Read - John 1:1-18
Message - Alan Burke
I want you to think to how each of the Gospel accounts begin. If you are familiar with them you will already know that they are so very different, they have different emphases, the Gospel of Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus (Mk 1:1-11), whereas Luke at some length give us the account of his birth in Bethlehem and Matthew’s account begins with the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham. Matthew and Luke’s Gospel explain to us how the Holy Spirit conceived within the virgin Mary, Jesus, who would come to save the people from their sins (Matt 1:20-21). In the Gospel of Luke we are told of how Mary would in her womb conceive and bear a son, his name would be Jesus and that his kingdom would have no end (Luke 1:31-33). Whereas John’s focus, is not on Jesus baptism, or on his birth or lineage, rather John goes back, long before the other Gospel accounts begin, back to before the creation of the world there to the very beginning.
John wants to draw our attention to the preexisting Jesus as well as his absolute deity, how he was and is divine, that Jesus is God and posses every attribute that God possesses in His divine nature. John tells us of how the Word (speaking of Jesus), the same word that was with God in the beginning, that was God became incarnate as a human being and manifested the Glory of God (14). What love that God has for sinners that he would condescend in humility to our impoverished and lowly estate to exalt us and make us rich in Him though his death on the Cross! (2 Cor. 8:9, Phil. 2:8).
The Eternal Son of God took upon Himself in permanent, personal, union and subsistence unto Himself, he took on our nature! From the moment of his incarnation onwards, throughout his life on earth, he was God and man in two distinct natures, and now at the right hand of the Father in heaven enthroned at God’s right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords, is God Himself in the flesh, and a faithful and powerful and good and compassionate mediator for sinners (Heb. 2:14-18; 4:14-16). All of this so that we who do not deserve God’s grace, can know his grace, that we might be saved. For it is by grace that we have been saved, his free and unmerited favour towards us that was manifested though God the Son, the redeemer who did what we could not do so that we could be saved from our sin and shown the unmerited favour of God.
Salvation is not because of what we have done that God loves us, it is not because of who we are that God loves us, it is not because of anything we can hope to do that God loves us, it is not our own work, it is not the result of a choice we made. Rather, this is the sovereign will of God being worked out in our lives, resurrecting us from the dead so that we can call on Christ as our saviour and be brought into God's covenant family, this is what the incarnation of the word of God this day means for us who have received the grace of God, that we are his.
Q45 Which is the first commandment?
The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exod. 20:3)