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Meditations Contents
Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

PART ONE: Chapter 1

Meditation Title: Overview





Part 1: Chapter 1 (17)


Jn 1:1

Jesus the Word


Jn 1:3

Jesus the Creator


Jn 1:4

Jesus bringer of life


Jn 1:4

Jesus light of the world


Jn 1:14

Jesus the bringer of glory


Jn 1:14

Jesus the Only Begotten


Jn 1:14

Jesus full of grace and truth


Jn 1:27

Jesus regal Lord


Jn 1:29

Jesus the Lamb of God


Jn 1:39

Jesus baptiser in the Holy Spirit


Jn 1:41

Jesus the Messiah


Jn 1:42

Jesus transformer of people


Jn 1:45

Jesus fulfilment of prophecy


Jn 1:48

Jesus who sees all


Jn 1:49

Jesus the Son of God


Jn 1:49

Jesus the King of Israel


Jn 1:51

Jesus the Son of Man



Part 2: Chapters 2-4 (14)


Jn 2:3,4

Jesus, working to a schedule


Jn 2:7-10

Jesus transformer of life


Jn 2:10

Jesus bringer of signs


Jn 2:13-17

Jesus the righteous radical


Jn 2:19

Jesus the temple rebuilder


Jn 3:1-12

Jesus revealer of realities


Jn 3:13

Jesus revealer of heavenly truths


Jn 3:14

Jesus the snake


Jn 3:16

Jesus bringer of eternal life


Jn 3:35

Jesus the entrusted One


Jn 4:7

Jesus bringer of equality


Jn 4:10-14

Jesus bringer of living water


Jn 4:16-19

Jesus the gentle prophet


Jn 4:32

Jesus source of hidden food


Jn 4:46-54

Jesus rebuker of death



Part 3: Chapters 5-9 (15)


Jn 5:17-20

Jesus co-worker with the Father


Jn 5:22,23

Jesus focus of honour


Jn 5:36,37

Jesus the sent one


Jn 6:11

Jesus miracle worker


Jn 6:19,20

Jesus Lord over nature


Jn 6:33-35

Jesus the bread of life from heaven


Jn 6:68

Jesus bringer of words of life


Jn 7:33,34

Jesus on short-term contract


Jn 8:1-11

Jesus the compassionate and wise teacher


Jn 8:12

Jesus light of the world (2)


Jn 8:58

Jesus Abraham's predecessor


Jn 9:3-5

Jesus worker in light


Jn 10:7

Jesus the gate


Jn 10:11

Jesus the good shepherd


Jn 10:30

Jesus one with the Father


Jn 11:25

Jesus the resurrection and the life



Part 4: Chapters 12-21 (16)


Jn 12:12-16

Jesus the conquering king


Jn 12:47

Jesus Saviour not Judge


Jn 13:1-5

Jesus the servant


Jn 13:21

Jesus, the fully aware one


Jn 14:6

Jesus the way, the truth and the life


Jn 14:21

Jesus the measure of love for the Father


Jn 15:1

Jesus the true vine


Jn 15:14

Jesus my friend


Jn 16:28

Jesus who returns to the Father


Jn 16:33

Jesus the world's Overcomer


Jn 17:1,2

Jesus with authority over all people


Jn 18:9

Jesus, the faithful leader


Jn 18:20

Jesus, the Open Teacher


Jn 18:37

Jesus, Witness to the Truth


Jn 19:8,9

Jesus, the Silent Lamb


Jn 20:18

Jesus, the Risen Lord


Jn 21:15

Jesus, the Great Interrogator







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Meditations Contents
Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Series Contents:


Meditation Title: Introduction


Jn 20:30,31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name


On this site you will find already existing, meditations about Jesus in Matthew's Gospel. Why therefore do more meditations on Jesus from another Gospel. The answer lies in the fact that it is John's Gospel and that Gospel is very different from the other three, that we call the ‘Synoptic' (from the same point of view) Gospels.


Down through history many scholars have made many suggestions as to why John's Gospel is so different to the other three. The reason, we believe, that stands out above all others is the suggestion that John wrote many years later than the others when he was in old age. Once we accept this, various other things fall into place.


For instance, if the Synoptic Gospels had been around in the church for a number of years, accepted as reliable sources of what had happened, there would be little reason to produce a further Gospel covering the same things.


If John had reached old age, it is likely he would have had those many more years experience of the Lord and time to dwell on the things he had experienced. They do say that elderly people find their memories functioning best for things in the far past rather than the recent past. It would be quite natural for God to take this natural process in John to take him back to those most vivid days of his life and to rerun various things that had happened, and to see them in the light of all the wisdom and experience that he has accumulated over the years. John now realizes Jesus is far more than they had originally thought. He recalls phrases and things happening that the others had not picked up on in those earlier years. As he ponders on those things he realizes with a new sense of significance, that Jesus was seeking to convey so much more to those who had ears to hear and who would reflect on what he was saying.

There are often arguments among scholars about whether the John who wrote the Gospel was the aged apostle that history shows was still around in his nineties in Ephesus. I have two significant reasons apart from what we have written above to indicate the writer was the apostle John:

1. No one else would have the authority to present yet another Gospel and one that is radically different from the previous three, already in use by the Church.

2. No one else would have the audacity to insert themselves as "the disciple whom Jesus loved".


Thus we find John picking up on things the others hadn't covered or putting fresh emphasis on some of the things that they had observed. John realized that the healings and the miracles weren't simply just good acts in themselves; they were ‘signs' for whoever would see them and think about them, and come to realize the wonder of who Jesus was.


But John was writing in a world that had moved on – culture never stays the same – and John himself has a much wider world view now than his fellow disciples had had years before. John is writing for the whole world, not just for the Jewish people as Matthew had been, for the world that had a greater Greek flavour to it. He's also writing in an age when heresies are starting to flourish as fewer and fewer of the original apostles are left alive. So, with his wider world view, his understanding of Greek culture and thinking, and countering the heresies that were growing, we find that John comes with a very much more philosophical Gospel to the other three. It's a Gospel full of ideas and concepts, so if you look at the Contents above, you will find such words as light, life, love, grace and truth, and concepts such as Son of God, Son of Man, King of Israel, the gate, the good shepherd. There is no doubt that John ‘saw' Jesus more clearly and understood who he was more clearly than the earlier writers. They sought to simply recount the things that had happened. John wants you to realise WHO Jesus was and as you realise so you will believe in him and receive his life. May it be so!








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Meditations Contents
Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 1

Meditation Title: Jesus the Word


Jn 1:1,14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.


We used to have a film-strip for children called The Green Bear, a delightful story of a bear who wanted a friend. At one point there is another creature who hires himself out to be a friend for short periods of time. The Green Bear didn't really feel this was enough and the other animal turns to him with irritable words that became indelibly printed on the minds of our family, “Well, I'm talking to you aren't I!” Talking wasn't enough. It is a start, but it's not enough; we want something more.


What is a word? It is a building block of communication; it is an expression of speech, the means we humans use to convey our thoughts to one another. The Greeks, two thousand years ago, used the word in respect of all of creation to mean the rational principle that governs all things, the Logos. In daily life it meant both the thought and the speech expressing the thought. Thus John when he was writing wrote not only to the Jews but to the wider world, for whom the main international language was Greek.


He says that in the beginning of all things – because as human beings we have difficulty imagining eternity with no beginning – there was this Word, this expression of God, this something behind everything that holds everything together, and this something, this expression of God was God, just as we might say my speech is me perhaps. But there is something different here, because words are separate sounds that disappear, and are no longer heard, except in the memory. This Word, this expression of God, remains as an entity, an ongoing expression that is part of God. In heaven, as this Gospel tells us later, there was God the Father and His expression, the Son, the Word.


But again, unlike us and speech, the Father and the Word can communicate backwards and forwards between each other, there is a living, loving relationship between them that is real. You realize that we struggle with these concepts because we're told God is Spirit and we can't really grasp what God and His Son, the Word, being Spirit that had always existed, really means.


But then the Word became flesh. How? I haven't a clue! How can Spirit turn into flesh? I don't know. All I know is that when God made man He breathed spirit (breath) into him (Gen 2:7), so part of us is spirit anyway. How they interact is a mystery which we struggle to explain. But the Word who is God becomes flesh. He does it to communicate with us in the fullest way possible. The writer to the Hebrews wrote: In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son(Heb 1:1,2)


This is the staggering truth, that God has spoken to the human race, not just by words into our minds (which I think He does all the time), not just through Hebrew prophets (who were incredible in themselves as to their openness to ‘hear' God), not just with a one-off call from heaven, but by coming and living in human form on the earth for some thirty three years.


Communication, it seems, is an essential part of personality and God is a Being with personality and so He communicates. He communicates with Himself (we talk to ourselves, think thoughts to ourselves) but that is not enough. He wants to express Himself outwards by creating living creatures who are capable of communicating, and having done that He communicates with them. That's what the Old Testament record is. And then He communicates in the fullest way possible – He comes in human form because He wants to talk to us through His Son! Wow!

But one more thought before we move on in this series. Many words have different meanings. So for example, take the word ‘palm'. That word can mean a tropical tree, or one side of the hand, or the act of concealing something slight of hand. It has those three meanings. When we come to this “Word” that John speaks about, it also has many meanings and it will be those we will be examining in this series. Jesus as we will see is Creator of this world with the Father, he is also sustainer of this world, he is also redeemer of this world, so this “Word” has a multitude of meanings or functions or roles. Yes, above all else he is the Son of God, but having said that we see that he is so much more. Watch for these things as we consider them in John's Gospel.







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 2

Meditation Title: Jesus the Creator


Jn 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made .


Atheistic scientists declare, the world was made by a big bang and all living creatures are the result of unplanned evolution. Well they can't say anything else, can they? If you pretend there is no God, then everything has to be pure chance and everything has got to come about from a single cell evolving into the incredible multi-cell creatures that we are today. There's no other way to explain it if you pretend there is no God, and all you're left with is a purposeless, meaningless world. How sad!


Then we come to the Bible which unashamedly declares from the first words, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth(Gen 1:1). God created. It wasn't a purposeless accident, it was a pure act of God, however He did it. Now John, starting out his Gospel with a description of the expression of God which became flesh, tells is that the Word was with God and was God and, in case you still hadn't got the message, that this Word was the agent through which God made everything. This Word was the Creator and there was absolutely nothing in existence that didn't come into being because of him.


Now the writer to the Hebrews expressed the same thing: but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…. through whom he made the universe.” (Heb 1:2). The apostle Paul said the same thing: For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” There are silly and ignorant people who say that Jesus' divinity wasn't declared until three centuries later. They clearly have never read these verses! Three different writers ascribe the creation of existence to Jesus! This puts him fairly and squarely in the description of ‘divinity'!


The Old Testament also has an echo of this. Solomon in the early part of Proverbs personifies wisdom and has ‘him' speaking , “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” (Prov 8:27-31). What an amazing passage; a figure alongside the Father totally involved in bringing everything into being.


In John's day there were those who believed that spirit and matter were opposed and never could come together. God was spirit, and there was matter that was not good. John's word's address these confused philosophers. God is Spirit but God brought matter into being. How can matter come from nothing? We don't know, it is beyond our finite minds, but John knows that God has no problem with matter for He made it. More than that His Son was part of the creation process and then His Son entered the material realm and Spirit lived in flesh on a material world. Oh no, there is no distinction of good and bad over spirit and matter with God. He has made everything and, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, He has lived in this material world. He made it and lived in it. There can be no feeling here that God made something inferior when He created the material world. He proved His approval by sending His Son to live in it. Enjoy God's creation!







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 3

Meditation Title: Jesus the bringer of life


Jn 1:4      In him was life, and that life was the light of men


Life is a mystery, not the whole existence of a person, but the very force or energy that keeps them going. Materialistic scientists have to say it is just the interaction of chemicals that make a body move, react, respond, and interact with everything around it. It is most clearly realized when it is absent, i.e. when death occurs. To see a dead body immediately after death is to realize that ‘something' has gone from it and so all that is left is flesh which will decay leaving just a skeleton. Something within the flesh gave up and no longer energises the body into action. For most of us, the thought of simply chemical interaction is grossly inadequate. We sense, we feel, that we are something far more that just chemicals, for chemicals have no beauty, no meaning, no ‘purpose' and things like love and creativity are also meaningless to a pile of heaving molecules!


From a materialistic point of view we know that a human body needs a pumping heart and an active brain and when either shuts down, the body shuts down and dies. We explain the brain activity as minute electrical charges flowing between cells causing stimulation that brings ‘life', but as we've just said, most of us almost demand that it is more than this. Whenever men rationalise and reduce humanity to mere matter, very soon after we find abuses of man by man. History is littered with such abuses. It is only when we see man as something more than merely molecular activity does man rise up to greatness. Then we start talking about the ‘quality of life' and in all this we are struggling to put meaning to this word, ‘life'.


John says in him was life” as if that was something different from anyone else. The inference is that in everyone else life is imparted, given to them at conception, passed on by their parents, but in Jesus this ‘life' existed independently of any other human being. The inference is that this life, this energy that we struggle to understand, exists in God alone and everything else has it because God imparts it.


The word ‘life' occurs 50 times in John's Gospel, often in the context of eternal life, a life force or energy that goes on without end. When the Bible speaks of our spirit, is that the part of us that is the mysterious holder of this life energy which, when a person becomes a Christian, is energised by the Holy Spirit? Who or what is the Holy Spirit except the life that is God – energy that is personal.


To catch something of the significance of this we need to see the effect of the Holy Spirit coming ‘upon' men in the Old Testament and New. In Ex 31:3,4 He gave new creative abilities. In Num 11:25 He gave new ability to prophesy. In Judges 3:10 He gave ability to lead as in 6:34. In every case of the Holy Spirit coming upon men He gave them new abilities. It was like all their natural abilities were heightened. A parallel picture to try to explain it would be to say it was like a man with only black and white sight being given the ability to see in colours. With the arrival of God in power, there is a flow of ‘life' that brings a transformation in man that is as dramatic as the change that takes place when the sun comes out on a cloudy day. Prior to Jesus coming, we were like human bodies that were living out a form or copy of life. Then we encountered him and real life, real God-energy, flowed into us and we were transformed. We became what we were designed to be. We started seeing differently, thinking differently, and acting differently. This ‘life' in Jesus came into us and we were transformed!







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 4

Meditation Title: Jesus, light of the World


Jn 1:4,9 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it… The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world


A world without light would be a terrible place. If we did not have the sun we would not see the moon and the only light we would have would be the stars shining twenty four hours a day. Hardly anything would live. At the beginning of the Bible God created the earth and it was dark (Gen 1:1,2) and so the very next thing God created was light (1:3). Light is essential to life. Life and light go together.


Modern science says something interesting about light – it is energy. In the previous meditation we thought about the life that is God, the energy that He brings to us to make us living beings. The life, the energy that Jesus brings, acts as a light for men. Imagine a completely dark world. Imagine someone coming who glows and each person he touches also glows as he conveys his energy to them. There is something of that with Jesus, the one who comes bringing real life as against the form of life that is so often acted out in the world around us.


In John's Gospel, light is mentioned twenty four times. Later on we'll look at Jesus' declaration “I am the light of the world” but for the moment we'll simply consider some introductory things about light. John spoke about Jesus shining in darkness, implying that the world was in darkness. In philosophy there have always been distinctions between light and darkness, good and evil. Darkness and evil have always gone together. Later John was to write, “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God(Jn 3:19-21)


There two pictures or uses of light are given. As we just said, darkness is equated with evil. Sinful man, says John, preferred evil to the light who came among them and (he has in mind) they excluded him or put him to death. But running in parallel to this is the idea that light reveals. In a dark room when you turn on the light you suddenly see everything. When Jesus arrived, suddenly everyone's actions were revealed for what they were. His utter goodness (light) showed up the falseness and pretence at goodness in the religious people; that was why they killed him. His ‘life' showed up everything else for what it was, a sham. His life was like a light that showed everything as it really was.


But there is more to this. John also described him as the true light that gives light to every man. The truth is that every person who hears about Jesus has his light shone on them. His goodness radiates from him to them. This doesn't mean to say that they accept it, for many reject him as their own darkness is shown up. It is the writer's belief that at some time in every person's lifetime (and perhaps many times) God shines the light of truth and goodness into every person. There will be none who, on Judgment Day, will be able to say, “I never knew.” Even if it is for a fleeting moment, they know. They choose to reject the light and continue in their darkness. Yet, for whoever will, if they open themselves to The Light, then they will find he fills them with his light so that he can then say to them, “ You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:14) Glow! Shine!







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 5

Meditation Title: Jesus, the bringer of glory


Jn 1:14    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


In this verse there are a number of things to be examined as we'll see in the next few meditations. For now we simply ponder over this idea of ‘glory'. There is another word with which we are perhaps more familiar. We might say, “Wow, what a glorious sunset!” Something about its brightness, its wonder, its staggering beauty, touches our hearts. Isn't it glorious! Of course if we are bible students we will know of another use of ‘glory' from the Old Testament – the glory of the Lord! Oh yes we know what that means because descriptions were given: While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.” (Ex 16:10). There was a great brightness shining in the clouds. Or Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Ex 40:34). Again a cloud of immense brightness. In the New Testament Luke records, Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him” (Lk 9:32) as Jesus and Moses and Elijah shone with a great brightness. Glory thus refers to a great brightness from the very presence of God Himself. Where He is, there is His glory.


But glory was also used to mean a less tangible brightness: But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD(Ex 14:4). Because of what I am about to do, the Lord was saying, peoples will realize my wonder and power and might and majesty and they will know that truly I am ‘the I AM'. Glory here is great esteem, acknowledgement of great excellence.


So now we come to John's description of Jesus: we have seen his glory . Now apart from the time on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus did not ‘glow', so what John is saying is we have seen his wonder and excellence that reflects the wonder and excellence of God the Father. The glory of the One and Only? Yes, the unique wonder and magnificence of God Himself, shining through His Son.


What was John saying? Jesus stood out among mankind as a unique figure, a glorious figure. Put any great person you can think of in history next to Jesus and they pale into insignificance. Jesus stands out! He is unique! He is amazing! He is wonderful! He is incredible! He is glorious! In the book of Revelation, John had the privilege of a heavenly vision in which he saw Jesus standing in the centre of the throne (Rev 5:6) and all around him the creatures applaud him with a song that includes: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev 5:12). They saw him as he was and acknowledged the wonder of who he is in this sevenfold anthem of praise.


There's something we've missed: We have seen! It's so easy to take it for granted. The Word had been in heaven and now he was in the flesh on earth so that John and the others could SEE him. In his first letter John said, The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it (1 Jn 1:2). The glory that was in heaven was put aside (“being in very nature God….made himself nothing….being found in appearance as a man – Phil 2:6-8) but the human form still revealed the glory and wonder of God to those who had eyes to see. This was a glory that only open hearts saw. Have you seen it?







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Series Theme: Jesus in John Meditations

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Meditation No. 6

Meditation Title: Jesus, the only begotten


Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth .


Language use changes through the years and I remember many years ago listening to a preacher using the old King James Version of the Bible who spent most of the time explaining the meaning of the old words. I sat there then and thought, “Wouldn't it be easier to use a modern translation so then you won't have to waste most of your time translating it here in front of us?” However there are sometimes, words that have gone out of use that convey more than other modern words do. In the NIV version above we have omitted a ‘note letter' immediately after the One and Only which points us to a note saying “or the Only Begotten ”. It is this word ‘begotten' which is alien to most of us today, even though many of us will sing it at least once a year at Christmas in “O Come all ye Faithful”, the second verse of which finishes with “Son of the Father, begotten, not created”. So what does begotten mean?


To beget means to procreate which is a word that is more familiar but is still unwieldy. “One and Only” indicates something of Jesus' uniqueness and “came from the Father” could be taken to mean simply that the Father sent him, but when we consider the word ‘begotten' we see something different; he is the one and only one because he has come out of the Father and is God in essence. That is why he was described as glorious and full of grace and truth, characteristics of God Himself.


The Greek word in the original is fascinating. It is mono genes – only born, one with the genes of the Father, because he's come from the Father. It was only when heresies started creeping in that the Church started formulating the truth. The early ‘Apostles Creed' (orig. AD140) speaks of Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit”. Later the ‘Nicene Creed' (AD325) stated, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.” It took the ‘Athanasian Creed' (?670AD) to declare, The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten…. We believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds.” Here is the truth declared, whatever substance (spirit?) God is, Jesus is the same because he came out of the Father and was not some separate creation made from dust (material) as man was (Gen 2:7). Nowhere else in all of history is there such a claim as this, established by the Gospel and epistle writers, and confirmed by the Early Church – that this man walking on the earth IS God. Yes, it goes beyond our understanding but that's what the record clearly says.


John repeats this doctrine again and again: No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (begotten), who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” (1:18) and For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only (begotten) Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (3:16) and so on. John had come to realize something that earlier they had not appreciated: the one who had walked among them was in essence God as well as man. When New-Agers say, “We are all gods” they're not even speaking the same language!







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

Meditation No. 7

Meditation Title: Jesus, full of grace and truth


Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


Sometimes when you meet people for the first time, something in you goes, “Oh no!” There are the people who are completely self-centred and all they can talk about is themselves. They tend to be loud, brash, harsh, even offensive. Then there are those who are a charade. They are putting on a front, Billy Liar personified. You never really get to know the real them because they are putting on such a show. What is sad about both sorts of people is that they are so far from what they were designed to be, because they don't know who they are.


What is it these two groups of people lack? Grace and truth! Jesus was full of it. He didn't just have a bit of it; everything about him was full of grace and truth. So what are these two characteristics?


Grace we sometimes describe as a divinely supernatural ability to cope, to be, to achieve. It is God's ability for you and me to be the people He wants us to be. It is His enabling, Him providing something of Himself, it is His favour or ‘handed-out-goodness'. This grace that comes from God is a combination of His character and His ability. Thus when we receive His grace we receive something of His nature and an ability to be and to do as He wants us to be and do. And Jesus was full of this. Why? Because of what goes before it: he was and is the Son of God, the one and only Son of God who has been formed out of the Father. He has the nature and being of the Father. In the same way that my daughter, say, has flesh because I have flesh, Jesus is Spirit because the Father is Spirit. But there the comparison stops, because my daughter may have a number of similar traits to me, but there is much of her that is unique to her. When we see Jesus, we see the Father, but limited in the flesh on earth and distinct in heaven. No I don't understand it either! We only will when we get to heaven.


Truth is what is, what really is. There is nothing false, pretend, fake, or artificial in truth. It is real, genuine, actual? To use a modern phrase, what you see is what you get. In each one of us human beings there is something of falseness. We do not express perfectly or exactly what we are. We pretend, we're not sure who we are or what we ought to be, and so we act as we think people expect us to act, or as we think we should act, but God is not like that. God is utterly true to Himself. He doesn't have to put on a show – when you are The Supreme Being there is no one to impress! He is just Himself.


Jesus similarly, because he is of the essence of the Father, is just himself. He never said or did things because of others' expectations. He did them because it was right to do them. Jesus, who knew all things, knew what was exactly right to say and do. That is why you can never fault anything he said or did – he was sinless (Heb 4:15). We may not understand it and may therefore wonder, but the error is never or his side; it's always our misunderstanding. No, everything about Jesus is truth. If you realise that, it makes him a bit scary. Living with someone who is utterly real, utterly true – because we are not – is a bit scary. He shows us up. He showed up the religious leaders of his day and that's why they had him killed.


Jesus arrived on earth and, as he pondered this many years later, John realised that his master was truly FULL of grace and truth, the essence of the Father.







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Series Theme:   Jesus in John Meditations

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Meditation No. 8

Meditation Title: Jesus, regal Lord


Jn 1:27 He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.


We live in an age when equality is all-important, but it is largely equality of opportunity, and when equality is being stressed it is because there is a recognition that, for whatever reason, there is an inequality to be redressed. We're keen, in theory at least, to put everyone on a level playing field. But then in the United Kingdom we have one of the few surviving monarchies of the world and we do still have Lords and Earls and Dukes and so on – but we're rather uncomfortable with them. There is a smack of privilege here and we feel, “Why should they have wealth and lands and so on, simply because of birth?”


And then we come to the kingdom of God where truly all men are equal (it's only in worldly expressions of the church that we find status and position) and in Jesus' words, the highest status is that of servant (Mt 20:26) and it is clear that Jesus sees himself as just such a servant. With that in mind, it is challenging therefore, to consider these words from John the Baptist about Jesus. John, you will remember, is a prophet, and prophets see things more clearly than most of us. In this sentence John paints a brief picture of the practice of the great having their servant undo their sandals when they came in, in preparation for their dusty feet to be washed. It was the most lowly servant in the household who would do the foot washing, and John now says that he's not even worthy to be the lowest of servants for Jesus.


John was seen as a powerful, important spiritual figure. He was somewhat awesome, a prophet of the Old Testament sort, the last of that sort, slightly scary, and people looked up to him, yet he says the difference between he and Jesus is so great that he's not even worthy enough to do the most menial of tasks for Jesus. Understand that this is not John putting himself down but him elevating Jesus. The crowd had been asking him if he were the Christ or the new Elijah or simply God's Prophet, and he denies all these things and says, I simply baptize with water, an easy thing (implied). I'm a nobody in comparison to the one who is already here in your midst, he goes on. John the Baptist, the prophet, realized something about Jesus that hardly anyone else yet realised. The Gospel writer, John, has already been describing Jesus in some very dramatic ways, but it's taken him a lifetime to come to this realisation. Only slowly had he realised the significance of what the Baptist was saying. If this Jesus is so great that an ordinary servant was not worthy to wash his feet, he is on the level of royalty, he is a ruler of great nobility, we might say. John the Baptist caught the sense of this in his spirit, though possibly not fully in his understanding.


Psalm 2 catches something of this as God speaks of His anointed one (v.2), His king (v.6) that he has installed in Jerusalem , His begotten Son (v.7) and warns nations to pay him homage (v.12). Jesus, as we've seen in the recent meditations is great, really great, because of who he is. Even before he heals the multitudes, raises people from the dead, walks on water and so on, he is great because of who he is. He does all these things because of who he is. He doesn't become great because he does these things; he already is great. John has caught a glimpse of this, and seeks to convey it so that we might believe, but this is a challenge to the pride in every one, that doesn't like to submit to others. He is Lord, so bow before him, this servant King!







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Meditation No. 9

Meditation Title: Jesus, the Lamb of God


Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!


There are some people who say we don't need the Old Testament. They obviously don't understand large portions of the New Testament because much of the New only makes sense when you see it in the light of the Old. This applies to our understanding of John the Baptist declaring,Look the Lamb of God.”


The pictures of a lamb start right back in Genesis 4:4 “But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering” The firstborn would have been a lamb. The first acceptable offering (gift) to God was a lamb. It really takes on significance when we come to Exodus 12 when prior to the Exodus the Israelites were each told to take a lamb, one per family (12:3), year old males without defect (12:5), slaughter them and put some of the blood on the doorposts of the house (12:7). Then the Lord declared, "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Thus the blood of a lamb, the sign of the lamb's life being taken, meant that family was saved. In every house in Egypt that night there was a dead body – either the firstborn son, or a lamb.


When it later came to the offerings of the sacrificial system (Lev 1-) although the offerings could be from herd or flock, it was most common for it to be a lamb, for cattle tended to be with wealthier families. Thus an offering of the flock was to be a lamb. It could be a burnt offering – simple description of most offerings (Lev 1:10 ), a fellowship offering – a sign of friendship and love (Lev 3:6), or a sin offering – to appease for their sin (Lev 4:32). In each case it was to be a lamb without defect. For the common (ordinary) person, the lamb was thus a link between them and God, the lamb enabled them to come into God's presence. There is more about lambs but space forbids consideration of it.


So now Jesus appears and God's prophet, John, sees him and identifies him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. How does he do that? He stands in our place and he gives his life as a sin offering, he stands in as the Passover Lamb so that we are spared judgment, because he takes it instead (Heb 9:26-28).


When John the Gospel writer received the Revelation, he saw the plight of the world and wept and was told, Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals A Lion has triumphed! But then he saw standing before the throne in heaven, “a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” and as he took the scroll of the end time judgments, all those before the throne fell and worshipped him, singing, You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”


This is the picture of the Lamb of God who is Jesus, the Redeemer of the World, who stood in our place and took our sin upon himself (2 Cor 5:21 ), took our guilt and shame and our punishment, so that we could be set free. The Old Testament established the system that would portray what Jesus, in the New would do. He has done it!








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Meditation No. 10

Meditation Title: Jesus, Baptiser in the Spirit


Jn 1:32,32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'


John the Baptist is an interesting witness. He has been challenged by the Pharisees, is he the Christ? He denies it; he is merely one who baptizes in water (v.26). While he is baptizing people, Jesus comes and John heralds him as the Lamb of God. The Synoptic Gospels recount Jesus' baptism but John only recounts it through the testimony of John – the Gospel writer, John, is more concerned with John the Baptist's testimony than the actual event, which has been recorded before anyway. John's testimony is that God (implied) had told him to watch out for the coming one and he would know him when he saw the Spirit come down on him. Whereas John baptizes in water, this one will baptize in the Holy Spirit. John had seen the Spirit come down on Jesus. He is the One.


Now to understand what this is all about, we have to consider what baptism was all about. The word for ‘baptize' in the Greek original means ‘to immerse in'. It was the same word that would be used to speak of a cloth being immersed in liquid to be dyed, or of a ship sinking and being immersed under the sea. Before Jesus' arrival it was simply applied to being immersed in the river Jordan as a picture of your sins being washed away, but in that picture there is one interesting concept that didn't match the picture of a cloth or a ship being immersed – the water stayed on the outside of you; it was simply to wash you clean on the outside.


But the cloth-ship pictures convey a bigger truth. When they were immersed they were also saturated or filled with water. An even more simple analogy is that of a cup which, when it is immersed, is also filled. Now we mention this because of the subsequent references to Jesus and Holy Spirit baptism. In the closing minutes of Jesus' time with his disciples before ascending to heaven, he said, For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) and followed it up, when questioned, with, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses(Acts 1:8). A short time later on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and we read, All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). There can be no doubt that this is the one and same event that Jesus was referring to in Chapter 1 because the power immediately came on them and they were witnesses is such a way that three thousand were saved (Acts 2:41).


Years later when Paul was writing he wrote: we were all baptized by (or in) one Spirit into one body (1 Cor 12:13). The picture given so far is of the Spirit coming down on individuals, immersing them and filling them and in this way are united in one body, the church. The only disconcerting this about this, is that whenever this happened in the Acts of the Apostles, it was clearly accompanied by a new release, a new freedom that released praise and thanksgiving, joy, sometimes tongues and sometimes prophecy. (Acts 8:17 ,18, 10:44 -46, 19:6). It seems today, very often people are born again and receive the Spirit, yet the power filling takes place at a later point. Perhaps this is simply because we don't expect, and don't pray for, the filling at the point of conversion. Perhaps it's time we came more in line with the Biblical experience. When we encounter Jesus, this is possible.








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Meditation No. 11

Meditation Title: Jesus, the Messiah


Jn 1:41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).


Messiah has been incorporated into our language to simply mean a liberator. Its use, strangely you might think, is very limited in the Bible. In the New Testament it is only here and in Jn 4:25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us”. In the Old Testament it only appears in older versions twice in Daniel 9:25,26, although modern versions tend to simply translate it as the “Anointed One”


Now in the New Testament, ‘Christ' is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew, ‘Messiah' and messiah in the Old Testament simply meant ‘the anointed one'. So then we have to go back and consider what anointed meant. The first reference to anointed comes in Gen 31:13, I am the God of Bethel , where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me.” When we go back to Gen 28:18 to see what this referred to we find, Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.” Anointing was this pouring oil on. Why did he do that? Presumably to make the pillar special, holy.


It would seem that Jacob caught something of what God would instigate later on: Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, the table and all its articles, the lamp-stand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.” (Ex 30:25-29) Thus the anointing of the tent, the utensils, the garments and the priests was to separate them out as holy, made for a special task. The same thing subsequently happened in respect of kings, Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you leader over his inheritance?” (1 Sam 10:1) Prophets were also considered ‘anointed ones', Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” (1 Chron 16:22)


The ‘Coming One', the Messiah, we have already noted is seen in Daniel : “From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven `sevens,' and sixty-two `sevens.” In Psa 2:1,2 we find, Why do the nations conspire….. against the LORD and against his Anointed One” Is this simply God's king on the earth, or a coming one? In Isa 61:1,2 we read, The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” Here the Servant, the Lord's Coming One, shows us the meaning of the oil. It is a picture of the enabling Holy Spirit coming on this Coming One. The Christ (used over 500 times in the NT) in the New Testament is thus the “Anointed One”, one sent for a purpose, with the Holy Spirit upon him to enable him to serve God and fulfil His tasks. Perhaps we link the two words ‘Jesus' and ‘Christ' so naturally that we forget the implication: He is “Jesus anointed one”, or “Jesus the one sent by God, and empowered by the Spirit to fulfil God's purpose”. Christ is therefore shorthand and we should never forget what it is shorthand for, for it goes to the heart of the activity of God.








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Meditation No. 12

Meditation Title: Jesus, transformer of people


Jn 1:42 Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).


When we look at someone we tend to see, quite simply, the exterior and observe that person's body language and appearance (1 Sam 16:7), but when God looks at someone He sees everything about them, their thoughts, their feelings, their past and their future, everything is revealed. In our verse today we go to the heart of the effect of the Gospel: Jesus transforms people!


Simon comes to Jesus and Jesus looks at him with the eyes of God and sees his potential and knows his future. We sometimes say, “God loves you just as you are, but He also loves you so much that He will not leave you as you are but will change you into someone much more wonderful.” Commentators are sometimes somewhat chary of implying too much into the names here, but some suggest that Simon means a stone, while Peter (or Cephas) means a rock. If that is so it is a good picture. Simon, the man who stood in front of Jesus was a rather hasty, easily moved, impetuous man. By the time God had finished with him, he was truly a rock, one who was steady and unmovable, one who could be relied upon.


Names in the Bible were often highly significant and name changes even more so. Abram (exalted father) was changed (Gen 17:5) to Abraham (father of many). Jacob (twister) was changed (Gen 32:28) to Israel (he struggles with God ). The name change implied a new relationship with God, and certainly a new phase or new understanding about that person's life. At the very least a name change here means a life-implication change. Jews were initially identified by their father, so Simon was son of John . Thus he was identified according to his past. There is a sense when Jesus simply says, “You will be called Cephas (Rock)” that it is like he is saying, “Your past doesn't matter. You won't be known by someone else's name. You will stand alone, known for who you are, because of what you are.”


There is a great truth here. We are not a Christian because our parents were Christians. There is even a sense that to become a Christian we have to be separated from our parents to enter into a greater relationship with God. In the same way that a man leaves his parents to be joined to his wife, so the same is true of becoming a Christian (Eph 5:31 ,32). When we become a Christian we become a new person and our old life now no longer counts: if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor 5:17). Any status we had from being part of a particular family doesn't count in the kingdom of God , only our relationship with God. Similarly our past failures don't have to impinge on the present (only crimes that we may not have confessed, or sins we may not have acknowledged against other people). We become a new person forgiven and cleansed by Jesus' work on the Cross, energized by the Holy Spirit, and adopted into God's family by the Father.


See also that Jesus knows what we can be. Peter is a wonderful example of someone who was accepted in his raw, rough state by Jesus but was transformed into one of the leading apostles moving under the power and authority of God. Remember, that that end result was despite the many times Peter opened his mouth and got it wrong, including the time when he denied his master. Jesus is in the business of transforming us!









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Meditation No. 13

Meditation Title: Jesus, fulfilment of prophecy


Jn 1:45  Philip found Nathaniel and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth , the son of Joseph."


If there is one thing that comes over very clearly in the Bible it is that the coming of Jesus was no accident, no last minute idea of God, but part of a long-stated plan of the Godhead, formulated long before in heaven. For the educated people of Jesus' day the fact that God had spoken in the Old Testament period about a Coming One is quite clear, so let's consider some of the prophetic verses that they knew about.


Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." i.e. someone in the human race would crush the work of Satan yet be injured by him in the process.

Gen 22:18 through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” i.e. the earth will be blessed by a descendent of Abraham's family.

Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his i.e. a ruler will eventually come from the tribe of Judah who will rule over the nations.

Deut 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.” i.e. God will raise up a great prophet out of Israel.

2 Sam 17:12,13 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” i.e. from David's family will come an eternal ruler.

Psa 2:2,6,7 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One..…I have installed my King on Zion , my holy hill… You are my Soni.e. God has an anointed one, a king, His Son who is coming.

Psa 110:1,2 The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet. The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion ; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.” i.e. God has a ruler who will come from heaven.

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel i.e. a coming son will be called ‘God with us'.

Isa 9:1 in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan” i.e. Galilee will be a place of special blessing.


These are just a sample of what some suggest are at least three hundred prophetic references in the Old Testament to the coming Messiah. It seems almost that every time prophets got tuned into heaven something of the theme of the Coming One broke through. It was almost as if it was something constantly there in the background of the Father's mind, so even when He was sharing with His servants other present day issues, something of the blessing He had planned for the earth through His Son broke through in His thoughts. Throughout the whole of time prior to two thousand years ago, the Father had it in His mind, something they were constantly working towards. The Son leaving heaven and coming to the earth to save mankind was THE big event in the hearts in heaven, and then two thousand years back, all of the past planning came into being. He came!








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Meditation No. 14

Meditation Title: Jesus, who sees all


Jn 1:47,48 When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” How do you know me?” Nathaniel asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you”


It's quite disconcerting when people can see right through you. Have you ever encountered anyone who seems to be able to read you mind and know exactly what you're thinking? Supposing it was a complete stranger who started talking about what you'd been doing earlier in the day, or even yesterday, that would be scary, wouldn't it? Many years ago, my wife and I had a running conversation that picked up and went on over about four days, about whether we could possibly feel as God feels. We didn't come to any conclusion, but we happened to be at a prayer meeting in our church, when suddenly in a gap between prayers, one of the ladies in the group spoke out a prophetic word in which the Lord spoke about whether we could feel as He felt and then concluded with an answer. If that wasn't amazing enough, what was really incredible was that she (He!) literally quoted things we'd said over the course of that four day conversation. God watches and sees and listens and knows.


A classic instance of this is the Lord showing Ezekiel what was happening inside the temple many miles away from where he was (Ezek 8:3,7-18). Another instance was Elisha being given sight of what Gehazi was doing (2 Kings 5:21 -27). Oh yes, God watches and sees and listens and knows!


Now our two verses today don't do justice to the situation. As we saw yesterday, Philip found Nathaniel and told him they'd found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Now in Nathaniel's understanding Nazareth was a nowhere place and it didn't seem to fit in with his understanding of the Messiah. He was derogatory. Then Jesus comes and says this to him. “Here's a very open, straight forward Jew,” is what Jesus basically says, and the implication is that he knows Nathaniel. Nathaniel is still cagey.“How do you know me?” he asks, almost challenging Jesus. The intent is more like, “You don't know me!” Jesus' reply is completely disarming: I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” There was something about that which completely rocked Nathaniel for his reply is, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (v.49) Was it that he had just been praying in a closed garden where no one else could have seen him, that made Jesus' words have such an effect?


Up until that moment Nathaniel had been doubtful, but now, suddenly, he has been revealed by this teacher, and thus the teacher is revealed! This Jesus sees behind walls, and he doesn't even have to be in the vicinity! Yes, God watches and sees and listens and then, sometimes, just lets us know what He's been doing, just so we appreciate who He is. And Jesus is His Son! Does that mean that Jesus' mind was filled with all the thoughts and pictures of everyone in the area or the world – because that is God's capability? No, it simply means that when the Father knows it is useful for him, He gives him the insight, the revelation of a person or situation. Today, back in heaven, Jesus sees all things. Do we think we can hide things from God's eyes? If we do we are foolish, for He sees and knows all things, so when you talk to Him, be completely honest, for he already knows!









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Meditation No. 15

Meditation Title: Jesus, the Son of God


Jn 1:49 Then Nathaniel declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel ."


There are sometimes things in Scripture that seem too obvious almost for comment, and those of us who have been Christians for any length of time perhaps take for granted Jesus' designation as ‘Son of God'. Indeed John the Baptist had already testified to this in verse 34, so according to the writer John, Nathaniel is the second person to acknowledge Jesus as “the Son of God”. John did it because he saw the Spirit come down on Jesus as God had told him he would do. Nathaniel did it because for a moment he recognized the divine ability to see what no one else could see.


At the beginning of the chapter John had linked God and the word (v.1,2) and then referred to the Word when he became flesh as the only begotten of the Father (v.14,18) who came from the Father. When we considered this in meditation 6, we considered how he was the same essence as the Father. This is important to John, this is why he wrote: these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name(Jn 20:31).


This was also important to the apostle Paul: Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God … made in human likeness (Phil 2:6,7) and He is the image of the invisible God( Col 1:15) and in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Col 2:9). Similarly to the writer to the Hebrews: "in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being (Heb 1:2,3). In fact so important was it to that writer that he spent the whole of chapter 1 of Hebrews making the point about the Son.


Why is it so important that Jesus was (and is) God's Son? First, because he conveys the very nature of God. If we have ‘seen' Jesus we've seen the Father (Jn 14:9). Nowhere else in all of history has there been anyone who has claimed to be God's Son, who is the exact representation of God, and then gone on to prove it. Second, because it makes him a faithful and true messenger, the fact that he has come from heaven (Jn 6:38 ,39) and third, that he alone can be the focus of our faith to grant us forgiveness of sins through his work on the Cross and subsequently, eternal life (Jn 3:13 -18, 6:40 )


Now there is another dimension to this. The word ‘son' appears in Scripture over 2300 times! In God's design, father to son is a crucial relationship. Sons were identified by their fathers. In Matthew's Gospel the word ‘son' appears 80 times! In John's Gospel 43 times ‘son' is used with reference to Jesus. A son is subordinate to the father (Jn 5:19), gives honour to the father (Jn 17:1), follows in the father's footsteps and follows the father in the family business (Jn 5:19 -23) and eventually has the business put into his hands more and more (Jn 3:35 ). See this unity of the Father and the Son: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him ” and then “ Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.” (Jn 10:27-31,36,37). Rejoice in it. Worship him!








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Meditation No. 16

Meditation Title: Jesus, the King of Israel


Jn 1:49    Then Nathaniel declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."


Kings don't figure very highly in our modern world. In fact some are very negative even about the thought of a king. For Israel kings had always been a mixed blessing. Initially God had been their ‘king', their ruler, but in Samuel's time the people declared, You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (1 Sam 8:5). Their reason had a twofold aspect to it. First, they had no confidence in Samuel's sons who he had appointed to follow him and second, they looked around and saw other nations with kings and saw strong leadership and wanted that. Kings feature over 2300 times in the Bible, so that indicates their significance. They direct and control the way a nation goes.


The record of the human kings of Israel was not good. Saul the first was soon characterized by disobedience to God, David committed adultery, ordered assassination and had pride, Solomon disobeyed God, had many foreign wives, gave way to idolatry and ended his days in jaded cynicism. After the kingdom was divided all the kings of Israel , the northern kingdom were bad, while good and bad kings came and went in the southern kingdom until perpetual idolatry meant an end to that kingdom. After the exile there was never another king.


It took David and the other psalmists to prophetically restore God to the position of king in their hearts: I have installed my King on Zion , my holy hill (Psa 2:6) the Lord declared. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray .” (Psa 5:2) The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land .” (Psa 10:6) Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” (Psa 24:7,8) etc.


In the prophetic stream there was also the promise that the Messiah would be a ruler. First to David: When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.” (1 Chron 17:11) Next to Solomon: I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, `You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel.” (2 Chron 7:18). Then through Isaiah , “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders….Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isa 9:6,7). Thus in the back of their minds, Israel were expecting a king, a deliverer from God. All the Gospel record the feeding of the five thousand but only John recollects: Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” (Jn 6:15). Before the crucifixion we find: Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?' ‘Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied.” (Mt 27:11).


Was Jesus a king? Yes, God had declared it (Psa 2 above). Was he a conquering king? Yes, but not in the way the people expected with an army to overthrow the Romans. Jesus came to reign and bring in the king dom of God (Mt 4:14 etc. etc.). Jesus came to overthrow sin and win the hearts of people to God. Today he reigns (Psa 110:1,2) over millions of hearts across the world. Yours?








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Meditation No. 17

Meditation Title: Jesus, the Son of Man


Jn 1:51    He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. "


There are times in Scripture when we read words, phrases or sentences and take them granted and really don't think much what they really mean. This phrase, ‘Son of Man' is one such phrase. Matthew's Gospel uses this phrase over 30 times, the less prophetic and shorter Mark's Gospel, 13 times, the longer Luke's Gospel, 23 times and John's Gospel portraying the ‘big picture' only 12 times.


To take the phrase at face value, pretending we had no other knowledge about it, we would say it simply means a human being, a son of a man. C.S.Lewis in his Narnia stories refers to the children as “sons and daughters of Adam.” We can take that to simply mean human children. Now one of the interesting things about this phrase is that when it comes up in the New Testament it is always Jesus referring to himself, so we might say that this is Jesus emphasizing his humanity.


However, there was also a very strong Messianic sense in which it was being used. In the Old Testament, the only times it was used were in Ezekiel (over 90 times) and in Daniel. In Ezekiel it is used of Ezekiel himself by God, very much a reminder to Ezekiel of his humanity and weakness. In Daniel we find: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (Dan 7:13,14) The other reference in Daniel (8:17), like Ezekiel is simply referring to Daniel's humanity. Thus we have one unusual single reference which the Jews built upon to refer, with many other prophetic verses, to the Messiah. Look again, therefore, at the content of that significant verse.


There is, first, a figure appearing who has human likeness. Second, he comes with the clouds of heaven which means he comes from heaven. Third, he has access to God himself. Fourth, he is given great authority and glory and supreme (sovereign) power. Fifth, people from every nation worship him. Sixth, his rule will be for ever and seventh, it will never be destroyed (or over come by another – implied). This amazing picture is of a human figure with eternal dimensions to be an all-powerful ruler. No wonder the Jews were excited by this prophecy!


Now Jesus clearly applies this title to himself, but there were two responses to it. In John 12 we find: Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified… when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself'…. The crowd spoke up, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, `The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this `Son of Man'?” (Jn 12:23 ,32,34) i.e. questioning unbelief. Now consider the blind man in John 9: Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?' ‘Who is he, sir?' the man asked. ‘Tell me so that I may believe in him.' Jesus said, ‘You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.' Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him.” (Jn 9:35-38), i.e. open-hearted belief. Read again the Daniel 7 verses above. Have you ‘seen' Jesus like this – and worshipped him?