John 1 – A New Genesis

Original URL   Wednesday, March 1, 2023


all right so uh John chapter 1 uh entitled the uh the word site a new genesis

uh when we read John 1 uh the first three verses it says in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God the same was in the beginning with God all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made so you have this uh

really interesting uh introduction to John's gospel

obviously the first three words out of the uh gospel are in the beginning and a clear reference back to Genesis chapter 1 verse one uh talk about that in a sec and Then followed with this uh

kind of uh mystical uh

interesting uh phrases where uh in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God kind of uh a bit uh hard to get your your head around or at least it is for me um

like I said the the whole thing both the the words in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth in the beginning refers back to Genesis this idea of

the word being God and with God was in the beginning and everything being made by him so it's this real clear reference back to Genesis chapter one so you ask yourself what is John trying to say here what what is his what is his purpose for for

uh beginning his gospel message this way so


you know sometimes growing up on amended I I'm not really sure what all the other Chris dolphins are

uh what's the the normal uh way of interpreting uh some passages uh I'm just gonna guess that the way I was raised is probably pretty similar to um the way most of us have been um it's kind of the general Christadelphian View and I think among most Christians that he's he's referring back to the physical creation of the world in the beginning uh God created the heavens and the Earth is uh

what uh what John is expressing uh and then the the meanings of the word and the light and the uh life uh you know you've got to kind of parse that out uh instead what I think John is really doing here is he's contrasting

uh what he's what he's putting forward as a new genesis with the the old Genesis right so we're going to look at a few of those uh um

subjects that he kind of reviews in those first few verses the beginning the word the light and the Darkness the life these are subjects that not only does he address right here in the opening to his uh gospel message but throughout his book really and we're going to kind of look at that and uh

when we understand or at least in my own view what I understand the beginning he's talking about he's not

he's not saying in Genesis 1 1 uh

the Word was God and the Word was with God and everything was made through him I really think what he's saying is in for BC or whatever date that was when Christ began his ministry excuse me it'd be more like 29 A.D

um that's the beginning he was the word uh at that beginning we'll talk about that he was the light shining in the darkness and he was the the light that brought life uh anyone's uh you start seeing the introduction to John that way uh

for me it kind of opens my eyes to uh how much of John points to Christ how he supersedes what came before it's a lot like uh when we read Hebrews how Christ supersedes the angels He supersedes Moses uh and John here we actually have John saying uh his creation his this new beginning this light Dawning on a dark world uh is is the most important the more important creation and then uh there's a parallel message that runs through John's Gospel of uh you know an opportunity for us uh opportunity for us at a new beginning a new birth uh a new a New Day Dawning for uh all mankind so we're gonna look at that this morning this evening hopefully

so you know Genesis 1 1 in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth

it's interesting to me when you look at John that first uh chapter he actually and you can't prove anything by this but I think it's interesting he he he lays out a pattern for a seven day uh Creation in the beginning of Jesus ministry John 1 and 19. it says this is the record of John uh that's this is what I'm calling day one that's my that's that's not a new translation that's my addition there when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him who are you John answered them saying I baptized with water but there stands among you one you know not he it is who's coming after me it's preferred performing whose shoes latched I am not worthy to unloose um you even see there this uh kind of allusion to the one that comes later is the one that is preferred uh just like it is with uh

Jacob and Esau and uh

you see that that theme throughout the scripture all the time and John's pointing out here and I think uh John the author of of this gospel is is pointing out that this second creation is is preferred above the first uh so if you follow through Jones just kind of Bounce It Around uh day two John lays us all out next day John sees Jesus coming and says Behold the Lamb of which takes away the sin of the world John 135 again the next day after John stood and two of his disciples and John looking Upon Jesus as he walked said Behold the Lamb of God we skip to the next day verse 43 the day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee and finds Philip and says to him follow me uh

and then John 2 and 1 we skip ahead three days you know it says on the third day from then I'm adding to that but day seven there's a marriage in Cana of Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there and both Jesus was called and his disciples to the marriage so you have seven days in John's creation and it's interesting that day seven uh

uh is a is a marriage feast which you know I think is kind of kind of interesting there's there's a you know you can make a weak argument for each of these days and what they represent and I don't know why day five and six are missing but uh you know you add it up and you get seven so I think it's it's kind of

um an interesting aspect of his his

introduction to his gospel

so we're going to look at the the beginning

um when we look at first John which when you read first John and John uh together are back to back you see a lot of uh themes uh that arise and I forget which brother uh brought this up to my attention but uh you know there's an idea that first John is like a a cover letter accompanying the gospel which makes a lot of sense because John first John 1 1 starts with that which was from the beginning so John 1 and John first John 1 1. talk about the beginning which we have heard which we have seen with our eyes which we've looked upon in our hands have handled of the Word of Life in this I highlighted in in that orange color uh uh these themes

Word Life Light Darkness

um lies and truth that all pop up in in John 1 uh

so you've got that he's definitely referencing the same themes and then if you look at the the underlined verses here on the line sections John says what we have heard what we have seen with our eyes what we have looked upon and our hands have handled so when he's talking about the beginning here

he's not talking about the physical Creation in Genesis 1. he's talking about the spiritual creation that he himself witnessed he heard and he saw with his own eyes he looked upon and he had touched with his own hands mark one and one uh it's interesting there's you know if the four gospels Matthew and Luke they start their uh their story with the birth of Christ and his lineage and and how he came to be but uh interestingly enough Mark and and John skip right to the beginning of his ministry and so in Mark you also have the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the son of God that's the I think that's the reference point that that John won his his leading with so then you have uh the word

um John begins in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and

you know I think we we kind of uh I personally you know Bach at this all the time it feels uncomfortable this idea um we have this trinitarian idea in the back of our minds that we're constantly kind of fighting against

um and we want uh first John 1 to say something slightly different than it does

but I think there's some important links he makes here going back to Genesis it says in the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said let there be light and there was light

um so here in verse 3 you've got the word of God and it brings into being uh

the world as we know it right and David in the Psalms

really kind of points this out

um eloquently it's really kind of a beautiful uh uh meditation on what Genesis 1 to 3 tells us it says by the word of the Lord where the heavens made and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth he gathered the Waters of the sea together as a heap he lays the deep in the storehouses let all the Earth fear the lord let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him for he spake and it was done he commanded and it stood fast so you have this this sense of the power and Majesty of God is such that by his words things come into being

and you have a similar

theme in John 1 1. that the in the beginning was the word and it was with God and the Word was God and all things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made

you skip down to verse nine

um you know the traditional Christian idea is that that word there logos the Greek word means both word and idea and and plan and purpose

um and that you know Christ was uh in Genesis was part of the plan and purpose of God and that's what John's referring to I think what John's saying is in the beginning of Christ's Ministry he was creating something entirely new


bringing uh into the world something that had not existed before John 1 and 9 refers to him as the True Light which was lights every man that comes into the world he was in the world and the world was made by him and the world knew him not so both the word and the light are these creative agents in the beginning of John's gospel that recreate everything

um I think it's interesting when you go back to Matthew the there's the Centurion that we read about whose servant is healed and Christ commends him as having faith unlike he had seen anywhere in Israel and when we look at what the Centurion says

um since you're an answered and said Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof and to me that was always the part that I kind of uh latched on to was his humility um being a centurion he would be a pretty uh

well-respected highly ranked individual

so that that level of humility is is striking but even more so I think now where he says but speak the word only and my servant will be healed it's it it follows up on that same idea of of God's creative power in Genesis he spoke in it and it came to be he said for I'm a man under Authority I have soldiers under me and I say to this man go and he goes and another come and he comes and to my servant do this and he does it um you know he recognized the power of of Christ

in his day and age you know going back to Psalm 33 and 9 for he spake and it was done he commanded and it stood fast and that was the faith that the Centurion had in in Christ's ability


I think one of the other things I about

this understanding that kind of uh helps me is you look at other difficult passages like the one in Colossians

um you know Paul writing I'll skip the first few verses we'll just pick up at 16. I I wrote them so that you could see this uh theme of light and darkness shows up here as well

um but Paul kind of refers to this creative power if you read the whole passage you see that he's he's talking about Christ for by him were all things created that are in heaven and on Earth visible and invisible

um all things were created by Him and for him I skipped the blue letters because you know sometimes you read that and you think oh this is talking about Genesis 1 again this is uh going back to the the physical creation of the world but

in the blue letters you see uh he's actually talking about uh

governments uh Thrones dominions principalities Powers he's really kind of uh focusing what he's talking about in terms of the creative power of Christ that he's he's bringing into being the world as it is as opposed to as it was

uh Hebrews 1 and verses one and two you know go along the same lines gato at sundry times in the diverse men are spake and time passed to the fathers by the prophet at these last days spoken unto us by his son whom he has appointed heir of All Things by whom also he made the worlds or the age


better translated age to come but that's uh

the creative power of Christ uh as an agent for his father bringing into being things that that did not exist

um and things that will exist

so that's the the word that that theme that that John brings out from Genesis 1 and also the light you know we go back to Genesis the very first thing God creates is is a light God said let there be light and there was light and God saw the light and it was good and God divided the light from the darkness

so John obviously picks up on this we get to verse four and he says in him was life and the life was the light of men the light shined in the darkness and the Darkness comprehended and not that was the True Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world he was in the world and the world was made by him and the world knew him not

so yeah you know if you read this and think that isama uh the world made by him was the one uh

back 4 000 years before he was born it changes the way he might read this but he was the the light Dawning on a dark world uh in Galilee at the time that this was written and the the world rejected him the world that he was creating

um you know obviously fulfills Isaiah 9 2 the people walked in darkness and they've seen a great lake they had dwell in the land of the shadow of death upon them half the light shined uh for those who listened that's exactly what happened and those who chose to continue to live in darkness

perished in darkness we see later on uh John 8 verse 12 Jesus spoke saying I am the light of the world he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life so again he's echoing uh it's as though the narrator or John as he writes his Preamble reflects on on this passage and and introduces it into the the beginning because it fits so well with uh his theme of a new a new creation

and then finally the theme of life says uh John 1 4 in him was life and the life was the light of men uh when you go back to the creation in Genesis uh

and God brings forth uh moving creatures that have life Genesis 1 24 the living creatures

in Genesis 2 and 7 God informed man of the Dust of the ground and breathed into his mouth the Breath of Life a Man became a living Soul so you have the same theme that Christ brings life to the world and uh

it's a reflection of what God did in Genesis

so uh from here having kind of addressed those those themes that I think John wanted to talk about I'm going to talk about uh

how Christ uh

the the light that's shown in the darkness in in Galilee was a better Genesis than the one from before we're going to see throughout uh

John uh really quickly I'm going to go through this quickly I think I think there's a whole other class in this but uh

we're just going to touch on it there's the the two statements John the Baptist makes in the first chapter about who Christ is being the Lamb of God and then we're going to follow up by looking at seven uh statements Christ makes about uh and they all start with I am they're all I am statements and basically with each one he kind of challenges either the perception of the the people of his day the Pharisees of his day the uh apostles who uh traveled with him he's

constantly telling them I am something better than what you expected

so in John 1 and 29 you look at the uh the Jewish history and and their expectation and you know when you talk about a sacrificial lamb they had a very specific idea in mind and here Christ is the real Lamb of God the real sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world

in John 6 Jesus says unto them Pharrell I sent you Moses gave you not that bread from heaven but my father gives you the true bread from heaven I am the bread of life uh you know again so it's this idea of you you're you're fixated on these things in the past that were Shadows of what is to come I'm the true bread

uh we've already touched on this but in John 8 I am the light of the world he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the right the light of life it's it's striking the the first few of these are

are spoken on occasions where he's really pushing the the people and the and the Pharisees to adjust their um thank you expectations of what the Christ is and who he is and what his mission was and and reevaluate their thinking

John 10 and 7 I am the door of the Sheep

you know you if you don't know my voice you can't come in I am the Good Shepherd the Good Shepherd gives his life for the Sheep you know the one the the Lamb of God ready to make the sacrifice to give life to his servants

at the death of Lazarus you've got Christ uh talking to Martha and I've always been struck by


in Christ probing her about her faith and and Martha's saying well I know in the end at the resurrection he'll stand again

um which is like the perfect Chris adelphian answer right the

um and I know he's going to be raised at the last day and Christ's answer to her is almost rebuking I am the resurrection and the life and he that believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live that

Christ's point of view even to to a Believer who who believed in the resurrection uh is look I am the resurrection I am the life going back to that uh passage at the beginning

um I'm the bringer of life and to me I find it very interesting um this might be controversial but you know as Chris elfians we obsess over you know the resurrection who and and how and and when

um but I think one of the interesting things about when Christ says this is he then proceeds to raise Lazarus from the dead not at the resurrection like he proves his point here that I in terms of the resurrection and giving life I do it to whom I want when I want I'm not bound by your preconceptions of of how it's going to go

John 14 and 6 I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me you know there's no way around him if you were living in his time maybe you wanted to to take the Moses path and follow the law and and take a different way to God um today maybe it's a different path looks tempting but uh there is no other way than the Lord Jesus Christ and finally in John 15 he says I'm the True Vine and my father is the husband and I am the vine you are the branches it's kind of like a uh

he's challenging his disciples you can't you can't do any of this without me you need to abide in me you need to be attached to me you need to get your nutrients from me and then and as the first ends the same brings forth much fruit for without me you can do nothing right so he's challenging them to be to remain in him follow this teaching following what he says and uh and bear fruit

all this kind of goes along with uh you know we talked about Hebrews how Christ and and his way supersedes Melchizedek and Moses and the angels who delivered the law

um John kind of in first John

States the same kind of idea where brother and I write you no new commandment but an old commandment which you had from the beginning the old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning and again a new commandment I write to you which thing is true in him and in you because the darkness has passed and the True Light now shines

he that says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness even until now he that loves his brother abides in the light and there's no occasion of stumbling in him that

this kind of confusing statement John makes here about old Commandments and new Commandments it it falls in line with what he says in his gospel right God created the heavens and the Earth and he brought light into the world back in Genesis

um and through his son he did it to a greater extent when Christ came into the world and this law this Commandment that that he gave

uh comes right out of John 15 where we just read about the the vine uh and and the fine producing fruit and and being in Christ uh and and Christ clarifies that he says here's my commandment this is the thing that John's referring to later on if you abide in my love even as I have kept my father's Commandments and abide in his love these things I've spoken to you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you Greater Love is no man than this that a man lay down his life

my friends if you do whatsoever I command these things I command you that you love one another I put that whole thing in there because he just says it so many times love one another love one another like I loved you love one another

love has no man than this and he lays down his life for his friends and you are my friends if you do this Commander

so you know John's message is that this is the basically it's the the message you've been getting from the beginning love the Lord with all your God glory heart all your soul and all your strength love your neighbor as yourself and Christ just turns that up to another level

uh First John 3 11 from this message that you've heard from the beginning that we should love one another

um as much as that goes back to Genesis it really goes back to the beginning that John was talking about that he saw and heard and handled with his own hands


so how does this affect us you know what's what's the message for us what's the the takeaway for ourselves


John introduces another uh subject

um that he's going to carry through the rest of the the gospel message uh

verse 12 chapter one but as many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God even to them who believed on his name which were born out of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man but of God so we have this this opportunity at rebirth to become children of God and it's really he goes in depth in chapter three when Christ speaks with Nicodemus

and and Jesus answered Nicodemus when he says what do we have to do and he says rarely saying to you except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God Nicodemus said unto him how can we how can a man be born when he is old can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born that Jesus answered verily I say unto you except the man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God so this this whole idea of Rebirth of a light Dawning on a dark world uh repeats itself personally for us individually um notice the uh when Christ talks about and we have to look at it but you know he's referencing baptism in particular but he says except the man be born of water and a spirit and you go back to Genesis 1 and 2. uh

and and how does that is the the creative process start the uh spirit of God moving on the face of the waters right the whole world was was born of of water and spirit and so uh we must be too if you look at John 1 uh John the Baptist when he's discussing uh this beginning of the Gospel

it says this is he of whom I said after he comes

after me come as a man who was preferred before me for he was before me and I knew him not but that he should be made manifest to Israel therefore am I come baptizing with water and John bear records saying I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it Abode upon him

verse 33 and I knew him not but he that sent me to baptize with water the same said unto me upon whom thou see the spirit descending and remaining on him the same as he which baptized us with the holy spirit so you see the the the theme there being baptized being born again with water and spirit Mark puts a little more succinctly straightway coming out of the water he saw the heavens open in the spirit like a dove descending upon him so

part of John's overall message is this opportunity to be reborn like the the world was back in Genesis this opportunity for light to shine in our darkness and uh Deliver Us from from being without form and void giving us purpose and structure and meaning and goals and uh

all through the love of God expressed in the Sun we skip ahead to to John 9 there's this whole chapter about this man being born blind to uh

when Christ opened his eyes and the the he's dragged him before the Sanhedrin and they they call on him to to reject the man who healed him uh and it's interesting the man answered and said to him why hearing is a marvelous thing that you do not know when he's from where he's from and yet he has opened my eyes now we know that God hears not Sinners but if any man be a worshiper for her God and does his will him he hears since the world began was that not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind if this man were not of God he could do nothing and of course then they they throw him out of the of the synagogue cutting him off from from all of the the social and and uh financial assistance that that may uh entail and he sees Christ and Christ addresses him and says you know basically we

uh your faith is has healed you but those people

who choose to live in darkness who pretend to be able to see now they are the ones who are blind and you who live from the beginning uh just like back in Genesis uh recognize that you lived in darkness and now through your faith light has shined into your life and and you have become whole

so there's a not only do we have baptism to uh

as a theme that runs through here but Redemption I just have two more slides

if we go back to Isaiah

um this idea is carried through washing to make you clean put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes and cease to do evil learn to do well seek judgment relief the oppressed judge the fatherless plead for the Widow come now let us reason together says the Lord though your sins be as Scarlet they shall be white as snow till they be red like Crimson they shall be as wool

that God wants us to uh even if we've returned to the darkness

he wants to shine his light upon us he wants to to to create a new Dawning day he wants us to to be like the uh prodigal son returning

um in Philippians we'll conclude with this Paul said Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended but this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth of those things which are before I press toward the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus and I think that's much of the the message of John is uh you know every day is an opportunity when that sun comes up to to draw closer to God to forget the mistakes or the accomplishments Paul here is really referencing accomplishments in his life but whether we're their failures or accomplishments you know it doesn't really matter we put all that stuff behind it and greet the the light shining in the darkness and press towards the prize of a high calling of God in Christ Jesus uh thank you all for hearing me and uh I hope that was helpful