Do you remember why John wrote this gospel?
- John’s purpose for writing this gospel is to get people to “believe that Jesus (Savior/human) is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God, (Deity) and that believing they may have life in His name.”
- That is John’s purpose.
And we saw that last week in the first 5 verses of John 1 when John revealed Jesus to us as the eternal Word of God, the Creator of the Universe, and the source of life and Light.
- God, through John wants all of us to find eternal life through Christ.
- So, John keeps telling us: “It is all about Christ” and here in the passage that was read, to get us to put our full trust and faith in Christ, John gives us a witness.
- Let’s look at the passage that was read starting in vs. 6.
In vs. 6 John tells us about another John, a man, who “came” and was “sent from God.”
- And this John was “sent from God as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.”
- And vs. 8: “He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.”
Now, there is little doubt that John is talking about John the Baptist and John the apostle seems to intentionally make the point that John the Baptizer was a “man” who “came” and who was “sent from God as a witness of the light that all might believe through him” and I think there is a very good reason why John does that. .
- There is no doubt that John the Baptizer came to point people to Christ and that is what he did.
- But some of those who heard John preach and who were baptized by John for the forgiveness of sins continued to be devoted to John.
- Some even wondered if John wasn’t the Messiah himself (Luke 3:15).
- And remember in Acts 18:24 that Apollos was “acquainted only with the baptism of John” and Pricilla and Aquila took him aside and explained the word of God to him more accurately.
- And then in Acts 19, when Paul came to Ephesus, he found some disciples who had only been baptized into John’s baptism.
- So, even though John the Baptizer came to proclaim Christ, there were those who still held to John or had not heard the “good news” of Christ, and John the author of this gospel wanted everyone to know that John the Baptizer was not the “Light”; he was not the Christ; but he came to testify about the One who was the “Light! “
Once again, John is saying, “It is all about Jesus!”
- And you might ask, “How does that apply to us today?”
Sometimes, and I don’t expect anyone here to have this problem, but sometimes people get “preacher-itis.”
- They get so devoted to the preacher that they fail to see Christ.
- And if the preacher leaves or dies they are devastated.
I remember a congregation where the preacher decided to leave and one of the sisters in the congregation went to one of the elders and said, “What are we going to do?” She was devastated.
- Do you know what the elder said? “We are going to find another one.”
It is not about the preacher; or an elder; or anyone else.
- There are religious groups today that blindly follow after those who claim to be prophets or representatives of Christ, and sometimes the people are manipulated, and taught in error; and deceived.
- And recently a group in Kenya was told that if they wanted to be right with God they had to kill themselves; and they did; and what they need to realize is they may need to look past whoever it is they are following and follow Jesus because, like John says, “It is all about Jesus.”
Now, look at vs. 9: There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
- Jesus is and was the “true” light; others are just “flickering lights” of truth; faint glimpses of reality which have led men to follow them only to wind up in the darkness and be left there.
- But Jesus, He is the genuine light; He brings real illumination to people; there is nothing unreal or shadowy about the light which Christ shines.
But notice the last of vs. 9: “The true light which enlightens every man.”
- People are without excuse!
- God’s light was not hidden from them; the people refused to see it and still do today.
- Look at this in chapter 3:19.
“And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.
- The Light didn’t come for just a select few; it wasn’t hidden from them!
- They simply loved the “darkness rather than the light!”
- This is true today.
The Light shines everywhere; churches; Bibles; Bible in motel rooms; crosses in cemeteries; crosses on necklaces and earrings; remember the guy with the multicolored hair that would sit in the end zone of football games and hold up the sign that said, “John 3:16.”
- The 10 Commandments was on monuments on courthouse squares; in public buildings; in schools.
- And football, basketball, and baseball games all started with a prayer.
- And the Light was even visible at Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving; the Light was never hidden.
The problem was and is, “men love the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds are evil.”
- 20: “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Look at what the apostle Paul says in Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
The majority of the sinful acts we are seeing in our society today is not because the Light or the Truth has been hidden from them; it is because people love the darkness rather than the Light.
- The Light is shining and they can find it if they want; and if necessary we will take it to them.
- But most don’t want to find it.
Now, back in chapter 1:10: He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
- Are you serious? People were created by God; they were created in the image of God; and then when He showed up on the scene they were like, “Who’s this? Get Him out of here! We don’t want to talk to Him!”
- That is pretty shocking!
And look at vs. 11: He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
- How many times did God speak through the Jewish prophets about the coming Messiah; where He would be born; and what He would do; and they missed it?
What is interesting is that animals are better than this; animals know their master but somehow humans don’t! Look with me at Isaiah chapter 1.
2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; For the LORD speaks, “Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted against Me. 3 “An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”
This is crazy! These are dumb animals! They are not human beings! And yet they know their master and his manger while people don’t even recognize Him!
People have dogs. And they come home and their dog is so excited to see them! They jump up and down and jump up on your feet; and sometime they are so excited that they “leak.”
- But if someone comes up that the dog doesn’t recognize, what does he do? He barks!
- And we call them “dumb dogs?”
Dogs are smart enough to recognize their master but do humans?
- Do you see how far this sinful world has fallen?
- When sin came into this world it rendered us literally incapable of recognizing God who created us.
- We were cut off from God spiritually to the point where we could no longer recognize our own creator and today, some have fallen so far that they don’t even recognize that He created them male and female!
- That is deep, deep darkness; and it would be terrible if this was the end of John message.
- But it isn’t.
- There is some “good news.” Look at vs. 12:
12 But as many as received Him (the bulk of the people didn’t and haven’t received Him. But many did.)
…and to them He gave (grace…they didn’t earn it) the right (the authority-they have full authority to claim their exalted position based on His grace and His authority) to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
- “Believe” here is more than just a simple acknowledgment of Jesus.
- To “believe” is to accept; to receive; or to fully trust that He is the Light and that Life is in Him; that He is the foundation of salvation; there is no other foundation; we are totally dependent on His righteousness; His perfection and His love that gives us credit before God.
- And it is to believe so sincerely that it shows up in what we say, how we act, and what we do.
- Believing is yielding one’s self up to be possessed by Him
And to “believe in His name” is not just simply uttering His name as though it is a password that opens up God’s blessing to you.
- “Name” refers to all that He is; it refers to His whole being.
And look at vs 13. This right, this authorization to become a “child of God” is not based on blood lineage (not based on being born a Jew or a Gentile);
- It cannot be obtained by works of the flesh; none of our external efforts can cause this to happen.
- It is not based on the will of man; it is not based on what you or I may think gives us a right relationship with God.
It is only by the will of God and Jesus’ perfect life and works on the cross; and our receiving and believing completely in Him that anyone can be a “child of God.”
- And as a “child of God” we are subject to all of His eternal promises; eternal life; heaven; salvation;
- And I guess that is the question we should all ask ourselves this morning; “Am I, are you a child of God? Or, do we love the darkness?
- How we live, what we say will reveal the truth.
Do you and I recognize our Master or are we dumber than an animal?
If you have drifted away from Christ; come back where you belong.
- And if you are living in darkness; Christ can and will transfer you from that domain of darkness into His kingdom where you have redemption and the forgiveness of sins if you will let Him.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023