What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus existed in the very beginning with God. When he came into the world, the world did not recognize him. (10)
- We are children of God if we believe in Jesus and receive him. (12)
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus made disciples by being with people. (14)
- We must live and speak “grace and truth” among people to earn a right to be heard.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Today we bid farewell to the “synoptics,” the name for the first three gospels. The Greek word means that you “look at them alongside each other.” The first three, though having many differences, are essentially laid out the same way and contain much of the same material.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the synoptics and John’s gospel is the “high” Christology we find in John. That is, he portrays Jesus more clearly and emphatically as the divine Son of God than do the synoptics. NOTE-every synoptic gospel DOES present Jesus as the incarnate, divine Son; just more subtly. But John takes off the gloves.
John 1 is the supreme expression of this in the whole New Testament. The opening words, “In the beginning…” are obviously a reference and tie to Genesis. But in John 1, he takes Jesus back PRE-Genesis…Before creation. “In the beginning…WAS the Word.” In other words, he WASN’T part of creation, he existed when creation occurred. He was WITH God (therefore separate from the Father) yet he WAS God (coexistent and in a mutually divine relationship with the Father…a beginning glimpse of Trinitarian doctrine.) AND…he was the creator (verse 3).
–The Word BECAME flesh and made his dwelling among us. This is the doctrine of the incarnation. God chose to become one of us (while still remaining God…VERY important)…and he “pitched his tent among us”…the literal translation of “made his dwelling.” As disciple-makers, it is essential that our lives are “pitched” in the midst of others …that we are truly WITH them…so that we earn a right to be heard.
–We beheld his glory…come from the Father. At its core, disciple-making is a work of reflection. We are not sharing something WE own with others; we are reflecting that which we have received from Jesus.
-“…full of grace and truth.” The essential combination in disciple-making. We must speak the truth of Jesus into a confused and lied-to world…but we must do so with the same kind of grace that caused God to send his only begotten son into the world to save a world in rebellion against him.