establishing the credible background of Jesus. John seems to say, “His background gives Him credibility! He is worthy to be followed and for others to heed his advice!” Through the rest of his narrative John shares the credible nature of Jesus’ present performance.
In light of this look at verse 1 again; John says, “in the beginning”. Where have you heard these words before?
In the book of Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth!”
The first thing that would come to the mind of John’s readers is the creation; the origin of all things. With these words John was also proclaiming that there was a beginning before the beginning of all things. Everything began with Jesus Christ. In Jesus, no better beginning can be imagined. “you thought the creation of this universe was something? Let me tell you about Jesus! He’s it! His eternal existence supersedes all incredible things you have experienced before!
I want to insist on these three points today and make them the driving point of my lesson.
a. He was the logos. You see for the Jew and the Greek “the word” meant “the reason” or “the thought within a person”.
It also meant the expression of his thought in speech.
So the first thing this expression tells me is Jesus was the embodiment of everything God wanted to say to mankind.
With Jesus God tried to voice a message to mankind. He gave so many instructions, but yet man was blind to what God wanted. So he uses Jesus as a better way to reveal himself to man.
It’s somewhat like a man trying to communicate his thoughts, feelings and himself to others yet no one understands. So, he withdraws within his living quarters and he begins to paint. He paints what his soul is feeling; he paints what he wants to express with each stroke of his brush. With each stroke he reveals another part of himself.
Jesus was the painting of God: the exact embodiment of His Father’s feeling, of His Father’s thoughts. Look at what John says in verses 17 and 18.
Do you want to know God? Look at Jesus Christ. You don’t understand what He can be like? Look at His son Jesus Christ!
Everything in Jesus brings out the light of the Father!
Sometimes we have the feeling that Jesus is the nice guy and God is the mean guy chastening us for our faults. However, the bible says that they are one in the same. The grace you find in Jesus, you find in the Lord. The truth you find in God, you find in Christ. There are no differences between the 2 personalities.
I think if we understood this fact, our relationship with God would be a little better. I have to say that’s the first things this does for my life: to know He was the word. It allows me to talk to God as I would to Jesus; to feel for God as I would feel for Jesus.
b.There is another thing this word logos tells me. It tells me He is the almighty.
Turn to Psalm 33:6-8. John says it like this, “Through Him all things were made, without Him nothing was that has been made!”
Do you realize that Jesus is almighty? What does it mean practically for you that He is almighty?
When the sun was put into the sky the son was there and Jesus did it! When the waters were separated and God formed dry land Jesus…and when it was time for God to put vegetation on the land, trees and bushes and flowers…fish would swim in the waters and birds would fly in the air and all the animals would crawl on the ground; Jesus was there and Jesus made them! When the dust of the earth was taken and molded into man…breathed!
And if Jesus did that then he can do so much for me even when it comes to my sin. He can do so much more when it comes to problems! He can do so much more when it comes to dying! Jesus has credibility.
John doesn’t stop there, however. He takes us to a second point. In verse 4 he says, “Jesus in life!”
You see, Jesus is the essence of life. More than anything on this earth what do you think men want? Life! Every one of us in this audience today want more life than what we have.
We all want to be on this earth a little longer and we all want to live on the earth a little better. I know you want your life better today than it was yesterday! There is nothing wrong with that!
We should all go to bed each night hoping that tomorrow is going to be better; that tomorrow life will be more abundant. I am not talking about not being content with what God has already given you, but with a constant desire to improve!
John says that Jesus is life. He is the one who gives the abundant life!
So you feel dead inside? That life has crucified you? If so you need Jesus!
Jesus is light, so by extension you are introduced to a problem here. This world is in TOTAL darkness.
We can look within ourselves and we can look at others, but the way to life, the way to truth is not in us; it is not up to man to direct his own steps but to follow the light of God.
Look at what John says in verse 10 and in verse 5. It is almost like John is screaming at the world; almost as if he is saying, “Wait a minute! Watch out! Jesus is the light but you may miss it!”
You see there are people all over the world looking for light but once they are given it they don’t want it. I wish so badly that all men would realize they need the light.
Do you remember the book, “A river of diamonds” which told the story of Alli Haffard?
Alli Haffard was a wealthy Persian farmer. He had done well in life! He had a lot of land, a huge ranch and a nice family! He was blessed. But one day a visitor came by Alli’s ranch. This visitor was a traveler who had gone to many beautiful places in the world. He sat down that night and told Alli and his family all the stories of his adventures. Finally, during the conversation, he pulled out a little gem he had found. He said about this gem, “This is the most precious of all my findings. This diamond is worth more than anything I have ever found! Look at it!” The family gathered around the gem and looked for the first time at a diamond. Alli was mesmerized by the diamond. He was so impressed by its beauty and the way light was reflected off its surface. He was so impressed, in fact, that he asked to purchase the gem. The traveler loved his gem very much so he refused to sell it, but he told Alli how he could find one for himself. So he told him, “You can find diamonds in a mine which has a river with white sand running through it.” He continued to instruct him on where he had found his diamond. The next day Alli woke up early. He sent his family to his in-laws, he got on a camel and began searching the world for diamonds. His search was exceedingly long. He lost his house in the process. He ran short on money so he had to sell his ranch. He lost his wife and… He stayed away so long she got lonely and married another man. He lost all he had and years went by, but he still didn’t find a diamond. Finally, one day he arrived in the bay of Barcelona in Spain. He sat down on the sea-shore in desperation. His money was all gone, his clothes were ragged and he had lost his mount. He walked to the side of the cliffs and he jumped into the water taking his life.
What a tragedy! To search and search and search and sacrifice all that was dear to him and not find what he set out to find!
Yet, this is often our story.
But do you know the worst of it? It is illustrated in the rest of the story.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the new owner was at one of his little fields watering his camel. His camel buried his nose in the water when the owner says something weird in the water. It was a black chunk with a shiny gem in the center. The gem had the appearance of an eye which impressed the man. The man took it home and put it on display by his chimney. A few weeks later the traveler came back to the ranch. As he asked for Alli, he saw out of the corner of his eye the black stone with the shiny gem in the center. He smiled and inquired, “Where is that Alli? He found one didn’t he?” The new landlord said, “Oh no, he’s not here, he’s dead!” “What about this rock and this shiny gem?” asked the traveler. In response the new landlord said, “oh, that’s not Alli’s, that’s mine. I found it out back.” So they went out together to the field. The man got down on his knees, reached down into the water and began to bring up handfuls of diamonds. It was the discovery of the largest diamond mine ever found on the face of the earth! What a tragedy! Right there in the backyard! Alli Haffard searched and searched the world all the while his treasure was right there under his nose.
I think this is what John is trying to say to us today! If we are searching for abundant life we shouldn’t search long and far! We shouldn’t give everything up in an attempt to find foolish answers.
Jesus is the answer, and Jesus is not far from any of us! He is the word that guided the prophets. He is right at the door of your heart, knocking and asking, “Won’t you please let me in? Please don’t miss the life that is in me!”
Jesus is a man of credibility. Look at verse 12. John wrote all of that, so that you might believe and that by this belief you might have eternal life. Jesus is the word, he is the life and he is the light. Let’s not reject him!