1:1-5 Presentation of Christ
1:9-11 Rejection of Christ by the Majority
1:12-18 Faith of the Minority
1:6-8 and 15 are parenthetical to the Prologue. They speak of John the Baptist and his role in introducing Christ to the world.
John 1:1-18 is a pretty weighty theological preamble introducing Jesus Christ as the Son of God who "existed since eternity, created all things and became man to reveal God to us in the most majestic, awe-inspiring, gracious light of the glory of God (BSF)."
Why did God become a man? So He could effectively communicate with us. For example, we cannot communicate with ants, but we can watch them. They take the long route to the food every time. But in order to actually help them be more successful, we would need to become an ant. God became a man to make us more successful followers of His Word.
Verses 1-5, 9-14, 16-18
+ Description of Jesus
+ Man's rejection of Jesus
+ Man's reception of Jesus
Christ is the Light and Life of Men (1-5)
vs 1-2 Going back forever, Jesus WAS a part of God, was WITH God (see also John 8:58)
"Word" in the original Greek text was "Logos" which more technically translates "First Cause." Philosophers in John's day used Logos to refer to the "unknown great intelligent reason will and power behind the universe." Jesus always was and always will be. Jesus helped create the world. Jesus was present when God created man in "our image" (Genesis).
"With" implies a co-relationship, a communion, but yet two distinct personalities.
"The Word was God." Jesus and God are equal. (1 John 1:1-3) The deeds and words of Jesus are the deeds and words of God. Jesus said it himself. We cannot pick and choose which of Jesus' words we want to believe, because He is very clear and bold in his proclamations. If you do not believe that he is equal with God, then you have to denounce everything He says.
Vs 3 - all things were created by Him, for Him (see also Colossians 1:16)
Vs 4 talks about light and life. Life being physical, moral, intellectual and eternal. Light being the righteousness from God before the fall of man (when Adam and Eve eat the fruit).
Vs 5a refers to the Old Testament Prophets that tried to bring light to the world.
Vs 5b "The darkness did not comprehend/understand/extinguish it." Can mean a few different things. It could mean that God is infinite and therefore our feable minds are unable to comprehend what He is trying to tell us. It could also mean that no matter what, in the end, evil cannot extinguish good. 1 John 4:4 "If you are in Christ, and Him in you, the light in you is greater than the darkness that may be around you." Believe it. Own it. Choose to live it.
Darkness of Unbelief Through Rejection of Light
Vs 9 tells us that Christ's Light is available to every man.
Vs 10 speaks of man's rebellion against a Savior
Vs 11 - "His own" = Israel. The people who should have recognized Him, because they had been waiting for a Messiah for centuries. This verse could also be applied to Christian nations like America. Kids grow up in a church, but make the chose to refuse Him.
Blessings to Those Who Receive Life Through Faith in Him
Vs 12 - Some immediately believed what John the Baptist had to say and turned to follow Christ. We do not have the option of walking the Earth with Him literally. Instead, we receive the Holy Spirit upon belief.
Vs 13 - Being a child of God is a decision that each of us has to make for ourselves. Our bloodline/biology/ethnicity cannot get us into Heaven. At the time, Jews believed that being born Jewish got them into Heaven. But also, the will of flesh, i.e. my desire alone cannot get me into Heaven. I have to decide to believe in Christ's redemption. The will of man - my mom's desire for me to be a Christian does not make me a Christian. Again, each of us has to decide to make Christ our Savior. Have you made that decision? Phillipians 2:12-13 God is at work in those who believe. Be open to Him.
John's Personal Experience
Verse 14 begins the tale of John's personal experience. In verse 15, we see that John the Baptist introduced John the Apostle to Christ. Verse 16 points out that we all have the opportunity to share in the glory of Christ. Do you know who first showed you Christ? Remember our personal testimony of Christ's entrance into our lives can go along way towards keeping us focused on His glory.
Verse 17 refers to the 10 Commandments. We cannot follow the letter of the Law. Christ saves us by grace (paying for our sins freely), and truth (the heart of the Law).
Christ is, was and always will be. Man is inherently rebellious. Some, however, make the choice to share in Christ's glory.
Next week John 1:19-51