Book of John Bible Study Book 1 Week 1

Pages: Introduction thru page 19 in the download
John 1:1-18 in the Bible
Download Book 1 here
For this week, January 12- January 18, 2020
Information on this study is here

Glad you’re here!
Tell us a little about yourself and the following question is a discussion starter, but feel free to offer your comments, question or observations about John 1:1-18

What is significant to you in the statements made about “The Word” in these passages?

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I find it interesting that they make a focus on saying “the Jews” rejected Jesus when all of Jesus disciples were Jewish and, Jesus says Himself that he came specifically for the “Lost sheep of Israel.”

What do you make of this, @BloomHere?

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Hi April,

I just stumbled upon this study. What a great find! I’ve been a Christian for many years, but only dipped my toes into apologetics for the last three or four years. That may sound like a long time, but I have only limited time to enjoy reading and learning (my reading list has grown longer than my life will last - lol), so I still feel like a novice!! But I love learning. When my world started to fall apart, God used apologetics to get me back on my feet and shore-up my faith. Having sound and plausible arguments for what I believe has strengthened my faith. Looking forward to this study with other believers!

One thing that continually amazes me about God’s word is that no matter how many times I’ve read something, God has a way of making something new stand out. As I read through these verses a couple of things struck me…

  1. Never thought about just how radical and “newsworthy” John the Baptist was in his day. I’ve realized that he was “important”, but he was waaaaaayyyy more. Putting it in terms of being on the news, Twitter, etc. changed my perspective on just how important his role was for his day. Since we don’t live in a society where “religious” leaders are very important, I guess I didn’t stop to think of how very central they were in Jesus’ day. I pray our lives cause such notice in whatever sphere of influence God places us.

  2. Adopted into God’s family!!! How powerful is this when we really step into this truth. Have I really stepped into this truth? embraced it? understand it and how it should impact my speech, behavior, responses, etc.? This alone would seem to be a study on which you could spend hours or days. It goes hand in hand with the grace and truth. Undeserved. We are allowed to come before Him as His child…undeserved love and kindness. Called to extend that same grace. I wonder, when I do not extend that same grace to others, is it because I forget that it has been extended to me… Do I forget who I am and how valued I am? Am I looking for “that” person’s approval and forget who has approved me? Hmmmm, so deep and profound. :slight_smile:

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Hi @Jesse_Means_God_Exists!
Thank you for your thoughtful question. I think, like so much of God’s Word, it involves a lot of layers.
Verses 10 and 11 communicate a sort of poetic dichotomy.
Vs.10> Jesus is in the world and even made the world but the world doesn’t recognize Him.
Vs.11> Jesus came to His own but His own didn’t receive Him.

While Jesus fulfilled all the Scripture and prophesy as communicated from the beginning (Genesis) and the Lord chose to come through the nation of Israel and set it apart for this particular blessing, many (but not all) did not accept His true identity.

John the Baptist made great inroads (as was his job!) for Jesus as a couple of Jesus’s disciples were first John’s disciples. and he boldly proclaimed the Lamb of God to the people of Israel.

But at the same time God used this very rejection of many to bring about Jesus’s work on the cross that brought salvation to the world. To think that if the entire nation of Israel had accepted His declarations of His deity incarnate, no one would be saved! (Peter confirms this in Acts 2:36 .)

And you’re on point that He was committed to giving His message first to His own as He first sends out His disciples. (Matt 10:1-6)

Then before His ascension He gives the Great Commission to evangelize the world.

It’s very touching that Paul continues Jesus’s commitment to the “Lost sheep of Israel” as you watch him operate in His missionary journeys. Everywhere Paul went he entered first into the Synagogues to show them how Jesus had fulfilled Scripture and made eternal life in God’s Presence a reality. After visiting the synagogues Paul would go to the gentile communities and give them the Good News! (Just one example here )

It’s interesting to consider that God doesn’t waste anything. Jesus’s own rejection enabled our salvation.
How could He be using things in our lives that don’t make sense to affect the world?

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It was the Sadducees and Pharisees, the political and religious leaders at the time that rejected Jesus. The people loved Jesus. The crowds loved Jesus. The ones who wanted Jesus dead were not “the Jews” But the people with clout.

And Paul clearly stated that the promises for the Israelites will remain. That is why you see so many prominent people who come from Israeli descent.

Just my 02.

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Hi @kelelek!
I’m so glad you found us! I SO agree:

no matter how many times I’ve read something, God has a way of making something new stand out.

God’s word is fresh all the time!

  1. I liked that discussion on John the Baptist as well. He is such an interesting personality that I think he would stand out no matter what time in history God placed him! The dude wore camel hair and leather, ate bugs and honey and lived in the desert while speaking boldly and convincingly so people were baptized. I look forward to meeting him in glory!

I love your prayer:

I pray our lives cause such notice in whatever sphere of influence God places us.
Amen!

  1. Royalty! That’s us! Like that David Crowder song: “Back to the Garden” where he sings about how we are “born to be royal”.
    Undeserved! Definitely
    And to impose that value on others is such a great witness of God’s love for His creation.You GO girl!
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Thank you for hosting this study, April! :slight_smile:

Re: What is significant to you in the statements made about “The Word” in these passages?

The opening verse is eloquent and profound! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

As we read on and come to understand that John is saying the Word is Jesus Christ, then we are invited to contemplate the deep mystery of the Holy Trinity, where the Son is of the Father, yet has been always with the Father, and is not lesser than but of the same essence as the Father.

It also makes me think about what we humans mean by “word”, which indicates speech or written text for us, and harkens back to Genesis where we learn in the opening verse that God speaks the universe into existence (and yet, probably doesn’t actually speak, as we humans understand speaking, since there’s not yet any oxygen or other gases to form speech?): Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. . . .

If God uses His words to create everything, and Jesus is the Word, then we come to see that it is through Jesus that God establishes His creation. If you look up Logos in the dictionary, you get this definition: “the Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ.” (Oxford) So, all reason and order came to us from the Father through the Son. And when we did not then and do not now “recognise” Him, we are without reason, without order, wandering in darkness, and vulnerable to chaos and destruction.

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I love this…A most excellent word study (Word Study :smile:) I love the breaking down and etymology of words. It’s so rich when you think about it! Jesus The Word and our spoken word, written word and when we remember that speaking is our primary method of communication.

This is very profound

So, all reason and order came to us from the Father through the Son. And when we did not then and do not now “recognise” Him, we are without reason, without order, wandering in darkness, and vulnerable to chaos and destruction.

Truly He is the source of reason, order, light and salvation, and without Him we are lost in the dark.

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I love the way John 1 reflects Genesis 1. Both involve the Trinity in the beauty of Creation.

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Hi there Susan!
So true! John 1 is a reaffirmation of Genesis 1 giving insight into the Spirit over creation and the Who behind the “Let us” and “our” in Genesis 1:26.

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Hi, I am Mohembo. I found RZIM not long ago, and this particular series of studies just today. (I’m rather slow!) I love John’s Gospel. The other Gospels provide narratives of Jesus life, his teachings and the mriaculous evidence that backs up his teaching. But it is John that inserts all kinds of explanations and insights into Jesus life and teaching.

On “the Word” - logos: this has always been presented to me as the Word - in the sense of Jesus being an instrument of communication - showing us the Father, revealing God in terms we can readily relate to. In this sense, I like to think of Jesus as God’s “body language.” Today we can take courses on how to interpret body language, with the particular aim of authenticating a person’s words. We are told that the body does not lie, so watch the body to tell whether what the person says is true or deceptive. We should watch body language to see the genuine character of a person - does s/he do something genuinely, or under duress, because s/he enjoys doing it and believes in what s/he’s doing, or doing it to please, to get attention, to get approval and approbation? As God’s body language Jesus “did all things well.” His language and teaching was mirrored directly in his actions and behaviour. He never required of his disciples something he had not done himself, or showed himself willing to do - including things that were greatly painful to himself.

But I have also always been puzzled by why we don’t make the connection between logos and the other English words that derive from it, especially logic meaning purpose, explanatory process, reason and reasoning. Perhaps, if I’m way off in left field, someone can tell me why this interpretation is not valid.

Jesus not only shows us the purpose and thinking (reasoning) of God, he is/was the reasoning of God. Paul writes in Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Mankind was created in the image of God. What specifically is that? Well, in the passage above, it says “The Son is the image of the invisible God” and we are told elsewhere that “we shall be like him.” He is our purpose, He is our Goal, His is the true meaning of “the image of God” for us. So just as Jesus is the “reasoning, the idea,” of God in physical human for, He is the one that gives us purpose, meaning, and a goal for life and living. In Jesus God shows us His macro and micro purposes (for the world and for the individual), purposes of wholeness, reconciliaton and unity, and much more.

The Word was characterised by two features: truth and grace. My experience through life has been that Christians are (or think they are) unbending in matters of truth. But there is precious little grace among us. We are very ready to “go to battle” over the smallest matters of “truth” (meaning our own interpretation thereof) and in doing so do great damage to the demonstration of God’s love, forbearance, and grace as purposes in our lives… We don’t understand the practical outworkings of genuine grace. This is without doubt one of my own greatest short-comings.

Yet John demonstrated both: the spoke truth, he lived truth, and he was gracious “No I am not he that should come. He is greater than me, so much greater in fact that I don’t deserve the privilege of loosening his sandals. … I must decrease, he must increase.” And when Jesus asked him to baptise him, he at first said “no Lord, you have nothing to repent of, you have no need of baptism” yet when the Lord said he wanted it anyway, John graciously accepted his request and became witness to the voice of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Incidentally, John apparently baptised Roman soldiers, so he did not restrict his preaching to Jews only - another display of grace. In living and behaving thus, he was preparing the way of the Lord, reminding people of the need for forgiveness of sins, regardless of race or creed, and calling on them to live lives consistent with that forgiveness.

The Jews formally reject Christ as King, when they shouted to Pilate “We have no king but Caesar!” and objected to Pilates formulation of the heading over the crucified Jesus “The king of the Jews.” But the formal rejection and crucifixion of Jesus by the Jewish authorities, led to a demonstration by the dying Jesus, of such amazing self-control that the hardened Centurion could say “Surely this was the son of God!” (Greater is he that ruleth himself, than he that taketh a city.)

The “right to be called the children of God.” In a day in which “Human rights” of many kinds are touted loud and often, I believe that the right to be called the children of God is the only right in the scriptures that the followers of Jesus are given. Of course, because of that right, we have many other things - but they are subsumed in this amazing fact.

What a fantastic opening to this book! Wow, what to expect of the rest of it…!?!

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Hello @Mohembo,
Thank you for sharing your meditations on the opening phrases of John! (I wouldn’t call you slow!) It’s always a good day to spend time in the Lord’s message, and I’m glad you have found this thread to be a resource you enjoy.

Perhaps you enjoy word studies like I do? I am glad you brought up the logos topic. In the course of study, I am often blessed to track down the origins and intent of the original language because there is a rich revelation in this exercise. I have dictionaries of etymology and expository studies of the Bible, so you have given me opportunity to pull them out!

You are correct that logos has derivatives such as the word logic. And logos is used many times in scripture as a reference to the delivery and expression of God’s will, His thoughts, utterances or statements.

And it is Logos, in the original Greek, used in John 1:1 (the Word) Revelation 19:13 (The Word of God) and 1 John 1:1 (Word of Life). In those three references it is used as a title more than a reference to reasoned speech or instruction. It is understood as “The Personal Word” or Personal manifestation not of a part, but of the whole Deity in most intimate communion with the Godhead.

While Jesus does embody the thinking and reasoning of God, this title used indicates He holds exact equality and power of God the Father. Which, as you have pointed out from your Colossians reference, brings us to Jesus’ involvement with creation as the One through whom all things came to be.

In Genesis 1 the phrase “And God said…” is repeated creating (in His powerful word) time, light, water, atmosphere, earth, stars, sun, moon, animals, etc. But He takes it to another level when He creates Adam. Adam receives personal (hands on, if you will) forming as God breathes the breath of life into his nostrils (Gen. 2:7). And consequently Eve is formed personally by God also.

Are you familiar with the RZIM academy courses offered online? You might enjoy the Core Module which includes great lectures, discussion and assignments which focus on the Christian worldview from the Bible and how it relates to our existence. I am taking my third course there right now, and I highly recommend the experience!

As mankind is made in the image of God, He distinguishes us from the rest of creation and unique in conscience, intrinsic worth, a sacredness of life that transcends race, gender, stage of life, health, and economic status that does not depend on the matter of degree of anything we say, think or do. He gives us an eternal spirit (that breath of life!) and an indestructible soul that may dwell in His Presence forever if we choose to accept His perfect offer of salvation in Jesus Christ!

This unique worth based on His image is something we observe universally as we don’t put a cat on trial for killing a mouse, but we expect swift justice for the murder of a human. Humans are special! And no one can remove this worth because God is the One Who appoints it. I am comforted by this when I see what seems to be so much injustice in this world. I know He will deal with all things because He is the Author of perfect justice.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8

You said:

The “right to be called the children of God.” In a day in which “Human rights” of many kinds are touted loud and often, I believe that the right to be called the children of God is the only right in the scriptures that the followers of Jesus are given. Of course, because of that right, we have many other things - but they are subsumed in this amazing fact.

This is a big topic, isn’t it? As John 1:12-13 does make it very clear how we become children of God.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And I agree we enjoy a great deal as children of the Living God.

How would you define human rights? Do you think it’s possible human rights may be sourced in the intrinsic worth that God places on every person regardless of whether he/she has yet received His salvation?

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HI, I just recently joined and came upon this study and WOW! I’ve read and quoted these verses often up to verse 17. Verse 18 struck me because it never stood out until today? How could I have missed it all these years?! It’s the exclamation point to John 1.

The relationship as described “…and is in the closest relationship with the Father…”, or as other translated in the KJV in the bosom of the Father. Who better to lead, teach, and make known God to us than the one who had the most intimate and eternal relationship with the Father. This has made me really think about my relationship with Christ and wanting to draw even nearer to hear and learn, so that I may be used to testy of the true light.

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Hello @Plarzani ! Welcome to Connect and thank you for joining us here on the study! I agree that for myself also, each time I read Scripture there is a “how have I missed this before?” moment. It makes studying the Bible a lifelong blessing where He meets us in the season we are in.
I look forward to “seeing you around” :smiley:

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I am very internally conflicted on this issue, to tell you the truth. On the one hand the idea sounds so good, so honourable, so worthy. The preamble of the Declaration of Human Rights states that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…” and yet, after signing this Declaration, many authorities continue to show “disregard and contempt for human rights” and continue to commit barbarous acts…" (second clause in the same Declaration).

The aspiration is praiseworthy, but the mechanism for achieving it is faulty, and several components are missing.

The Declaration takes the form of one of those international agreements, which is almost equivalent to international law. From a Christian point of view, I think there are at least four missing components:

  1. the recognition of God as God, as creator of mankind in his image, and that image being the source and motivation of the value of all human beings. It follows from this that the denial of human rights is an affront, an offence and an insult to that image and its “Original.”
  2. the recognition that all human beings (not just authorities) have a responsibility for their fellow members of the human race, and shall be held accountable to the “owner” of the image in which we are created.
  3. the mechanism for achieving " freedom, justice and peace in the world" is not through promulgating laws, but through service to one another. Laws by their nature infringe upon people’s sense of liberty and self-worth by imposing constraints and expectations from “institutions of power.” The present system has led to mass movements of people demanding their rights in a confrontational approach that leads only to suspicion, mistrust, conflict and antagonism. If the rich fought for the rights of the poor, men for the rights of women, all adults for the rights of children (including the unborn), the advantaged for the rights of the disadvantaged (exemplefied by ‘fatherless and widows’ in the scriptures), and so on, the “us against them” would be replaced by “you and we together,” confrontation and conflict would be replaced by support and harmony, mistrust with trust, enmity with friendship.
    4 According to Paul (in Galatians) the only power that can accomplish this is “loving your neighbour as yourself,” through lives of mutual service.

Of course, we believe that God is the only source of the kind of love needed (especially in its self denial for the sake of the loved one). So ultimately the only way to achieve the goals of the Declaration of Human Rights, is to adhere to Christ’s command “you shall love one another” and “serve one another.” The church is supposed to demonstrate what happens in “heaven’s society on earth” - “they will know you are my disciples if you love one another.” Yet many have experienced organised “Christendom” as riven by internal disputes, divisions, disunity.

Definitely. For the Lord Jesus died for the whole world; he asked for forgiveness for those who killed him. He asks us/expects us to love our enemies, not just our families and friends. In the law of Moses, the stranger and foreigner were to be treated just as well as the citizen of Israel.

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