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The Essence 5/12/2019
John Chapter 1
I have felt particularly drawn to this well-known passage of scripture today. As I stand here looking out on you, my
heart is very full. You are a tremendous family of gifted and loving individuals. I honestly feel very humbled and extremely honored to be as linked with you as I am in this eternal enterprise known as the Church! As I take stock of all God is doing among us, I am particularly aware and thankful for God’s overwhelming goodness to us all. This is, of course, not exclusive to us. However, I want to
publicly give thanks for how He has blessed us in particular. The blessings we all have experienced in our walk with the Lord are His personalized expression and gift to us as individuals. But, in addition, the Lord Himself, above and beyond the sovereign things he does for us personally, is moving among us by moving through us in loving expression to one another.
May we ever remember that the ESSENCE of all the blessing we have now and that which we can expect to experience in the future, has ONLY ONE SOURCE! Not one of us is inherently good and apart from God’s grace flowing through us, we would all eventually succumb to some expression of evil due to the inheritance of a fallen nature.
Join me as we look at the Essence as John reveals it…
To begin, let’s look at the term itself…
Essence… (as Meriam Webster defines it)
1. the individual, the real or ultimate nature of a
thing, the properties or attributes by means of
which something can be placed in its proper class
or identified as being what it is.
2. the most significant element, quality or aspect of
a thing or person.
3. one that possesses or exhibits quality in
abundance as if in concentrated form.
Our blessing and the substance of our salvation is in every sense the very “essence” of Jesus Himself. To get an idea of the scope of the majesty of what we’ve inherited we need to look at the pattern of how God did things in the beginning.
John chapter one takes us back before creation to add critical detail to the Genesis account…
Jesus is boldly identified as “the Word” (see also Rev. 19:13… Jesus coming with the armies of God is identified as “the Word of God”). He appears here in John’s gospel as the “prime mover” in creation! The Passion version rightly titles Him “the Living Expression.” He is described as being “with God” or as “being in full participation with every attribute of deity.” He is pictured as a separate individual yet “as one” with the Father. (verses 1-2). Essentially, it is impossible to draw a distinction between Jesus the
man and the One referred to here as the Word of God. Jesus was the Creator! He spoke, and it was done!
(Verse 3) (see also Psalm 33:6-12)
Life and light came into being because of Him. Original language here indicates that “life” as used here is plural. This would assume that multitudes of human lives are envisioned but also that many levels of life (i.e. spiritual, eternal aspects as well). (Verse 4)
Verse 5 needs to be seen in conjunction with the language of Genesis 1:2-3, which is an obvious parallel passage;
“The earth was without form and void (“in
the mind of God but yet to appear”) and
darkness was on the face of the deep. And
the Spirit of God was hovering (“sweeping
and moving”) over the face of the waters.
THEN GOD SAID, LET THERE BE LIGHT…AND THERE WAS LIGHT” …
The “darkness” (referred to in John 1:5) could not deal with the “light!” The word here is “comprehend,” and it has at least
three appropriate senses in which it should be taken…
1. “to seize” …to overcome or gain control of
…this gives us a true sense of God’s authority.
2. “to perceive” or “understand” …the darkness is
unreceptive and does not understand it. This
reveals that the powers of darkness are largely
left in confusion where God’s activities are
3. “to quench”, to “extinguish” or “snuff out” the
light by stifling it…Light and darkness are
essentially antagonistic. We can rejoice in the
fact that light is not only greater than darkness.
Note: We should take much encouragement in
these three aspects since they are indicative of
how things are today with respect to those
that is part of the “darkness” and can’t
comprehend. Knowing these things should help
us fight a good and effective fight in our daily
Verses 6-8 and 15, give us in essence, the goal of the life and ministry of John the Baptist. His life was one that was Spirit-filled from birth. And like the work of the Spirit in creation, John prepared the world for the “reception” of the Word.
Verses 10-13 in just a few words synopsize the life and
ministry of Jesus:
Verse 10…He came into the world He had created,
and His created ones did not know him.
Verse 11…He came to his own (“domain”) and they
did not receive Him.
Verses 12-13…But to those who did (and to those
who do so today) …” He gave the right (“authority”)
to become the children of God!” Believing in Him
would cause them to be “born” into the family of
And all this because…
“THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US”
Jesus referred to John as “the greatest prophet born of woman” but then said that the “least in the Kingdom of God was greater than He.” (Luke 7:28)
My aim today is to parade before you the majesty and immensity of what we have! The very ESSENCE of God Himself is in our midst today and every day calling us along-side to do as John did to point people to His sacrificial Lamb! I want to highlight the high privilege and responsibility we have as even the “least in the Kingdom”!
May it always be said of us that we are a people of the Word, which is…” Living, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword” … (Hebrews 4:12).
While it is an irrefutable truth that the Word became flesh 2,000 years ago, the same thing is happening today as He is looking to “embody” Himself in you and me! May the ESSENCE of Him who has called us to be found everywhere we go!
Let’s always remember that the Word of God and our own personal response to it, is going to be the Genesis of everything God brings to life in us. Let’s be diligent to STUDY it so we will RECOGNISE when we encounter Him. And like John’s disciples know whom