The Second in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
In order to be a Christian one must believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and in the Deity of Jesus Christ. And it is not an accident that in the Creed we confess, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.” All of these doctrines are addressed in the “Prologue” of John’s Gospel when John identifies Jesus as God, yet distinct from the Father, and that God created all things through Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Word (logos) made flesh.
As we continue our new series on the Gospel of John. Last week–the first in our series–we dealt with background materials regarding John’s Gospel including authorship (John wrote it!) and dating (between 80-85 AD) before we addressed the Gospel’s purpose statement in John 20:30-31–“now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Based upon John’s purpose statement, it is evident that throughout this gospel John is answering the question “who is Jesus?” and making his case as to why his readers should believe in Jesus so as to receive life in his name. Given the likely circumstances under which this gospel was written–the chaos in Palestine after the Fall of Jerusalem–it is reasonable to conclude that John’s purpose statement is an indication that his gospel was written to equip Christians to bear witness about Jesus Christ, especially to those Jews and God-fearing Gentiles who had questions about Jesus’ identity, and who may have been wondering about the purposes of God after the Roman army captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish temple in 70 AD. If people in John’s day were asking “who is Jesus,” so too are people in our own, and as we will see John’s answer to this question is just as profound in our day as it was in his.
We will begin to work our way through the first 18 verses of chapter 1, the so-called “Prologue” to John’s Gospel–a prologue is an introduction to what follows. Some speak of this prologue like a foyer (entrance) to a building because the first eighteen verses do serve as the entrance to the body of the gospel itself. Another writer speaks of the prologue as “an introduction to the history of Jesus Christ.” This too is a helpful way to look at this because John’s prologue informs us about Jesus’ true identity, so that when John opens his account of Jesus’ preaching and miracles in verse 19 of chapter 1, we already know a great deal about who Jesus is–he is the Word made flesh.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here