Reading through John again – ch01
Today, I’m starting another read through of the book of John. I want to take a fresh look at Jesus. I know what everyone has told me about him in Sunday School through the years, but I want to try and forget most of that and look at him as if for the first time. I want to ask questions that I’ve never asked before. I want to focus on what he did not do or say just as much as what he did and said. So…here I go into the first chapter.
Just as a review, there is a lot of territory covered in chap. 1…verses 1-5 announce Jesus as the Word, then about John the baptist paving the way for Jesus and his interaction with Jesus and then Jesus choosing his first disciples. One thing I’ll be thinking about is how Jesus wasn’t as "word-based" as we think he was. So was he image-based, story-based, touch-based, love-based? I don’t know yet, but that’s what I plan to find out.
In the initial phrases, it seems important to understand what the word "word" means here so as to not confuse it with the word ‘"Bible". It has the idea of "seed" or "sperm" of God, his essence. So is this paradoxical or what: So I’m looking at how Jesus, who is introduced as "the Word" used other means than just words to reveal who he was.
As John introduces us to Jesus he uses phrases like:
- "the true light that all men may believe" (sounds new-agy doesn’t it);
- "he became flesh and lived among us" (nothing about words here – just example, hmm?)
- "we saw his glory, glory like the Father (again, it was something people saw in him, not just what he said
- "he was full of grace and truth" (nice phrase – two rather contrasting elements, but again she didn’t speak the truth, he was the truth.)
- "behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (really interesting phrase because it is not qualified by anything yet…like if you believe this way, or if you are good, or if you go to church, etc.)
When Jesus engages his first disciples he used minimal language, "follow me" – no explanations, no contracts, no hint of where he was even going!
Also, he doesn’t really tell them he is the messiah, they pick that up on their own, evidently through observing his glory, his grace and truth, etc.