(Message 1) “In the beginning…”, how would you end this phrase? John starts his story of Jesus’ life by ending this phrase a bit differently than you might expect, “In the beginning… was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Why does he do this? Well, let’s just say it’s deep. Find out how deep in our message, “The Untold Story – In The Beginning…” #GCTheUntoldStory
The “Synoptic” Gospels (Syn = “same”,Optic = “vision”):
4. John (The Untold Story)
The Gospels settle arguments about Jesus:
Matthew: Jesus is the King
Mark: Jesus is the Servant
Luke: Jesus is the Son of Man
John: Jesus is the Son of God
Jesus is God: John wrote his gospel to prove it
“Logos” – Reason; the mental faculty of thinking, planning, and calculating “Zoe” – Life of absolute fullness, both physical and spiritual; life eternal “Phos” – Knowledge of moral and spiritual truth, and the purity associated with it
What is God?
“Pleroma” – The riches and treasures contained in the cargo hold of a ship
John 1:1-18 (NLT) 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. 15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” 16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
John 1:29-34 (NLT) 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God. ”
John 1:51 (NLT) 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
How do you think people today would react to a modern version of John the Baptist; i.e. a street preacher, who just might be eating locusts.
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Read John 1:1-3. What does this passage mean by the Word, or logos, as Jeff described it?How can it be that the Word was God and also with God? What is the significance that God created everything through him, the Word?
Read John 1:12-13.What does it mean to believe and accept the one who is the Word? Why are those who believe given “the right to become children of God?”What does it mean to be reborn of a birth that comes from God?
Read John 1:51.Why does Jesus refer to the vision of Jacob’s ladder?Why does Jesus call himself “the Son of Man”?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
Do your words have the power to inform, shape or even create? Do some people’s words have more power than others?
Have you been reborn as a child of God?Describe how it felt to be reborn, or how it feels to know you are a child of God.
Jesus takes away the sin of the world.How has Jesus helped to take away your sin?
John the Baptist was a bold witness to the light.Discuss your experiences as a witness; are you bold, are you reserved?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Take at least one opportunity this week to be a bold and discerning witness to the light that is found in Christ.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus, to bring us the light that reveals and to save us from the darkness.Please help us to be bold witnesses to the truth of your word, that we can be reborn into your kingdom if we believe in his name.-Amen