John | Grace Reformed Church
We turn this morning again to the gospel of John. We’ve finished with chapter 3, one of the most often-quoted chapters of scripture in the entire bible, and it is remarkable what we’ve uncovered so far. If you remember back to the very beginning of this series, when I introduced the book of John, I mentioned that of the four gospels, it holds a very unique place. Since it was likely written a bit later than the others, and John seems to assume that his readers know the content that is in the other gospels, the gospel of John has the opportunity to do two things that the others do not.
We have the joy again this morning of coming to God’s Word. To open it, to read it, to study it, to unfold the truths that it has for us, and to apply it to our lives. It’s been another tough week in our lives as a nation, thinking especially about goings-on at the national political level. But in the end, those things have less impact on our lives than our personal struggles. Undoubtedly it’s been an even tougher week for many people individually.
Happy New Year to everyone! I want to thank you for allowing me the time to be gone last week. I was a little disappointed to spend so much planned time off as a healthy person in quarantine, but alas, these are the times we live in! But the holidays are over, it is a joyous new year, and we begin it just as dependent on the grace of God as we were this time last year, do we not?
Well, the decorations are hung, the first candle is lit, we’ve all eaten plenty of food this week (I know I have), so it must be Advent! I decided to take a break from our study of John and do a series of four Advent messages, but you’ll notice, we are still in John. You may not remember, but last year I was going to do the same thing while we were studying Philippians, but then when Advent rolled around, we happened to reach a spot in the text that was really perfect for Advent messages, so we just stayed there.
We return again this morning to the gospel of John, and today we’re going to start chapter 3, which is a chapter containing possibly the most referenced verse in all of scripture—maybe you’ve seen it in the background at a sporting event or on the bumper of a car—that verse that so encapsulates the gospel in its essence that it is the one verse that we point people to if they’re going to hear just one verse of scripture.
We return again to the gospel of John, looking today at the second half of the second chapter. Last week we looked at what was the first sign that Jesus did, the first of seven that John refers to specifically to prove that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. Timing-wise I guess I should have pushed that off to this week—it would have been nice to preach on the turning of water into wine on the same day we have communion, but hopefully at the very least that message was a good preparation for today.
We return to John this morning, and are now getting to chapter 2. To set the stage a little bit here we should remind ourselves of what we learned in the first chapter, because the things that are here in the second and following chapters are not here by accident. Remember that John is not like the other gospels. The synoptic gospels all attempt to record history, try to get as much detail about Jesus’s life and ministry as they can. In Matthew we get lengthy discourses about various teachings that Jesus certainly shared on more than one occasion.
We continue this morning our study of the Gospel According to John, and this morning we will be finishing the first chapter. It’s getting much more exciting! Things are starting to happen, more and more people are entering the scene. Two weeks ago the only people on the stage were John the Baptist and this Pharisee delegation from Jerusalem. Then last week we saw Jesus finally enter the stage, and John the Baptist recognized him as the Messiah, but even more than that, the Lamb of God.
I’ll ask that you turn with me again this morning to the book of John. This is the fourth of what will be five sermons on the first chapter of John. We could, of course, do many more than that, with how packed full of doctrine this first chapter is. And it’s no surprise that as we turn to what has been edited to be the next paragraph, with its own heading, in the chapter, that we are greeted with even more doctrine. And in this brief story, it comes to us first through John naming Christ, naming him something specific.
We continue this morning with our study of John, and I hope that you’ve had as great a time as I have even just in these first two weeks looking at the prologue. Those first 18 verses are so masterful, so full of theology, full of Christology, and function together as an incredible reminder of who is the God we serve. Christ is the Word, Christ is Light which is life. Just wonderful. I hope you enjoyed that study.