GOD’S PURPOSE WITH THE INCARNATION
Jesus has always existed. Yet, God chose to send Jesus to be implanted in the womb of Mary, and to have Him live as a man on this sinful planet.
"In the beginning was the Word."
"The Word" is from the Greek word - "logos". The thinking of John was in the Aramaic language which he had been taught since youth, and His writing would therefore have been originally in the Hebrew. (There is internal evidence, and other verifications to prove that originally both Matthew's and John's gospels were written in Hebrew originally.)
Therefore, originally, the word "logos" was a translation of the Hebrew word "memra". This word refers to "the whole realm of thought," "wisdom".
In other words, John is relating to us, that Jesus, the One born into the flesh, was the One of the Godhead Who had been the original Thinker, Planner, Conceiver of all the stratagem, design, and program of the Trinity. This truth counters the false doctrine of the gnostics, and of some today, who want the Creator God to be separate from the Supreme God.
"...and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Jesus, "was"! This word "was" is in the continuing action tense, meaning - not simply a past tense, that He had been God, but that "in the past and continuing even up till the present" Jesus is co-equal with the Father, and Himself was One of the Godhead. To make Jesus only a man, because of His becoming flesh, is foolish. He was all God, and became all man, but continued to be in Person, all God.
"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Jesus emptied Himself of His power and station in heaven, and took the form of a man, able to no longer (while in that form) to do anything of Himself. He did this to suffer, and die for mankind.
Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
He "dwelt" in the midst of mankind. The word "dwelt" means that he "pitched His tent among us." This boldly attacks the false teaching of the gnostics.
"made flesh, and dwelt among us"
Jesus had taken on a new form (mankind) but He was still of the same existence (One of the Godhead). He became one with us, and with this teaching John sets forth His hypothesis, which John will prove by excerpts of the sermons of Jesus, with the "signs" which he will relate to us that Jesus performed to prove such hypothesis, and with the revelation of the greatest teaching of the Lord Jesus.
This first chapter of John sets forth the hypothesis that Jesus is the One Who has postulated all the wisdom and stratagem of the Deity; and then He is the One of the Trinity Who has chosen to come and share with mankind many great things. John’s gospel reveals the different things that the Lord Who has been shared with us by the Father has become flesh to share with us! The revelation of the proof of the gospel of John is the deepest sermon of John. Many may enjoy it as they entered into the kingdom, and saw it as a simple revelation. They can with further examination, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit of Truth find a deeper, multi-faceted revelation meant for those who are spiritually hungry for the full "life" in the Spirit as promised by our Lord.
John gives an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus, not to tell us the historicity of this Jesus, but to record a magnificent teaching of Jesus. Jesus came to share God with the world, often it is repeated that Jesus was "sent" by God the Father.
The work of John was a direct attack on the heresies of then and now. Gnostics then were given the "nickname" - "alogoi" which meant "no word, unreasonable", and indicated their character as opposing the "Logos" teaching of the gospel of John. There are many today who oppose the celebration of Christmas, unless all mention and reference to Jesus is omitted. The truth of its meaning is offensive to heretics.
Gnosticism was a religious faction of Christianity that taught that knowledge was superior to faith in obtaining salvation. Among their other false doctrines, were these:
1. They denied the true humanity of Jesus, since they saw flesh as essentially evil, and therefore, the Messiah could not have been flesh in their conception. His life and His suffering on the cross were an illusion, and not real, according to their teaching.
2. They denied the personality of the Supreme God, and saw such a Supreme God as being separate from the God Who created the world, and inspired the Old Testament prophets to write.
3. They denied the free will of man, and only those chosen to be saved were to be saved.
4. They claimed they were superior in intellect and knowledge, and they therefore were saved, had spiritual communion with God, and they were able to do things seen as sin, and yet was not sin to them since they were "above" sin.
5. They were indifferent to sin, and therefore licentiousness became prominent in their midst.
These false heresies still are found in society, and political correctness is trying to inflict them on the celebration of Christians of this wonderful holy day, we call ‘Christmas’. John came into conflict with these holding this strange dogma, as so should we.
John was sure that Jesus came in the flesh since he had walked, talked, and rested upon the breast of this real being called Jesus. He recalled the teachings of Jesus and knew the gnostics were spreading false doctrine. His epistles, and his gospel message were a direct attack on the false teaching of the gnostics.
However, there is revealed in this teaching, a great revelation of Jesus about the whole meaning of His coming, and the part we are to play in God's ultimate plan.
John employs three forms of teaching in John:
1. There are brief statements of Jesus that give in a nutshell a great revelation of truth.
2. Parables are given that each reveal an aspect or more of the great revelation of this truth that Jesus is trying to teach us.
3. Jesus gives some prolonged messages designed to teach the essence of the multi-faceted truth that He is trying to teach the disciples then, and us now.
The other gospels are called the synoptic gospels and present a historic view of the life of Christ and the Messianic kingdom, but the gospel of John shows the need and purpose of a relationship with the Messiah. Jesus is presented in the gospel of John as the means in which God has designed a way for mankind to come into relationship with Him. It is only through that One of the Trinity that became a man, in order to share with us eternal life and much more.
In John's gospel, we go into the "Holy of Holies" of the Lord's teachings and find the deepest sermon ever preached by Jesus. This gospel must be read in reverence and with prayer, for the Holy Spirit must reveal as you read, the one truth with its many facets, that Jesus is trying to teach.
John thought over the three and a half years of ministry that he witnessed at the side of Jesus. He thought over the signs and teachings of Jesus, and selected some to show us the main teaching of Jesus. Jesus showed to them, in many, many ways that He was the "Sent One", the Messiah, sent from God to allocate to those who would accept Him, the great magnificent blessings of God.
The key verse in understanding of the gospel message is John 20:31:
"Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples that are not written in this book; these things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ (= Messiah = sent One), the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in His Name."
There in that verse, we are told that from many other "signs", John chose a few. Each one that he chose was to add more manifestation to the central truth being taught by our Lord.
These is significance to the signs related to us by John. John had caught the main teaching of Jesus, and had wanted to relate it to us. It is so deep a teaching that the human mind must think hard and long to comprehend even a bit of it.
The end result of us understanding of this central truth taught in the ministry of Jesus is to give to us "life in His name". We can only receive the "life" and power promised by understanding that Jesus was the One sent by God to bring us life.
Notice that the key verse talks of "signs" and not of "wonders" and "powers". "Signs" were things that prove something else. In other words, the "signs" recorded by John were things that occurred and were designed to show us a basic truth.
"Wonders" were things that are to astound or cause effect. "Powers" were to show the operations of one who has great power. But these were "signs" and Jesus was attempting to prove something through the relating of these.
Many other "signs" were done by Jesus "in the presence of disciples." Notice that the signs were done in front of "disciples", and not in front of unbelievers. Jesus did "wonders" and "powers" in front of unbelievers, but those were to produce faith, draw attention, etc. But "signs" were done in front of "disciples" since Jesus was teaching a great truth by means of these "signs." This great, multi-faceted truth was meant for those who are disciples, for the believers of all ages, and especially (as we shall clearly be shown) for the believers of the last days.
Notice in the key verse (John 20:31) that "Jesus" is the Messiah. Mark called the Sent One of God to be "Jesus" only 13 times. Luke called Him "Jesus" 88 times. Matthew called Him "Jesus" 151 times. But here in John's gospel we see Him called "Jesus" 247 times.
The name - "Jesus" points out often that the Messiah, the "Sent One", is come in the flesh. John over and over shows this Jesus telling them that He is sent from God, and is united with God but still shows that He is Jesus... a human Jesus, an in-the-flesh Jesus, not only to refute gnosticism and ‘anti-Christmas sentiment today, but to emphasize the main, multi-faceted truth taught by our Lord.
The key verse (John 20:31) also shows us that if we grasp this main multi-faceted truth, we will have "life." The word for "life" is from the Greek word "zoe". Zoe refers to sinless life, and is the opposite of "thanatos".
As Jesus said:
"He that believeth on Me shall never die."
Therefore, it not talking of just physical life, any more than the death discussed is talking of physical, bodily death. When we believe the truth taught by our Lord, we will find a key to a kind of spiritual life that many have dreamed of, hoped for, longed and desired for a life that is a life of power, strength, power, and authority in God. This life is a union with the divine body of the Sent One of God.
We celebrate Christmas with pride, for the whole plan of God, in sending Jesus to be born, live, minister, suffer and die, be resurrected for us, was to save all who will accept His wonderful gift of Christmas.