Books of the Book: John

The Purpose of John's Gospel

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00004B

00:01 And welcome back to our study of the Gospel of John.
00:03 We are with Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:06 Now, Dr. Jon, we're talking about the word.
00:10 I'm gonna read a few verses
00:11 and then I'm gonna ask you a couple of questions. Okay.
00:13 We read that the first verse in chapter 1 says that,
00:17 "In the beginning was the Word,
00:19 the Word was God-- was with God,
00:22 and the Word was God."
00:23 Now later in chapter 10 in verse 33, it says that,
00:28 "The Jews answered him, saying,
00:32 for a good work we do not stone you,
00:36 but for blasphemy
00:37 and because you, being a man, make yourself God."
00:42 So my two questions are, is Jesus God
00:47 and did Jesus ever claim that He was God?
00:52 Because apparently that's the reason why He was crucified.
00:56 So did He claim?
00:58 Now it says verse here, it says that He--
00:59 the word was God, so--
01:01 John clearly claims that for Jesus,
01:04 but it's a tougher question when you say,
01:06 what the Jesus claim for Himself?
01:08 'Cause in chapter 10 have you said,
01:10 they understood Him to be claiming that He s God,
01:12 then He kind of deflexed a little bit.
01:13 Well, you know, judges can be called gods, too.
01:16 And so--so I think it's important to understand
01:20 the dilemma that's going on here.
01:24 If God becomes human,
01:25 He is doing that to communicate with us,
01:28 but the minute He becomes human,
01:29 it's hard for us to believe that He is God, you see.
01:32 So there is that dilemma.
01:33 So Jesus in addressing this, He says,
01:37 "I have many things to tell you, but you can't handle it now."
01:41 Jesus understands that people can only handle
01:44 so much about Him at one time.
01:46 So there's a tendency sometimes
01:48 Jesus backs off from these claims.
01:51 And as well they're not ready for this yet,
01:53 and so He comes in a little bit softer.
01:56 But the reality is that in the prologue
02:00 John is very clear that Jesus is God.
02:03 First of all, He calls Him the word "Logos."
02:06 The word is not a Jewish word.
02:09 There's--you know, doesn't talk in the Old Testament
02:12 about the creator is being the Logos
02:15 or anything, the Word of God.
02:17 That's actually a Greek concept that Plato applied to God
02:22 that you have the God who is out there
02:26 and so spectacular that nobody can touch Him.
02:28 He is so great, He can't even be involved in creation,
02:31 but He as an intermediary God who interacts with creation
02:35 and who is a mediator between God and creation.
02:38 He called Him Logos, word, you see.
02:41 So when using this term,
02:43 John is not using it in a Jewish way,
02:46 but he is using it in a Greek, philosophical way.
02:49 So he spoken to the Christians using Him form.
02:53 He spoken to the Jews using a chiasm
02:56 and now he is speaking to the Greeks
02:59 using their God language to describe Jesus.
03:02 So if a Greek picks up this book and says, "You know,
03:05 Jesus is the son of man or He is the Messiah."
03:07 They say, "Who cares?"
03:09 They'll say, "He is the Logos."
03:10 Who? Hey, I want to know about this.
03:14 So in the very choice of language,
03:16 John is opening this book up to every imaginable reader
03:22 in the early period in which the gospel was written.
03:26 So Jesus Himself is cautious in the way He presents Himself
03:31 even in this gospel at times.
03:34 But the author of the gospel
03:36 at the time that he writes is very clear that Jesus is God
03:40 and that's found in the early verses of this prologue.
03:44 Because they were looking for ways to crucify Jesus,
03:47 so He knew that His time was not yet. Yeah.
03:52 And so He held back. You're absolutely right.
03:55 In the Gospel of John itself, "My time hasn't come yet."
03:58 The cross, you see,
03:59 He is putting it off until the time when it's right.
04:02 And it tells us by the way
04:06 that if Jesus could put off the cross
04:10 then He could have put it off infinitely.
04:14 Which means, that in the end,
04:15 the cross is something that He allows.
04:18 He allows people to abuse Him.
04:21 And what is that tell us about God?
04:24 The God who cares so deeply about us
04:27 that He'd even put Himself
04:28 in the hands of His abusers to demonstrate that.
04:31 He doesn't resolve issues by force.
04:35 He doesn't resolve issues by striking people dead
04:38 like the Pagan's gods used to do.
04:40 But He is appealing to us to accept Him as He really is.
04:44 And this is the concept that not many people accept
04:47 because if Jesus is God
04:50 then how can God allow Himself to be murdered.
04:56 "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."
05:01 At the cross, we see what God is really like.
05:04 Powerful? Yes.
05:06 God has the power to create the universe,
05:10 but in character it is not His desire
05:13 that anyone would perish
05:15 that all would come to repentance.
05:17 And so He comes to us in softness
05:20 and in weakness as the strength.
05:24 You know, it's such a remarkable picture of God
05:26 that you get in the New Testament.
05:29 And one even that Christians struggled with, I think.
05:32 Well, let's get to the prolog itself.
05:34 And why don't you read just the very first phrase?
05:38 And we're in verses? Chapter 1:1.
05:42 "In the beginning was the Word,
05:44 and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
05:48 Does that in the beginning remind you of anything?
05:50 Sure, does. What?
05:51 Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:1.
05:54 You have the first words of the gospel
05:57 and it goes right back to Genesis 1:1.
05:59 So the reader immediately goes back to the creation.
06:03 In the beginning was the word.
06:07 Now there is where it gets interesting.
06:09 English is limited in its expression.
06:12 We basically have, you know, one verbal form for past tense.
06:17 Greek has four completely different past tenses.
06:20 One of them is continuous.
06:23 One of them is a point in time, a specific event.
06:26 Another one is a past event that affects the present.
06:29 And the fourth one is a past event that affected the past
06:33 and we're now looking back at it.
06:36 Don't worry, it's not gonna be on the text.
06:39 Just tell me the answer, which one of those four tenses--
06:41 But you see, it's crucial here.
06:44 Because if he had used to point in time
06:47 then he would be saying, in the beginning
06:50 God created the Word, you see.
06:53 In the beginning, the Word came to be.
06:56 That's the word he uses in verse 3.
07:00 The world came to be at the time of creation.
07:03 He doesn't use that of the Word here of Jesus here.
07:08 In the beginning, at that point as far back as you can go,
07:12 the word already was continuously.
07:17 In other words, He is eternal.
07:18 So right here you realize
07:20 that Jesus doesn't go back to creation,
07:23 Jesus goes back to eternity.
07:25 He is way, way bigger than any angel.
07:27 Way, way bigger than human beings.
07:29 Way bigger than all creation combined.
07:32 Like, Jesus is the one through whom creation happened.
07:36 So right there at the beginning,
07:37 in the beginning, the Word already was.
07:42 Which means that Jesus was not a creative being?
07:44 Exactly, exactly.
07:46 When you understand that the Greek language here,
07:49 there is no doubts about it.
07:51 In the beginning was the Word.
07:53 But then, is the Word the Father? No.
08:00 He says, "The word was with God."
08:03 So it's distinguishing Jesus from the Father.
08:07 There are two aspects of the same reality,
08:10 but they are not the same.
08:11 They can have relationship.
08:13 From the beginning, they were in relationship with each other.
08:17 And then it says, 'The word was God."
08:21 And in the Greek, that's a qualitative expression.
08:25 The word qualitatively was God.
08:28 It wasn't that the word was one God among many,
08:31 but the word qualitatively was God.
08:34 What the Father is, Jesus is.
08:37 It's already saying the idea that He later on speaks plainly.
08:40 You know, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father."
08:43 So in chapter 1:1, there is no question
08:47 that for John, Jesus is eternal,
08:51 He is completely equal with the Father,
08:55 you've seen Him, you've seen the Father,
08:57 and yet they're distinct.
08:58 He can pray to His Father in heaven.
09:02 They're not the same entity.
09:05 So right at the beginning it's clear, Jesus is God.
09:08 And not only that, verse 3,
09:10 "Through thing-- him all things were made."
09:14 There is that word, came to be. There is you're point in time.
09:20 Verse 1 is a continuous. Verse 3 is a point in time.
09:26 So Jesus who was-- who did not come to be made--
09:30 made things to be is what I'm understanding? Yes.
09:34 So He is not part of that creation.
09:37 Everything that was made was made by Him,
09:42 which mean He wasn't made.
09:45 If He made everything that was made, He wasn't made.
09:47 Right. You see.
09:49 So He is eternal with God.
09:53 I mean, it's mind blowing when you think about it.
09:57 The person who walked here on this earth was the eternal God.
10:03 Came down with us. I mean, that blows your mind.
10:06 It's no wonder that people walking down the road with Him,
10:10 you know, watching Him, get sweaty and dirty and tired.
10:14 You know might have struggled with how great He truly was,
10:17 and it took the church maybe decades after the time
10:21 just to fully grasp what all of that meant.
10:25 It's unimaginable to me to, you know,
10:28 if I were living in those times to see Jesus
10:31 and to think you, you know, here you are created me.
10:36 You're the creator, created me, but that's what it says.
10:42 And you care about me. That's right.
10:44 Creator cares, you see. So we are valuable to God.
10:49 And I think the best source of value is that.
10:52 You know, we're not valuable
10:54 because some Judah on the street thinks we're cool.
10:56 We're valuable because
10:57 the king of the universe thinks we're amazing
11:01 and He's willing to come here and die for us.
11:04 But there it comes, verse 14.
11:08 That word, what happened? Became flesh.
11:12 He "became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
11:18 So on the one hand, the word was in verse 1,
11:23 continuous in eternity, but here He became flesh.
11:29 It's the creating word.
11:31 So God created something new
11:33 when He sent Jesus to this earth.
11:35 That baby, that human being was a new creation of God.
11:40 The eternal word came into time, came into flesh here.
11:46 So the word became human.
11:51 He was in eternity with God, but now He became with us.
11:57 He was equal with God. Now He became flesh.
12:01 So this God from eternity who was with God
12:06 has become flesh and is with us.
12:09 The two sides of Jesus just amazing.
12:12 And when you go through the rest of this prologue,
12:15 you see that Jesus is the absolute greatest.
12:19 The sanctuary language here in verse 14.
12:22 He lived. He dwelt. Yeah.
12:24 He dwelt among us, that sanctuary,
12:25 you know, that Shekinah,
12:27 the word for tent and the word for dwelling is the same word.
12:33 The glory, you know, reminds you the glory in the temple.
12:36 He is greater than John the Baptist.
12:38 We'll find out next time that a lot of people saw
12:41 John the Baptist was a Messiah,
12:43 and now he is greater than that.
12:45 He is greater than Moses.
12:48 See, everyone that people could put right at the pinnacle,
12:51 the sanctuary, John the Baptist, Moses,
12:54 all the greats of His time He is greater than all of those
12:57 'cause He came down from the throne of heaven. Amen.
13:01 Well, that is very encouraging.
13:02 And I pray and hope, friends,
13:04 that you too take courage that Jesus is great
13:07 and He wants to do great things in your lives, till next time.


Revised 2014-12-17