John 1:17

We’re going through the New Testament looking for clues to the doctrine of the Trinity.  We’ve been going through the book of John and we’re in the prologue right now. We’ve been spending a day on each verse aside from John 1:1 on which we spent three days. We’re almost to the end as after this one, we have only one more verse to go. Tonight, we are going to be looking at John 1:17.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

The Law of Moses. Those words if uttered to a Jew would immediately bring about reverence. If there was one thing they all agreed on, it was that the Law of Moses had authority. One contrast that will also be seen in the book of John is not just Jesus in comparison with John the Baptist, but Jesus in comparison with Moses.

The Law was the decree of God. It was the way of salvation. It was what had to be followed if Israel did not want to go into exile again. It was their righteousness. They showed that they belonged to the covenant of YHWH by following the Law. It was revealed divinely by God. Tablets were written by the very finger of God. It had been handed down and passed down from generation to generation. It was certainly not taken lightly.

John gives it an inferior position already here.

We discussed this some when we talked about the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gives the speech and the obvious reply to his setting aside the Law would have been “Who do you think you are? God?”

Well, just maybe he did.

Of course, the Hebrews writer will tell us that when something is set aside, it is because it is replaced with a greater. What is the greater? In this case, it is what came through Jesus Christ. That greater is grace and truth.

The Law could tell our condition before God, but it could not rectify that condition. Sacrifices were never capable of removing sins. It could tell us a way to live holy lives. It could not make us holy in itself. It was a pointer to what was to come, and that was Christ. We must remember that while the Law was meant to lead us to Christ, we should not denigrate the Law. The Law is holy and good and it still gives us moral commands that we are to follow today.

Christ offers something different. He offers grace. He tells us how it is that we can be saved and he forgives us. His sacrifice is capable of removing the stain of sin in our lives. He not only shows us where we are wrong. He corrects it. He does for us what we could never do for ourselves and never will be able to do for ourselves.

Truth also comes. Christ gives us the truth. He tells us who we are and he tells us who we are to be. That is only found by coming through him who is the truth, a concept we will look at later when we get to the fourteenth chapter. 

Truth is essential to everything. Truth is a major concept that we will find all throughout this gospel. It is what sets us free. It is what we are to know. It is one of the ways that Jesus uses to identify himself. Definitely nothing to take lightly.

Tomorrow, we shall wrap up the prologue of John.

John 1:16

We’re going to resume again going through the New Testament and looking for clues to the Trinity. I would also like to extend my thanks to Fred and Raphael for their comments. It is much appreciated and hopefully such questions can be used to stop the silent holocaust that is going on in America and thinks to recent legislation, our tax dollars are now supporting overseas. Tonight, we’re going to continue our look at the prologue of John and we will be looking at John 1:16.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Something easy to overlook is that this verse is talking about Christ. Christ is seen as the source of grace and blessings. John is reminding his readers that if they have any blessing in life, they have it because of Christ. This is certainly a high view of Christ that is being endorsed in this passage.

It is the fulness of his grace also. Christ is not lacking at all in grace. How could he if he’s very God? If you want to know if Christ can become more gracious, the answer is no. You might wonder why you do not see his blessing on your life. If the problem is not with him, it could be that you’re not receptive of it.

I don’t want to sound like a prosperity teacher however in saying that. When I speak of blessing, I am not speaking of loads of money or never being sick. I am speaking more of the simple joys that take place every day around you and that you don’t take the time to consider. Lest you also think I’m only talking about you, I’m not. I’m just as guilty of it.

This is found by you just focusing on the things in your life. Are you able to read this right now? Consider yourself blessed that you have eyesight. Maybe someone else is reading it to you if you’re blind. Consider yourself blessed that you have hearing. Chances are you’re reading this on your own. Consider yourself blessed that you have a computer and hopefully you live in a country where you have the freedom to read these kinds of materials online without fear of the government.

What else do you have? Consider your family. Consider your friends. What all is going on? Have you considered especially the great Christian truths? Have you considered that Christ is alive and that God is on his throne right now? Have you really thought about what an awesome being God is lately, or is that one problem you have in your life somehow eclipsing the grandeur of God? (For those who think I am pointing fingers again, I am still speaking just as much to me as I am to you.)

I often wonder how much better our lives would be if we would just take some time to consider the nature of the God we love and serve and what he is really like. I look forward to the day when the church returns to strong doctrine that will also result in right living.

Today, from his fulness, you have received one blessing after another. Can you really count them? Just consider them and as Paul says in Philippians 4:8, think on these things.

The Crime Of Existence

I’m going to be taking a break from the Trinity series to write on a topic that I was pondering last night. My roommate and I had dinner with friends from our church because their son was writing a paper on abortion and he wanted to have a good interview. I was asked if I’d like to be interviewed on the topic and said I’d be glad to help. I’m also pleased to see a Christian willing to take a stand in a public high school on the topic of abortion.

Later that evening, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a widowed mother and we were talking about the topic of abortion and I stated that I believe abortion is one of the most anti-feminine practices out there. Giving birth is the most feminine thing a woman can do that I can think of. This is something unique to her and something that is truly miraculous. The idea of a woman getting abortion actually helps turn her into an object. It means a man can have his way with her and he does not need to fear the consequences.

As I was getting set for bed last night, I happened to find lying on a bookcase a Christmas card that friends of ours from our church gave us. It has their daughter, who was 2 at the time and could still very well be, standing in front of their Christmas tree smiling. It’s upon seeing a picture like that that the idea usually hits home. 

I often speak of the wonder of what is. While some may speak of the problem of evil, the problem of evil distracts from what ought to be. It takes away from something. It eliminates in a sense, its “is-ness.” A hole in a garment keeps the garment from fulfilling its purpose to the best of its ability. Evil in my life keeps me from fulfilling my purpose to the best of my ability.

This little girl is and I see the picture and I wonder. What’s in store for her for the future? I already know her mother is pregnant again and what is going to be going on when the new baby is born? Will this little girl understand that this other person came about the same way that she did? While she may not know the facts of life, and I seriously doubt she does, will she understand when she sees a birth taking place that she entered the world the same way?

What about all the friends that she will make in her lifetime? What kind of education is she going to receive? What will happen when she gets to Middle School? Are the guys going to start noticing her? Is she going to start noticing them? Will she have a sweet sixteen where she gets her own car and drives to the mall with her friends? Will she go to her senior prom? Will she go to college? Will she get married and have a family of her own?

All of these questions are questions we can ask of young men and women, although for some we will certainly reverse the roles for men. Yet for each human being, there is a chance that those questions might never have been asked. There is the sad possibility that some people might choose to eliminate the pregnancy to begin with.

I am well aware many people could bring up arguments such as rape or incest or anacephalic babies. Those are different issues and I think most of us would agree that most abortions do not happen for those reasons nor do I want it to be the case that we take the exceptions and make a normative doctrine out of the exceptions.

We could easily say that sadly, most of the time, abortions are done for the sake of convenience in some way. Maybe the mother thinks she can’t afford a child. Maybe she’s being pressured by a man in her life. Maybe, sadly, she just wants to have the “pleasures” of being able to have sexual intercourse without consequence.

For that, the baby in the womb is an interference. The baby is guilty of a crime. What is that crime? The baby exists. The existence of the baby is am impediment to some other good that someone else has in mind. 

It is certainly the case that being able to have sexual intercourse is a good and sexual intercourse itself is a good. It certainly is the case that not having to be abused in some way by a significant other is a good. It is certainly the case that a woman being able to be financially secure is a good. The problem in each of these areas is taking the things that are goods and putting them over being good.

How is it that removing the existence (Though I as a Christian believes the child aborted exists regardless as they have souls that will go somewhere and I leave that in the hands of God) of a child in the womb helps someone to be good? Remember, I’m not asking if it brings about goods, because the only reason we do any action is because we believe ultimately it will bring about some good. I am asking if it helps the person having the abortion to be good.

If we have a society that teaches people it is okay to eliminate people just because they are an inconvenience in some way, are we going to produce a society of people that are good? If all we are about is obtaining goods, such as pleasure, money, or sex, then should it be a shock if we end up with such a society? We should not complain about the immorality of society if we have been indulging in this idea that having goods is more important than being good.

It will not do to push the responsibility to another. For instance, someone might say “Why don’t you go and adopt?” For one thing, I have a roommate and both of us are men and frankly, I think a child in the best situation needs a mother and a father and we can’t do that. Furthermore, we are financially incapable at this time. Having a child is expensive. We are aware of that, which is why the best case would be for people to be responsible with their sexuality and realize that actions have possible consequences and an act like abortion is simply a way of denying the reality of those consequences, at the cost of the life of an innocent child.

Another analogy can work at this point. I am an animal lover and particularly, unlike many guys, I like cats. I parked here at our apartment complex recently and it was raining and there at a neighbor’s door I see a cat outside meowing. Now this cat has a collar so it obviously belongs to someone else, but my heart is moved instantly and I just go over and pet the soaked kitty. Now if I was following the logic of pro-abortionists on this point, I would be at the humane society adopting every single cat that I could. As much as I love cats, that would not be proper. I would not be able to take care of them all. Hopefully someday though, our financial situation will be the type where maybe we can adopt a pet, or I might have to wait until I get married someday.

In the meantime, I can show love to the animals that I meet in my life and cultivate a sense of care for them. I’m not going to put them at the level of humans, but I am not going to put them at the level of rocks either. I believe they’re special gifts of delight God put on Earth for not only our enjoyment, but his enjoyment as well. In doing those things, I am learning to be good.

I simply desire the pro-abortionist to consider their point and ask themselves this question. How is it that the destruction of innocent human life is going to go about producing a society of people that are good? How will it teach us to value life? Will it teach us a proper role of sexuality? Is there even a proper role of sexuality? Is it merely an activity done solely for pleasure? Is having sexual intercourse on the first date for pleasure just the same as the guy kissing the girl on the first date? Why? What does it mean if anything? If it doesn’t mean anything, why care at all about it?

Every day, many women enter abortion clinics and every day, many children die while never getting to see the light of day. They will never grow up and explore the world and learn about its wonder. They will never have a sixteenth birthday, drive a car, go to prom, have an education, or get married and have their own family. Why? For what purpose are we saying it is good to have the freedom to put them to death?

Inquiring minds want to know.

John 1:15

We’re continuing going through the New Testament and understanding the Trinitarian concepts therein. Let us remember that the Trinity is a systematic doctrine. I saw a JW today saying that John 1:1 does not teach tri-unity, for example. I agree. If it did, it would teach the deity of the Holy Spirit. However, it does teach that Jesus is fully God and that the Father is fully God and that Jesus is not the Father. Those three teachings are essential for the Trinity. In the end, we will take the texts that we have and hopefully the overall look we’ve given will supply the Christian with a strong Trinitarian defense. Tonight, we’ll be looking at John 1:15.

John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ “

We just saw the mind-blowing teaching that the Word became flesh, which is the message John wants to emphasize the most I believe in this prologue. If you do not have the Word becoming flesh, you do not have the gospel. Everything centers on this as now he goes back and talks about John. What does he say?

John the Baptisthad testified of the Word becoming flesh. Everything that the Baptist said earlier about the light and being a testimony to the light is now coming to play. The Word became flesh. This is the one John was testifying about. The writer John wants to be sure that his readers catch this point.

Note something interesting. John the Baptist realizes that Jesus’s ministry came after his, however, at the same time, he knows that Jesus was before him. How could this be? When Mary conceived, Elizabeth was already well along in her pregnancy. How could it be that Jesus came before the Baptist?

For that, we simply need to look at John 1:1. Jesus’s ministry did not come before in the sense of the three years he spent ministering on Earth during the incarnation. However, Jesus did come before in that he was around long before John the Baptist. In fact, he has eternally been around.

Let’s note this also. Jesus did not come into existence in the prior verse as some would say. The incarnation came into existence. The Son does not have a beginning in time, but his humanity does have a beginning in time. This is a mistake that anti-Trinitarians often make in their understanding of Christ. The humanity of Christ is not eternal. His existence as deity is however.

The Baptist makes it clear that the Son is greater than he is. Once again, I believe John the writer wrote this so we would not mistake the lesser light for the greater light. John the Baptist was important for pointing to Christ, which is the only way any of us are ever important in our ministries. For instance, I love getting hits on this blog and it’s great to know several of you are reading, but this blog is only serving a good purpose insofar as it is getting many of you to look to Christ.

As we continue, we will see John summing up what he has been saying earlier and getting us in the end to another grand statement of who Jesus is.

John 1:14

It’s time to get back to going through the New Testament and understanding the doctrine of the Trinity. We took a little detour but hey, it’s my blog and if I want to do that you all will just have to suffer. I hope you didn’t though! I also wish to think Kelp for his compliment and I agree, I am not speaking of just the pastors but to all of us. Tonight, we’re returning to the prologue to the gospel of John and looking at my favorite verse in the prologue, John 1:18.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

My good friend, Christian apologist and author Frank Turek has said before that if you can believe Genesis 1:1 in the Bible, everything else is child’s play. I understand where he’s coming from with that, but I frankly must disagree. I can easily understand the idea of a God creating the world. I’m not saying I understand how he did it, but that he did it makes sense.

To me, the concept that one person who is fully God would be born and live a life among human beings and take on our nature in addition to his deity is absolutely mind-blowing.

I spoke on John 1:1 of a predicate nominative indicating that the Word has the nature of the God he is with. The same is used with the Word became flesh. The Word took on the nature of humanity. Flesh in this passage does not refer to the sin nature, but rather to the human nature. 

The incarnation should be absolutely stunning. At this point, the Word had been active and we knew the Word had come in some way, but most people would have been utterly stunned at this. The divine and the human did not interact in this way! Heaven and Earth were there and never the twain shall meet!

God acts in the way we did not expect him to at all.

He dwelt among us. It literally means that he tabernacled among us. He pitched his tent. He took up temporary residence. In 1 Kings 8, Solomon said about the temple “Surely God will not dwell among men.” Well, it turns out he would. He would dwell not just in the Shekinah glory of the Holy Spirit, but up close and personal. In fact, it can be said that Jesus was a walking Shekinah.

This is also the first mention of us. John has spoken about other people, but now he brings it home. This didn’t happen to just some random group. This happened to us. John is referring to his readers and in the long-term, even us. The Word dwelt among humans. He lived as a human. This isn’t a fairy tale story. This is actual history.

We saw his glory. John is probably thinking here of the transfiguration which is not mentioned in his gospel, but he wants his readers to know that he knows about that event. Peter also mentioned that event in 2 Peter 1.

Note also the distinction from the Father. Jesus is the Son. He is not the Father. John wants us to be sure who we are dealing with. The Father did not become flesh and dwelt among us. It was the Son who did so, but Jesus came from him. John came from God, but in saying Jesus came from the Father, we see the unique nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son.

And Jesus is full of grace and truth. These two are quite foundational for John and when we go through his writings, we will see both of them. When the Son becomes incarnate, grace and truth are beheld by men in a unique way.

Truly, John 1:14 is a stunning verse. When you read the prologue of John next time and get to that verse, just stop and think about it for awhile.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Are We Showing Sinners Love?

I’ve been doing a study on the Trinity in Scripture, but I decided to give a brief interruption tonight. Besides, I love John 1:14 and my time is limited tonight and I want to be sure I can give that verse a lot of attention. 

Tonight’s blog is based on a conversation I had with a friend from Bible College that I spoke to online last night. I read something he wrote about how his church did not want to preach good conservative values because it would drive people away. He told of a pastor who had a stripper come forward to receive Christ, but he didn’t tell her to stop what she was doing. After all, that’s how she feeds her family.

Some of us might think that is noble. The pastor’s intentions are good, but good intentions are not enough. When we are judging an action, we cannot look at an intention alone. Now there does have to be a good intention for a good act, but we must ask if this act is helping this woman to become more like Christ.

Now I will say that when we call something a sin, there is a loving way to do it and unloving way to do it and the way to do it will depend on the situation. Sometimes, you will have to be point-blank blunt. Sometimes you won’t. I’d guess that this time a kinder approach would have worked best. If someone has just given their life to Christ though, they should have some idea of how seriously Christ takes sin.

Now some of you are thinking, “Yeah. But that’s her job and she does have to feed her family. What’s she going to do?” Did anyone stop to think that maybe the church could help out actually? Maybe someone from the church could offer to look after the kids. Someone else could help train this woman in how to go out and get a job or else teach her some skill so that she can get a job. In the long-term, someone could find a decent man she can marry who will help provide for her and raise her children.

Wouldn’t any of these be better answers?

I know some of us could say that there are government programs, but you know what? I’m sick of having the state do the work the church should be doing. We offer to help the downtrodden when they want salvation, but when it comes to their physical needs, we pass them off to the state. Didn’t James say something in chapter 2 about addressing someone’s spiritual needs but not addressing their physical needs? Of course, I’m not against getting people to come to Christ, but that’s just the beginning of a long journey. (One that should continue into discipleship and not just having them be converted and that’s the end of it. That’d be like getting the lady to say “I do,” kissing the bride, and then going off on your way.

Also, this kind of idea leads to an entitlement society I fear that thinks the world owes everything to them. Note that I’m specific. I think we should help this woman, but it should not be a hand-out. It should be a hand-up. We want her to achieve so much that when someone else comes in in the same situation, she’s able to be the helper this time. 

We do this with our children after all. Why do parents help their children? So they can keep helping them? No. They help them so they will reach a point where they are no longer dependent on the parents for help.

What this pastor did was not showing love. To not help someone out of doing what is immoral is not love. Sin keeps us from being who we were meant to be in Christ. If something is keeping me from being who I was meant to be in Christ, how is it love to allow me to continue in that?

If we treat sin lightly in the church, we are treating the cross lightly as well. If we treat that lightly, then we are treating the whole of Christianity. We are lowering the sacrifice of Christ and by implication, we are lowering him. Sin is serious business. Sometimes we think we feel too guilty today. If we compared to a preacher like Jonathan Edwards, he said the problem was we don’t feel guilty enough. We don’t treat the holiness of God seriously and we end up making our sin a trifle.

I’m not saying we should walk around in guilt constantly, but we should come to realize the gravity of sin and see it for what it is. Divine treason against the one who is goodness and love in his very nature. Every time we sin, we are claiming that our way is better than his and by implication, we are claiming that he is not who he says he is and that frankly, we ought to be in his place.

Maybe someday pastors will wake up. I don’t think that would just change the church, but it’d change America. I do believe that we have produced a generation that doesn’t know how to think, but frankly, they stopped thinking because the church stopped thinking first. Of course, I’m not saying there are no thinkers in the church. I’m in the church and I’d consider myself a thinker. I’m saying that by and large, the church has become shallow and does not take the search for truth seriously any more. Why should we be surprised when the world follows suit?

What do we need? We need the gospel. We need to realize sin is sin, Christ is Christ, the cross is the cross, and God is God. We need to return to true Christianity. I’m convinced this could change our country. If we don’t, I am quite sure our society in America will fall. That won’t mean the end of the gospel of course. It’ll keep going. The gospel doesn’t need America. America needs the gospel.

In giving the gospel and helping sinners both spiritually and financially, we are showing true love. Let us not lower down the principles of the gospel and call it love. It is anything but love.

John 1:13

We’re going through the New Testament and looking for clues to understanding the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity. We’ve been spending some time lately in the Gospel of John and namely, the prologue. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at John 1:13.

children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Spiros Zodhiates has an interesting take on this passage in that he believes it is not speaking of children but of an individual. In this case, the individual is born not of natural descent or of human decision or of a husband’s will, but born of God. If we are asking who this individual is, then the only answer is that it is Christ. This fits in with the surrounding context according to him and John does not need to explain that this is the Word as the Word has been spoken of enough. Does this idea have some merit to it? I’m not fully convinced by it, but it is an interesting one and I leave it open for the reader to look into and decide. 

Let us suppose though that that is wrong and this is talking about instead the way that we do become children of God. First off, what is meant by bloods, as some have it instead of natural descent. It could refer to the coming together of the man and the woman and the mixing of their bloods. There is early Jewish tradition that shows that this is how they understood sexual activity. For those who placed stock in their heritage, John could be making a point and saying that you’re not a child of God just because your folks were descended from Abraham.

What of human decision? Of course, this could refer to a Calvinistic understanding whereby only the elect are saved. Some readers will agree with that. For some, it could refer to the will of human beings in an attempt to bring about the new birth through sexual activity as well. One cannot become a child of God simply by being born of some who are said to be children of God. Sexual desire in no way can bring about the new birth even when it reaches its completion in physical birth. Spiritual birth and physical birth are not the same.

I do not wish to take a side on that issue as I try to focus on Mere Christianity. I leave it to my readers to decide for themselves.

Nor of a husband’s will. This would go along with the other understanding in that nothing human could have brought this about. In Israel, a husband could invalidate the vow of a wife for instance. A wife could not be made a child of God by her husband however. Nor could the husband be made a child of God by the wife. Becoming a child of God will be the responsibility of the individual. If they are elect to do so in the Calvinistic understanding, they will do so. If the Arminian understanding is correct, it simply means one becomes a child of God not by human means but by divine.

The important aspect though is that which the verse ends on. Christ enables us to somehow be born of God. We can work out the details on how that fits in with free-will and divine sovereignty in the meantime, but until then, let us see to it that we are indeed born of God.

John 1:12

We’re going through the New Testament and looking for clues to the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re in the prologue of John now and going over each verse. I have noted that not every verse touches essentially on the doctrine of the Trinity, but each verse tells us something about who Jesus is and we want to put them all together and form a beautiful mosaic. Tonight, we’ll be looking at verse 12.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

The past two days, we gave the bad news. Today, we gave the good news. John has given us the way to become children of God. Do we really think of how awesome that is? Let’s consider looking at a pagan in contrast. This is the 9th chapter in the golden sayings of Epictetus, a wonderful work from a thinker shortly after the time of Christ that everyone should read.

If a man could be thoroughly penetrated, as he ought, with this thought, that we are all in an especial manner sprung from God, and that God is the Father of men as well as of Gods, full surely he would never conceive aught ignoble or base of himself. Whereas if Cæsar were to adopt you, your haughty looks would be intolerable; will you not be elated at knowing that you are the son of God? Now however it is not so with us: but seeing that in our birth these two things are commingled—the body which we share with the animals, and the Reason and Thought which we share with the Gods, many decline towards this unhappy kinship with the dead, few rise to the blessed kinship with the Divine. Since then every one must deal with each thing according to the view which he forms about it, those few who hold that they are born for fidelity, modesty, and unerring sureness in dealing with the things of sense, never conceive aught base or ignoble of themselves: but the multitude the contrary. Why, what am I?—A wretched human creature; with this miserable flesh of mine. Miserable indeed! but you have something better than that paltry flesh of yours. Why then cling to the one, and neglect the other?

Now when he meant son of God, he meant one who came from Zeus, much like Paul did at Mars Hill. Not a physical descendant in a sexual sense, but in the sense of being part of the creation. For Paul, it’s something better. It’s being a part of the family of God and being adopted into his family. The same applies to John. Consider his shock in 1 John 3:1.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

John can hardly seem to contain his excitement. “And that is what we are!” He has given us this good news that he deemed important enough to put in the prologue. This Word is the way that we can become part of the family of God.

Let us make sure we heed that Word.

John 1:11

We’re going through the New Testament now trying to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of Trinity. For the past 2 weeks nearly, we’ve been looking at the prologue to John. We spent three days on the first verse and now we’re spending a day on each verse. Today, we’re going to be looking at verse 11.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

Last night, we noted how tragic verse 10 was. It is stated that the world did not receive him. One can picture an Israelite thinking the people of Israel are better. The sad truth is that they weren’t. John says that his own did not receive him. 

The battle had begun back in the Garden of Eden. I don’t care if you’re OEC or YEC, it had been a long time ago. It had been prophecied that one would come. The battle between good and evil would be ended. Satan would be defeated. The curse would end. Israel would live in a golden era.

Abraham had been told about one. He was told that through his seed, his offspring would be reckoned. Who was the one who would come who would be of the lineage of Abraham?

Moses told the people that God would send a prophet like him to the people and that they were to listen to him. Moses was the highest authority at the time of Christ. A good rabbi would not dare go against Moses. Pharisees and Sadducees all agreed. Moses was the authority. Surely we should heed who he told us to heed.

David is told that he would have one of his sons sit on the throne forever. Messianic interest was building. By the time we get to the time of Christ, Messianic pretenders show up regularly. There was one on every street corner.

Jesus shows up at this point in time. Hopes are high. Rome is a dominant power. Israel longs to be free. Here now comes the one that has been prophesied. This is the one who is the seed of Abraham. He is of the tribe of Judah. He is the prophet Moses spoke of. He is of the lineage of David. He comes from Bethlehem. The time of Daniel is upon us! Finally! The story will have a happy ending!

Yet Israel rejected their Messiah.

One could hardly find a sadder thought. The one who had come to save them was the one they rejected. He fit God’s criteria, but he did not fit Israel’s criteria. He did not come to deliver from Rome. He came instead to deliver from sin. He did not come as a warrior. He came as a prophet and a preacher. 

We can say “How could they do such?” We’re ones to talk. We’re not much better. We often want deliverance that is on the same level. We want deliverance from sickness or from poverty or something of that sort. That’s not a bad desire, of course, but it could be God has a better desire.

Do we reject him also because he doesn’t meet our criteria?

It’s the main thought of our society. We want God to act on our terms. Do we want to act on his?

We want him to accept us as we are. Do we accept him as he is?


John 1:10

We’re going through the NT trying to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Right now, we’re looking at the prologue of John. Each day, we’ve been looking at one verse with the exception of the first verse that we spent three days analyzing each part. Today, we are going to be looking at verse 10.

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

It is written in a tragic sense and we should see it as a tragedy. This is the first note of sadness that has entered the prologue. One would think that seeing all the good that was spoken of this figure that there would be great acceptance of him, but indeed there wasn’t. While he created the world, the world did not know him.

Note that man can know his creator. It is simply that man does not choose to know him. Why? John has told us earlier. It is because his deeds are evil. We see in the gospels that man’s deeds are so evil that they try to extinguish the light. I believe there are some atheists out there that are atheists because of a desire to extinguish the light of conviction. When a heinous sin takes place and one becomes an atheist shortly afterwards, you wonder if the cart is really pulling the horse. 

This is what happens with Christ. Christ came and revealed the nature of the world. He showed people who they really were and they did not like it. He showed the Pharisees that they were not as righteous as they thought they were. The leading populace could not put up with him and the best way to deal with him since they could not deny the message was to eliminate the messenger.

It is important to note that the text says that the world was made through him. The Bible is quite consistent with this terminology as we will see as we go throughout the New Testament. Why does this matter so much? One only needs to think back to the Wisdom motif that is in Proverbs 8. Christ, being the Wisdom of God, was the instrument through which the universe was created.

Of course, that does not deny his deity at all. He eternally was and did not need to be created seeing as he is God’s Wisdom and there has never been a time when God has been without his Wisdom. That there are different roles within the Trinity does not deny the different persons of the Trinity nor that each of the persons is fully God. As we see more the consistency of this kind of position, we will gain a strong respect for how the biblical writers phrased their terminology so beautifully and were already even in the time of the apostolic writings working out the doctrine that would come to be finalized in the Trinity.

For now, let us note the tragedy. The world did not know him. While we can condemn those who did evil back then in crucifying the Lord of Glory, let us not make sure that we are crucifying him anew today by denying who he is.