The Word of Light and Grace – 10-03-22

“And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:51 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Gospel of John chapter 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Eternal Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.

John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That[b] was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His [c]own, and His [d]own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [e]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Becomes Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me [f]is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”
16 [g]And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten [h]Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

A Voice in the Wilderness

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, [i]is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in [j]Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [k]is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

The First Disciples

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the [l]Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of [m]Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, [n]A Stone).

Philip and Nathanael

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter[o] you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Footnotes

  1. John 1:5 Or overcome
  2. John 1:9 Or That was the true Light which, coming into the world, gives light to every man.
  3. John 1:11 His own things or domain
  4. John 1:11 His own people
  5. John 1:12 authority
  6. John 1:15 ranks higher than I
  7. John 1:16 NU For
  8. John 1:18 NU God
  9. John 1:27 ranks higher than I
  10. John 1:28 NU, M Bethany
  11. John 1:30 ranks higher than I
  12. John 1:41 Lit. Anointed One
  13. John 1:42 NU John
  14. John 1:42 Gr. Petros, usually translated Peter
  15. John 1:51 NU omits hereafter

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Philippians 1:6- 

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

The Book of John was written by the ‘beloved disciple John’; who also write the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd books of John as well as the Book of Revelation.
As discussed before, the Gospel of Mark was written first and then Matthew and Luke. Matthew seemed to take Mark and fill in all the blanks while Luke took Mark and added other’s accounts and wrote it as and for a defense of Paul’s commission to be a missionary of Jesus Christ. John however broke the mold and seems more like a diary of personal experience and revelation than the other Gospels do.
John was the disciple who lived the longest. Most say and think that the Book of John was written around the same time as Revelations – the year 100 or so. I disagree. As we have also discussed in the year 70, an event as, if not more, traumatic than 911 was to our modern world, happened. It was the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem – which changed the geography of the world in the area in which the Gospel was written. In the Book of John, the city, terrain and even the temple are referenced in the tense of still existing while the events of Jesus were in the past tense. So this was not a diary and seemingly written before the year 70.
Also, the terminology for the Apostles, Christians and Church were not established until late in Paul’s ministry. (Paul died in 64/65.)  However, earlier terms, like disciples, were used in this book suggesting it was written much earlier.
With the journaling like quality of the book, I personally like to think it was begun right after Jesus ascended and John continued to work on it for 25 to 30 years – finally releasing it around 64 when Peter and Paul passed away as a means to encourage the church as well as to stand and bear witness to Jesus as the number of those who met Him in person were dwindling. Just my thought.

I favor reading the writings of John above the other writers of the New Testament, like Paul (who wrote the most books), Luke (who wrote the most words), Peter or James. The reason is that a significant portion of John’s mind is submerged in love – He seems to be walking with one foot permanently in the spirit world. His thoughts, revelations, and descriptions of things all seem touched by otherworldliness. John had a revelation of the Christ that no one else had while He was here and a deeper understanding after.

We will read this book and pull out a topic each day to discuss and we will not go line by line as there will be too much each day to do a full line by line study. But while reading and studying – let us ask for that kind of grace that brings more revelation and let us pray for the Holy Spirit to help us understand what is written – because John is writing to a mature believer and we should strive to be mature enough to grasp the deep things presented.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

John begins with a profound and deep revelation of Christ. This was revealed to him through grace and the Holy Spirit. Much was revealed while he walked with Christ and the rest was revealed through the Holy Spirit.
It is literally saying the Bible, aka the Word of God, is not just written under inspiration but it is Jesus Himself. When we are to watch our words – it is because Jesus Himself is in Word. And when the enemy tries to water down or add drops of poison into the scriptures – changing them ever so slightly – it is Jesus Himself the enemy is trying to corrupt.  This is why there is no redemption and forgiveness for the enemy.

There are many who believe John the disciple was also a disciple of John the Baptist. At the least, He was aware of John’s ministry before becoming a disciple of Jesus. John, the writer understood the spiritual dynamics and importance of John the Baptist.
We cannot see or understand what the full significance of this burly man, wearing animal skins and eating locust meant in the spirit. But many times we pray and do not understand in the physical, what is happening in the spirit.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

I am sure John the Baptist’s significance is much more than bearing witness – as He prepared the way of the Lord. But John the Baptist, being ALSO Jesus’s cousin – but more over being taught by that grace we read about in Titus (the kind of grace that reveals the deeper things of the spirit) – He knew things about Jesus as the Word and Jesus as the Light that most people did not know. But John the author figured out and fell in love with.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”

Jesus came into the very world He created and we did not know our creator. What a shame.

11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

Jesus came for the Jews and they chanted Crucify Him – John is giving away a lot about how this book ends. It is obvious it is not a diary type journal.

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

It was also written after Peter revealed how God was including the gentiles – as Paul also learned. So verse 13 – is about the inclusion of the gentiles in Jesus’s ministry. Gentiles were not in His immediate scope – but people were reached who would bring it to the gentile as well.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus as the Word – the Genesis 1:1 kind of ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and earth’ spoken word was the very flesh and bones that John the writer walked with and talked with and looked into his eyes and hugged.
And though many saw nothing but a man – John beheld His glory. Jesus, full of grace and truth. John was wise enough to ask for revelation. John knew how to walk in the spirit. Get into the spirit and walk there.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”
16  And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

John the writer is still speaking of John the Baptist’s witness and more importantly he speaks of how you and I can receive of Christ’s fullness, grace upon grace. John the writer has had a very real experience with grace and understands things most do not. He knows how grace flows in the spirit and understands the revelation that comes within that grace and how grace and come upon grace and grace for grace and the multiplication of grace.

Now back to John the Baptist:
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”

And he answered, “No.”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said: “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’
as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

John moved the narrative from an abstract understanding of who Christ is in Spirit and Truth into the narrative of the Gospel Story – beginning with Joh the Baptist. This is a logical beginning point as this was the first anyone heard that the TIME WAS NOW for them to meet their savior.

I cannot help but give pause as so many around us do not see the hour we are in or recognize the signs of our times. For you and I the TIME IS NOW. The move of God happened and NOW we must live and move within that move. The Gospels record that move – that new thing He did and brought forth. And Jesus declared it finished – now you and I need to stand within that victory. We do not need a move – we need to live and use the power of the Move God already made.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

I don’t know that John the Baptist used the symbolism and words that John the writer uses here. It is possible that the Baptizer used the word Lamb before the writer did – maybe that is where the writer got that revelation initially. Or maybe years after the event, when John was writing this and already had the revelation knowledge that Jesus was the Lamb, be put these words in John the Baptists mouth in the story because it fit and was a revelation both of these Johns understood.
The real question, I suppose, is who do you know Jesus to be? Do you know and recognize him as the Light? AS the Word? And as the Lamb?

30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

Although John the Baptist was Jesus’s cousin – John was older and went off into the wilderness to hear from God and was commissioned by God to baptize for the remission of sins.  John may or may not have known Jesus was the messiah – but when he saw the dove, He knew. He knew that he knew.

Jesus himself asked the disciples later in their relationship – who do they think He is. John is very clear that Jesus is Word and Light flowing in Grace. Do you know Jesus? How do you say He is?

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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