Read John 1 here.
John 20:30-31 states the purpose of John’s book, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
The first thing to highlight in this purpose statement is that it contains a truth regarding the identity of Jesus. However, it’s not simply an intellectual, theoretical truth, it’s a practical truth that brings life and changes lives. When our faith becomes overly concerned with truths and not changing lives we’ve missed the point of the truth.
The second point to highlight is how important John regards the identity of Jesus. We often take his identity for granted, or just think of him as Jesus Christ. The opening chapter of John’s Gospel describes Jesus in at least 10 ways, each communicating a distinct aspect of his identity:
- The Word (v1)
- With God and is God (v1)
- True Light and Life (v4, 5, 9)
- Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (v29)
- God’s Chosen One (v34)
- Rabbi/Teacher (v38 )
- Messiah (Annointed One/Christ) (v41)
- Son of God (v49)
- King of Israel (v49)
- Son of Man (v51)
What do you think of this list? Are some titles harder to understand than others? Are some more meaningful to you than others?
My sermon also discussed “Spiritual New Years Resolutions”. I mentioned a couple that I think are fairly common: “I’m going to pray more.” and “I’m going to read the Bible through in a year.” I would suggest to anyone seeking to develop your spiritual disciplines in 2009 to let other people know about your plans. Set up some accountability. These are admirable and beneficial goals, but often difficult to maintain. If you’re reading the Bible with someone else you’ll encourage each other.
Have you ever read the Bible through in a year? Do you have any tips for those who might be about to begin? Are you going to give it a try this year, or another spiritual discipline?