Saturday, August 5, 2017
Daily reading assignment – John 1-2
Today’s scripture reading in our yearlong “Read-thru the Bible” program brings us to the fourth gospel, the Gospel of John. Its human author, the beloved apostle John, a disciple of Jesus Christ who followed Him from the beginning of His public ministry in Galilee to the foot of the cross where he stood beside Christ’s mother, Mary and a few other women who stayed at her side.
The opening verses of the Gospel are no doubt some of the best known of the New Testament and need little exposition for the readers of this devotional blog. Unlike the gospels of Matthew and Luke that give rich exciting historical details of the incarnation and birth of Jesus, John’s gospel opens with a beautiful declaration of the divinity and eternality of Jesus. Jesus Christ is introduced as Eternal God (1:1-2), Creator (1:3), the Life (1:4), the Light (1:5, 9), the Word of God “made flesh” (1:14a), the Son of God and “the only begotten of the Father” (1:14b).
Declaring Jesus the long-awaited Messiah whom the Jews rejected, John writes “He came unto His own [the Jews; descendants of Abraham], and His own received Him not” (1:11).
Fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah that a forerunner of the Messiah would come (Isaiah 40:3), we meet the man we know as “John the Baptist” (1:15). John the Baptist enjoyed a great following of the masses; however, he made it clear that he was not the Messiah (1:15-20). John was the one sent before Christ to call the people to repent and prepare their hearts for the Messiah’s coming (1:21-27).
The Gospel of John records for us the dramatic moment Jesus identified Himself with the ministry of John the Baptist by baptism (1:28-34) and John declared the purpose of Christ’s coming; “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (1:29). John continues, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him… And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (1:32, 34); “Behold the Lamb of God!” (1:36)
John 1:37-51 gives us the record of the calling of the first disciples, Andrew (1:40), Simon Peter (1:41), Philip (1:43-44), Nathanael (1:45-49).
John 2 records the first public miracle of Jesus at a wedding feast where He turned water into wine (2:1-11), His first open confrontation of the corruption of the religious system in the Temple in Jerusalem (1:12-17) and declaration of His death and resurrection (1:19-22).
I close this introduction to the Gospel of John with the revelation of Christ’s omniscience…“…He knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man” (John 2:24-25).
Friend, God knows you better than you know yourself! The prophet Jeremiah declared, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9); however, we are assured the LORD is just for He has declared, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).
The LORD admonished His prophet Samuel, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The LORD exhorted king Solomon, “the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
Take heart…God knows your hurts, sorrows, secrets, pain, fears and longings. With God, you are more than a face in a crowd; He knows your name!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith