Friday, March 9, 2012

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 11, 2012

(The WORD brings light and life into the world)
(John 1:1-34)

The “King James Version” of John chapter one is perhaps my favorite stretch of passage in all of Scripture to read, if for no other reason than the sheer beauty and flow of the Apostle John’s writing, as the words are translated to the Old English of the 17th century, as a result of the work done by Robert Barker and the team of 54 scholars who were commissioned by King James.
In verses 1-14, the Apostle John seeks to put the Word of GOD into perspective, and show us the true power of its meaning, and, its effect on the world. Here John reminds us that the Word of GOD is already here, and in fact, has been with us since the beginning of time. It simply cannot be, nor will not be disregarded. We cannot ignore GOD’s Word and get away with it. It has always been, is now, and will forever be synonymous with life. It is effective and penetrating, and it absolutely scrutinizes all of our thoughts, desires, and intentions.
In the biblical Greek, the term used for “word” is “logos” (log-os), and it, more or less, emphasizes the message of that which is spoken. Here John expresses to us that our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST personifies the Word of GOD, in the flesh. He is trying to get us to understand that one of the key reasons for JESUS’ first advent, was and is, for “communication”. JESUS is the “Spoken Word”, and “Living Expression” of all that which GOD ever sought to communicate to us about HIMSELF. John is saying, particularly in verse 1, that, JESUS is both, “identical” to the GOD of the Old Testament concept, and yet, is distinct from HIM.
One can imagine how stunning this must have been to the people of the first century. Even today, many people have a problem with embracing this concept, which has now become familiar, and yet still remains just as mysterious as it ever was. Here though, we can see that, while the concept may be difficult, John’s teaching seems to be very clear. He is saying that JESUS existed eternally with GOD the FATHER, as one GOD, yet, with a distinct and separate personality. Those of us, who understand the concept which unity in a family and marriage represents, can certainly grasp the concept of “unity as one” between the FATHER and the SON.
In John chapter 1, verses 6-34, the Apostle John writes of the fulfilling of the role of the “witness” John the Baptist, that had first been prophesied by Isaiah some 700 years earlier (Isaiah 40:3), and then again by the prophet Malachi 300 years later (Malachi 3:1). John the Baptist was born to be the “forerunner” for JESUS’ ministry, and he fulfilled his mission well. He came to announce the coming of the “bearer” of the gift of Salvation.
It is true that in human society, if someone hands someone else a gift, and that person doesn’t perceive that gift to be real, then they probably aren’t going to reach out and accept it. Our believing in GOD, in all of HIS fullness, can be likened to that. GOD is giving us the gift of eternal life through HIS only begotten SON, JESUS the CHRIST. Believing in HIM involves seeing HIM as real, and, as coming from GOD, and then, reaching out and accepting HIM. By accepting JESUS, one also accepts GOD the FATHER’s wonderful gift of eternal life in Heaven, and, at one and the same time, becomes what they weren’t before, and that is, quite simply, “a child of GOD”.
JESUS came into the world to teach us how to live our lives under GOD, and, to teach us how to die and live again with GOD. HE taught us how to give and forgive, and, HE taught us how to love, and how to give thanks. John points to JESUS as being the LIGHT of the world, a true light for all people. In HIM we see exactly what GOD is like, and only HE can usher us into GOD’s OWN glorious presence, without fear, without guilt, and, without shame.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


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