Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21 - John 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is John 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This book is the fourth "gospel." In the bible, gospels are the books that go through the life and ministry of Jesus (Matthew, Mark and Luke are the other gospels). The book of "John" was written by John, the disciple of Jesus. This is a different John than the one we see in this chapter (who is commonly referred to as "John the Baptist" or "John the Baptizer").
  • In the first five verses we learn that Jesus (who is nicknamed the "Word") had always existed, in Heaven, with God, and that He was (and is) God.
  • In verse 14 we see that God took the extraordinary step of becoming human. He "became flesh" and moved to where we live.
  • In this chapter, Jesus is called by seven significant names: The Word (verses 1 and 14), The Light (verses 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9), the Lamb of God (29 and 36), Messiah (verse 41), Son of God (49), King of Israel (49) and Son of Man (51). Together these titles help us understand the amazing and utterly unique identity of Jesus.
  • Throughout this chapter we also read about John the Baptist, who was chosen by God to prepare people for Jesus and to point people to Jesus.
  • Jesus had many followers throughout his ministry, but there are twelve who he chooses to be his key ministry apprentices (these twelve are sometimes referred to as disciples or as "the apostles"). In the last two sections of this chapter we see the first of the twelve being introduced to and choosing to follow Jesus.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Jesus is and always was God. He was always with God. The Bible reveals that God is one. There is one God. But this one God exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. And all three have always existed in perfect relationship. This is significant for us because we were created in God's image, which means we were created for relationships. And it's significant because it means that God didn't create us and doesn't want us because he's lonely. He's not desperate for friends. God made us and wants us because he loves us!
  • Notice the reaction of every person who meets Jesus in this chapter. They all immediately invite other people to meet Jesus. John the Baptist points the crowds to Jesus. Andrew invites Peter to meet Jesus. Philip invites Nathanael to meet Jesus. If you meet Jesus, you know that everyone needs to know Jesus, so you invite people to meet Jesus.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • God wants you. He has all the relationships he needs within himself. He doesn't need you. But he wants you, because he loves you. How does that make you feel? The thought should be overwhelming. A perfect God loves and wants imperfect you! Spend some time meditating on this, and perhaps talking to or thanking God for it. And: What should this thought do to your self-image?
  • Who are you inviting to come meet Jesus? Someone who knows Jesus cannot be selfish with him. We need to do everything we can to get everyone to Jesus. So, who are you inviting to come meet Jesus? Who have you invited to church this week? Who could you invite?