John – The Ministry of The Son of God
John’s Gospel does not give us details about the birth of Jesus. As a matter of fact, details of Jesus’ life are limited in John’s Gospel. For example, chapters thirteen through seventeen cover only the day before Christ’s crucifixion. John mainly writes those things which emphasize Christ’s essence – who He is. John is full of iconic images – word-pictures that provide portraits of Christ for our minds and hearts to ponder – opening the door to see Christ in other parts of the Bible.
Before we examine the word-pictures, let’s compare the terms between Luke’s emphasis on Christ as “The Son of Man” and John’s emphasis on Christ as “The Son of God.” Both terms, “Son of Man” and “Son of God,” refer to Christ’s deity. The difference is that “Son of Man” points to His compassion, mercy, and grace – how He represents us to God (Luke 9:56; 19:10; I Timothy 2:5-6). “Son of God” points to His authority and majesty – how he represents God to us (John 1:1-3,14; 5:16-23; 12:44-50; 14:6-9).
Now Let’s look for specific word-pictures in the first chapter of John:
The Word – John 1:1-3,1411-16).
Jesus Christ doesn’t just speak the truth. He is the Truth (John 14:6). He was the voice and power of God in creation. He, along with the Father and the Spirit, is God (Romans 8:9). He possesses all the attributes of God (Colossians 2:9-10; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-3; I John 5:20.) To call Jesus Christ “the Word” is to say that He comes with all authority and power – creating power, controlling power, salvation power (Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:58-59; 10:30-33; Ephesians 1:19-22; Colossians 1:14-19; Revelation 19:
The True Light – John 1:4-5,9
That which is of the world and of Satan’s kingdom, which is full of evil, sin, and lies, is described as darkness (Ephesians 6:11-12; II Corinthians 6:14). That which is of God, which is pure, holy, and true, is described as light (I John 1:5-7 cp. Acts 26:18; Philippians 2:15). Jesus Christ doesn’t just give us light. He is the light. Light describes truth for the mind and heart. It describes wisdom, guidance, and warning for the paths of our feet. Jesus Christ, by principle, revealed truth for our inner man. Jesus Christ, by example, showed us what our Holy God is like and how we should walk (John 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:35-36,46; Romans 13:11-14; Colossians 1:13; I Peter 2:9; Ephesians 5:8-14; I John 2:3-6 cp. seeing God by the light of Christ’s life – John 12:45; 14:9).
John 1:4-5 says that Christ’s light shined on men that were in a state of darkness. John 1:9 says that Christ shined on every man. However, the darkness of men could not comprehend or grasp this light. It was like a flash of lightning in the middle of the night, which blinded them. Some translations say in John 1:5 that the darkness cannot overcome or extinguish the light. This implies resistance, along with lack of understanding. The world’s blindness is not passive, but aggressive and dangerous (John 3:19-21; 15:18-21; Ephesians 4:17-19; II Thessalonians 3:1-2; I John 2:9,11; 3:12-13.
The Glory of the Only Begotten of the Father – John 1:14,16-17
This thought is connected to the thoughts on John 1:1-3. He who is “the Word” became flesh (“only begotten” – John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; I John 4:9), lived with us, and showed us the glory and grace of the Father (I John 1:1-3). True gospel ministry will reveal the glory and goodness of God as we preach Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:3-6 cp. 3:18; Ephesians 3:14-19). Moses ministry was good. It presented the law, which reveals sin to us – our sin. The law, as a schoolmaster, brings us to see our need of Christ, who not only shows us the truth, but gives us the grace to be able to respond with love, faith, and obedience (Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:24; Romans 8:1-11; 1:16; Hebrews 12:2; I Peter 1:20-21; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 2:20; I Thessalonians 1:2-10).
The Lamb of God John – 1:29,36
He who will later be called the Good Shepherd is also going to be a lamb for sacrifice – the sacrifice for our sins. He is our Great High Priest. Yet, He is also the offering that the priest offers on our behalf (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:1-14; I Peter 1:18-20). He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Yet, He is also the meek lamb (Revelation 5:1-14).
Other Titles of Jesus Christ found in John Chapter One
The Son of God (John 1:34,49); The Messiah (John 1:41); The King of Israel (John 1:49); The Son of Man (John 1:51); Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:45-46).
Seven “I Am” statements found in John’s Gospel
- I Am the bread of Life – John 6:35 (vs. 26-35)
- I Am the Light of the world – John 8:12 (vs. 1-12)
- I Am the door of the sheep – John 10:7-9 (vs. 1-10)
- I Am the good shepherd – John 10:11, 14 (vs. 11-18)
- I Am the resurrection and the life – John 11:25-26 (vs.1-46)
- I Am the way, the truth, and the life – John 14:6 (vs. 1-6)
- I Am the true vine – John 15:1, 5 (vs.1-8)
May God enable you to believe, receive, and share the testimony of God’s Son (I John 4:14; 5:10-13).