bits from bob....
J. I. Packer in his little book Knowing God raises an important question concerning the identity of Jesus. What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God? (p. 48). While many have through the years puzzled over this question, according to Packer, the prologue to John's gospel answers clearly. Despite the historic and continuing confusion, John is identifying Jesus as divine. He is deity.
When we analyze the statements about Jesus in John's prologue, we see seven distinct truths about this divine being who is the Word of God.
Let me try to point out the importance of these declarations about Jesus with a question. As a faith community, what should we be about? What is primary? The answer that we have historically given within our particular heritage is "the New Testament church." The "search for the ancient order" was a search to restore the pattern of the church. Our specific goal has been restoration. I do not doubt nor deny that the church is important, and that we must understand what the Bible says about how our life is to be lived out together in the context of church, but it seems to me that those items are not #1. Those items are #2. Those items are extremely important after we have begun the faith journey, but those items will not motivate anyone to begin the faith journey.
The crucial issue is nothing less than Jesus. Who He is, what He said, what He wills today. The world's first exposure to Jesus was to Jesus the man, the human being, the person who entered fully into our life situations and gave us that very radical glimpse of God's nature and our potential. No one else offers this in any other place. This is the genuine and lasting motivation for beginning and continuing the faith journey. That is what we are about. That is primary. Church of Christ.
When we allow something other than Jesus to get into the number one place, to become our number one concern or emphasis, then we have turned that "something whatever it is" into an idol. Remember that idolatry is most dangerous when the idols seems so good and right--things like doctrine, church, salvation, worship, and the Bible. Idolatry must never become the accepted order of the day. Nor are icons (things that represent the one worshiped) an acceptable approach. We must move from the idols and icons back to the real center of worship--we must see Jesus.
Jesus repeatedly made himself the issue. "Who am I?" he asked Peter. John said it explicitly: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Chirst has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world [1 John 4:2-3]. Such ideas ought to challenge us to test our faith, and to ask to what degree we know him, have sold out to him, honor him as Lord, and seek to move in his power. He is the supreme one, with preeminence (Col. 1:18). Because these things are true, we must focus on Jesus. We must renew this focus for our family, our neighbors, and our coworkers.
I. Who He is.
II. What he said.
III. What he wants for us and from us today.
Here is a valid question for all of life: What does this have to do with Jesus? If the answer is nothing, we can discard it. There's no "so what" to matter. We must be clear in these things, or we will be rejected by the world, and our world will continue to reject our Jesus too.
Go to Articles Index