The words that can complete that phrase are limitless – but essential to our understanding of the nature and character of Jesus. The gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) use a broad variety of words to finish that phrase. For example, Matthew writes to the Jewish Christians and uses many terms familiar to a Jew: Jesus is the Son of David; Jesus is the Messiah.
However, when John penned the gospel that bears his name, it was around AD 100 and the church had spread far beyond the region of Jerusalem and the land of the Jews. Christianity had gone out into the Gentile (everyone who is not a Jew) world and the church was no longer predominately Jewish but was, in fact, overwhelmingly Gentile. The vast majority of the members of the church now came not from a Jewish background but a Greek background so terms like “Son of David” and “Messiah” meant nothing to them.
Christianity had to be restated. It was not that the truth of Christianity had changed; but the terms and categories in which it found expression had to be changed – and this is exactly what John did. From the very first verse of the book of John, the truth about Jesus is delineated in terms that made sense to both the Jew and Greek – and modern day American – mind.
This Sunday we are beginning a journey through the gospel of John. Pastor Dale is intent on helping us understand, verse by verse, what the words meant in AD 100, how we can understand them now, and how the truths revealed play out in our lives today.
Jesus is… In preparation for our time of study this Sunday let me encourage you to read the following verses:
- John 1:1-18 – Keep a pad of paper handy and when you read the passage again see how many words you can find in it to complete the phrase, Jesus is….
Already excited to begin the journey!
“Lord, if you want to use me in any way today, I am available.”
Love God – Love Neighbor – Lead Others