What is in a Name?
The apostle John introduces the themes he will develop in his
gospel by relating them to the names he employs of Jesus in chapter one. There seems to be
a progressive unfolding of his major theme which is to show that Jesus is the Son of God
In his opening words Johns sets forth his theme that Jesus is God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
(John 1:1-2). Jesus Christ is the eternal, preexisting Son of God who came to reveal the
Father and give eternal life to all who believe on Him. There never was a time when the
Word was not. The Lord Jesus had no beginning. The Word was not created; the Word is
creative, and everything owes its existence to the Word (vv. 1-3). The Word came to earth
in the person of Jesus of Nazareth (v. 14). Jesus is God. The Lord Jesus has fully
manifested the invisible God and has uttered all that God has to say to man as the Word.
The incarnation of the Word made it possible for Jesus to die. The
God who became flesh loved us enough to die for us personally so He could rise from the
dead and give us eternal life. In Him was life (v. 4), and in Him we have
the way, the truth, and the life (14:6). I came that they might have
life, and might have it abundantly (10:10). To know God is to have eternal life (17:3). It
is the gift of God through His Son, and it will never perish (10:10, 18, 28; 3:16; 6:51;
53f; 5:40; 11:25; 14:6).
The Psalmist says, The LORD is my light and my salvation
(Ps. 27:1). The apostle John introduces Jesus as the light (vv. 4-5, 8-9), and declared,
God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). Jesus said,
I am the light of the world (8:12; 9:5; 12:46). The Light of the world never
ceases to shine in a world of spiritual darkness. Mans moral depravity cannot
extinguish the Light. Jesus exposed the worlds spiritual darkness by the white light
of His perfect righteousness. As the Light, Jesus knows God the Father, and He makes Him
known by penetrating our spiritual darkness. In the person of Jesus Christ, the world has
the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ who is the radiant image of
the invisible God, and in Him we see and know the Father.
The brighter His light shines in our hearts, the
greater will be our sense of need for Him to be the Lamb of God that
takes away the sins of the world” (1:29, 36). Not only does Jesus reveal
God, but He also provides the only means whereby sinful man can be
cleansed and allowed into His holy presence. The focus of Jesus’ work is
centered in His death on the cross as the Lamb of God. The sacrifices in
the Old Testament accurately foreshadowed the perfect sacrifice of the
Lamb of God at Calvary. Jesus bears the consequences
of our sins and removes it completely. He lifted it up and carried it off completely
forever. His death fulfills all of the types and symbolic pictures in the Old Testament of
a substitutionary sacrifice (cf. Gen. 22:8; Isa. 53:4-7; Jn. 19:36, etc.). Our sin is
removed forever through faith in the person and atoning work of Jesus Christ. Have you
placed all your sins upon your sacrifice, and let Him die in your place? Confess your sins
to Him and trust His atoning death to remove them forever.
The climax of John the Baptists testimony is this is the
Son of God (1:34). The expression signifies the closest personal relationship to the
Father. It is an assertion of the deity of the Messiah. He is the Son of the Most
High (Lk. 1:32). God the Father testified three times, This is My beloved Son
in whom I am well pleased. Peter express his conviction, You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16).
Jesus is also called Rabbi and Teacher (1:38) who taught
with divine authority revealing Himself as the Son of God who was named after His father.
Jesus is Yeshua, Jehoshua, Yahweh saves. Salvation is of the LORD.
The most important titles reveal Him as the Anointed Messiah (v. 41),
King (v. 49) and Son of Man (v. 51). Christ the Anointed One is the Jewish Messiah.
We have found the Messiah, declared Andrew. Every time we utter the name Jesus
Christ, we are declaring Jesus of Nazareth is the Anointed One, the Messiah. Jesus, the
Messiah, the Son of God, will save His people from their sins as the Lamb of God slain
from the foundation of the world. Nathan said, Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you
are the King of Israel (v. 49). Jesus response to such acclaim is very
interesting as He reveals further His chosen Messianic title. I tell you the truth,
you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of
Man (v. 51). The Ancient of Days will one day come and reign as King of Kings and
Lord of Lords just as the Old Testament prophets foretold and Jesus declared (Dan.
7:13-14; Isa. 24:23; Zech. 14:9, 16; Matt. 13:41-43; 24:27, 30; 2531-46, etc.). Only the
Son of Man can bridge the gulf between earth and heaven.
The grand climax is reached when Thomas declared,
"My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28).
What is your response to this great truth? "Blessed
are they who did not see, d yet believed (v. 29). That is for you and
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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