Salutations. I’m reading through most of the New Testament, chapter by chapter, and logging some of my thoughts here in my journal. By sharing this online, I do not seek to pass on some long lost wisdom that I have secretly figured out. First, I hope that I encourage others to open the Bible and study these things for themselves. I hope that the conversations I bring up here will provoke you, the reader, to do so. For convenience sake, I shall link the NIV translation of each chapter, as well. I encourage you to read the text directly before reading my thoughts on it. Second, by scribbling down some of my thoughts, I can come back here to review them at a future date. Doing so, in prayer with God, can often open up new revelations.
The Gospel According to John
John 1:1 – 1:18 does an awesome job of introducing us to God and His plan for us. In the first five verses, the Bible boldly proclaims the power of God’s Word. Everything was made through His Word. The word shines in all of the darkness. These few words paint a very powerful picture that defies imagination. I could read this over and over, and never wrap my mind completely around it.
The chapter than goes on to explain that John was brought as a witness for the light, but he was not a light in and of himself. I believe this applies to all of us, as well. All of us live in darkness, and not in the light. Only by the power of God can we bear witness of the light, and allow it to shine through us. But, in and of ourselves, we do no good thing. Romans 7.18 says, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
The next paragraph explains that while Jesus dwelt among, his own creation did not recognize him. That truth remains to this day. Few can differentiate between the true Christ, and the many knock-off imitations that spread lies. In verses 16-18, we see the first glimpse of the Christian idea of the trinity…that God is three in one. This is a notion that many deny, yet is spelled out in numerous places. I believe that its place here is of significant importance. In introducing the reader to God and Jesus, the author makes it clear that they are separate, yet one.
As we read on, we see John proclaiming ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ This fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3. I won’t stop to write every prophecy that I find, but I want to point out that the lift of Jesus fulfills a metric ton of them. The importance of this cannot be overlooked. With the Dead Sea scrolls, we have proof of many Old testament writing before the life of Christ. The fact that he fulfills them after the writings of the Old Testament is telling.
God did this so that we may know that Jesus was sent of God. Over the centuries, many other ‘prophets’ and ‘saviors’ have popped up, going as far as to write their own ‘holy texts’ inspired by ‘God.’ Because of this many put these prophets and saviors at or near the same level of Jesus. I would point out that Jesus birth, death and resurrection was clearly predicted through prophecy which was confirmed to be written well before the events took place. No one else compares in that regard (and we’re just getting started here, people)
Later on, Jesus started to call forth his disciples. Note that in order to verify that Jesus was who He said He was, the disciples looked to the scriptures. ” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” They compared the life and testimony about who Jesus was with the scripture predictions of how the Christ would come into the world. Jesus performs something of a minor miracle, I take it, as when Nathan asks, He tells Nathan that he saw him under a tree. I’m guessing if Jesus physically saw him under the tree, that wouldn’t have been a great reason to jump on board and declare Jesus the Christ! I could be wrong.
Wow..that’s a lot for Chapter 1. Hopefully, I will have less notes for future chapters…so I can do more than one per blog entry (I try to keep blog entries under 1,000 words).
Continue to Chapter 2