I LOVE The Gospel According to John! I mean I love all 4 of the gospels, for different reasons! Like Matthew, Mark, and Luke; John’s Gospel documents the major categories of Jesus’ life—His birth, His public ministry, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the grave.
I think for me the main difference between the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and the Gospel of John, is that John is almost like biographical theology–Jesus explaining His own nature and purpose in the world; where the Synoptics are more concerned with portraying Jesus as being the Savior to all demographics. According to one source Jesus is recorded uttering the word, “I” 118 times in the Gospel of John, comparative to 36 times in all 3 of the Synoptics Gospels combined.
Some of the most well-known phrases that Jesus spoke are recorded in the Gospel of John. Soak up this Christ-centered teaching from John before we focus on the verse of the week!!! Jesus said:
~ “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE” – John 6:35
~ “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD” – John 8:12
~ “I AM THE GATE” – John 10:9
~ “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD” – John 10:11
~ “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE” – John 11:25
~ “I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE” – John 14:6
~ “I AM THE VINE” – John 15:5
The other “I AM” statement is the most definitive of all, and found in John 8: 58.
“‘Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!'”
The words used, combined with the verb-tense in this verse show that Jesus Christ existed at the beginning of time, and exists now! Jesus Christ transcends over time! The original language also mirror God’s Words in Exodus 3:14; therefore showing that Jesus and God are one in the same. Jesus is part of the Triune God…
“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'””
The #LimitlessLife verse of the week, John 1:12, appears in the Prologue to John’s Gospel:
John 1:1-17 is an INCREDIBLE passage of Scripture that really helps us understand who the “him” is, to whom verse 12 applies.
Who is “him“?
“Him”is the WORD ~ Jesus IS the Word (1:14). He became flesh and lived among us. Jesus existed with God in the beginning (1:1), and Jesus IS God (1:1).
“Him” is the CREATOR GOD, and created the world! Nothing was created without “Him” and He gave breath and life to ALL (1:3-4, 10).
“Him” is the LIGHT of the WORLD, and cannot be overcome by anything! (1:4; 8:12)
“Him” was not known, or received by the world that He created (1:10-11). Have you ever been rejected? It hurts right! It is dumb-founding to me to think that even though people are created by God, they reject Him, and do not receive Him. But, what an INCREDIBLE gift He has for those to DO believe, and accept “Him”!
This prologue introduces many of the major themes of the whole Gospel of John: Jesus is Life (1:4); Light (1:5-9); and, Truth (1:14, 16-17). I LOVE that the word “GRACE” appears 4 times in the space of 4 verses, after John names believers as “children of God”. God’s children are COVERED in grace, grace, grace, grace!!! God’s children are covered by God’s unmerited FAVOR, and blessing. WOW!!!
A Little Greek!
BELIEVE is translated from the Greek word “pisteuó“. If we look at the Strong’s Concordance, to believe in Christ is to have faith in, to trust in Christ. To believe in Christ, is to place full confidence in, and believe to be true! Since we know that Jesus IS the Word…to believe in Jesus, is to believe that the Word that comes from God, is TRUTH! When we believe in Christ, we believe in, put our faith in, trust, have full confidence in the Word of God!
ACCEPT comes from the Greek word “lambanó” and means receive, take hold of. I love what the Helps Study highlights…it comes from the primitive root “lab” which means to ACTIVELY receive. We have to actively accept Christ. We have to make a decision and do something about it! It is a gift that we have to receive. I think about receiving a birthday present…the giver can hold it out to us all day long, but it does not become ours until we put out our hand and take hold of it. We do not accept Christ by just standing still looking at Him, we accept Christ when we pray and embrace Him. When we do this…He also gives another gift…“the right to become children of God.”
We can learn a lot from the Greek word “ginomai” translated as become in John 1:12. The Helps Study says:
~ to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another
~ to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place
We are all created by God, and made in His image BUT we are only adopted into His family, as His children, when we receive His gift of salvation. It is after we believe and receive that we transition into the family of God as His children.
Romans 8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
Romans 8:23 “And we BELIEVERS also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
Children “teknon” of God will have a desire to willfully live in total dependence on their Father God. Helps Study says this Greek word “emphasizes the childlike (not childish) attitude of heart that willingly (gladly) submits to the Father’s plan.” Children of God are the believers who have the Holy Spirit living in them, and will spend eternity in His home in Heaven!
So What Now?
After looking at the meanings behind the Greek words used in John 1:12, it is clear that those who have made the conscious decision to trust, believe, have faith in, put confidence in Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have taken hold of, and embraced, the gift of God’s offering of a place in His family, as His children, will place their trust, and willingness to live in total dependence on God; they submit to His plan for their life.
Is this you? Are you a Child of God? He is inviting you to trust Him. Remember who it is that is offering this invitation: the Creator God, Light of the World, Bread of Life, Gate, Good Shepherd, Resurrection and Life, Way, Truth, Vine…God who transcends time and space.
There are no other hands in which I would choose to put my life! There is no better family to be part of!
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV