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Review: The Word, The Witness & Pointing the Way

September 9, 2009

We’ve spent the last many weeks on the Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. For those of you who are skeptics, I hope you now have some things to think about. But now it’s time to get back to our study of the Gospel of John.

Let’s review what we’ve considered so far.

The Word: When we open to the Gospel of John we see in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. We observed that Jesus is the beginning and the end and that he is before the beginning and will forever more be. John’s opening words remind us of creation (Genesis also begins with “In the beginning”). What Jesus taught and what he did is inseparable from who he is. When Jesus took on human flesh, he did not give up any part of his deity. John tells us Jesus is fully God and was fully man. John tells us that Jesus was with God before the beginning of time. Jesus must be understood as fully God and fully man. Jesus deity is shown through the wonders of the universe that God created through him and in his mastery over it. His humanity is seen in his suffering as a man most notably shown in his crucifixion on the cross.

We observed that all of us have sinned. As sinners we cannot be in the presence of a Holy God. Our only hope is Jesus. Jesus is perfectly equipped to be the sacrifice that takes away our sin. As the Son of God he is able to satisfy God’s anger over our sin and his demand for perfection. As the Son of man he is able to understand our weakness. As God’s agent in creation he is able to redeem that which he created. Jesus is the only way to God. As we learn later in John 14:6 Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through” Him.

The Witness: In verse John 1:6 we are introduced to John. John was the prophet who was to point the way to Jesus. He is a faithful witness. He calls Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. What a curious thing to call the Son of God. The imagery of the Lamb reminds me of the Lamb that was sacrificed on the Day of Atonement under the old Covenant. Jesus has become for us that sacrificial lamb, but his sacrifice is once for all and does not need to be repeated. Jesus became that unblemished lamb that was sacrificed because of our sins. We should follow John’s example and declare that Jesus must become greater and we must become less.

Pointing the Way: John the Baptist came to baptize people with a baptism of repentance and prepare people for the ministry of Jesus. He announced that Jesus is the one who comes after him, the thongs of whose sandals he is not worthy to untie. His ministry was to point the way to Christ. If our job was to give tours through a great art museum, our job would be to point out great art and some of the finer points of certain paintings. If we tell people all about the art while we are standing in front of it, then no one can see the great work of art. We need to get out of the way. It’s not about us; it’s about the art. In the same way, we need to point people to Jesus, the Christ; the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. We need to get out of the way and point people to Jesus and his teachings.

Jesus’ First Disciples: As John was teaching and baptizing one day, he saw Jesus. As we would expect he pointed out Jesus to those who were listening. Two of those who were listening to him left and followed Jesus. One was Andrew and the other was probably John. The two disciples were willing to drop their own agenda’s to become disciples of Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was go to tell his brother that they had found the Messiah. We should quickly drop our agendas and follow Jesus like Andrew did and then look for others to introduce to the Messiah. He is the only way for people to be saved. If we keep that eternal perspective then we will seek to say and do things that make a difference in peoples’ lives both for time and eternity.

Keep the Faith,

Jeff

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