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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
John 1

 

 

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Introduction

The Word Became Flesh
- John One -

The author of the gospel of John is the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit used that "disciple whom Jesus loved" to write this gospel. This disciple was the one who leaned on Jesus" bosom. John 13:23 says, "Now there was leaning on Jesus" bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved." John, the apostle, also wrote First John, Second John, Third John and Revelation. The Gospel of John was written after Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In this gospel John traces the story of Jesus from "the beginning." This gospel was written to produce faith in Jesus, the Eternal Word. John stated his purpose in writing by saying, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31)


Verses 1-18

The Eternal "Word" of God is Jesus-- John 1:1-18 : Jesus is pictured as "the Word" who was in the beginning with God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) The Eternal Word is also pictured as the Creator of all things. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3) Upon earth He was the Son of man; He was Jesus of Nazareth. In heaven, from eternity to eternity, Jesus is the Eternal Word. In the Eternal Word there is both light and life. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4)

The Eternal Word had a witness. As you read John 1:6-13 a person is introduced as a "man sent from God" who served as a witness to the Eternal Word. The man"s name was John. (John 1:6) His purpose was to cause all to believe in Jesus. (John 1:7) John the Baptist bore witness of the fact that: (1) He (John) was not the Light (John 1:8), (2) The Eternal Word was the true Light (John 1:9), (3) The true Light came to His own but was not received (John 1:11), and (4) Those who received the Word were given power to become children of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) John pictured the Eternal Word as the hope of all mankind.

The Eternal Word became flesh. A study of John 1:14-18 shows how the Word, who was in the beginning with God was made flesh. (John 1:14) Jesus Christ became one of us. John said of the Word, "...This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me." (John 1:15) The Eternal Word dwelt among us as the source of grace and truth. (John 1:17) It is by virtue of the Eternal Word becoming flesh that God has been declared to man. (John 1:18) The Christian hope is anchored in the truth that the Word became flesh and died for all.


Verses 19-34

The Eternal Word was lifted up by John -- (John 1:19-34) John was a witness who lifted up God"s Eternal Word. (John 1:19-28) John the Baptist was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said." (John 1:23, Isaiah 40:3) John said, "I am not the Christ." (John 1:20) Neither was John the prophet Elijah. (John 1:21) He was questioned about why he baptized if he was not the Christ. John told them that they did not know the Savior. If they knew Jesus they would not have questioned John about his baptism. (John 1:26) The Word is "preferred before John" who was only a witness who lifted Jesus up.

The Eternal Word is the Lamb of God. John 1:29-34 pictures the Eternal Word as "the Lamb of God." John said of Jesus, "...Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) He went on to say, "This is He of whom I said, After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me." (John 1:30) When Jesus was baptized John knew beyond a doubt that Jesus, the Word, is man"s Savior. What He heard and saw caused him to say, "...I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." (John 1:34)


Verses 35-42

The Eternal Word needs faithful disciples -- John 1:35-42 : John 1:35-42 gives an account of Jesus calling His first disciples. The key to discipleship is "following Jesus." (John 1:37) God can use all kinds of people. There is a place in the kingdom for men like Andrew and also for those like Simon Peter. Many of God"s great servants do as Andrew did. They bring those they love to Jesus. Of Andrew it was said, "He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messiah which is translated, the Christ." (John 1:41) Could the same be said of you?


Verses 43-51

The Eternal Word knows the hearts of men -- John 1:43-51 : The Lord knows both a Philip and a Nathanael. (John 1:43-51) With the simple words "follow me" Philip was called to Jesus. Nathanael was moved when the Lord spoke of seeing him under the fig tree. (John 1:48) Jesus gave a great promise to Nathanael, "...Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." (John 1:51) It seems that Jesus was saying to Nathanael that he would come to know the Eternal Word as the only way to heaven.

The Eternal Word is the Son of God. He is man"s only hope. The way to heaven is through Him. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Are you in Christ? In coming to Jesus, it is necessary that we believe in Him as the Son of God. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Faith in Christ leads to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Repentance leads one to confess faith in Christ and to be baptized for forgiveness of sin. "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:36-38) This is the simple pattern of conversion found in the New Testament. Faith leads to repentance, confession and baptism. Then the Christian lives a life of worship and service, a loving and caring life. (Revelation 2:10) If you are not yet a Christian, please obey God while you have life and opportunity. Tomorrow could be too late. (James 4:14-17) We should obey God now because "...We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (John 1:45)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 1:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/john-1.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
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