Nehemiah 11-13 & John 1 (8.6.22)
Today I want to delve into John 1 with you, as we get to learn so much about Jesus as God the Son. The deity and sonship of Jesus is a critical part of our faith, and John 1 gives us so much good insight that I pray it is helpful for you and causes you to worship Him all the more. Today I want to answer this important question: What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God, and why is it of the utmost importance to our lives?
John 1:29-34 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
Here we see John the Baptist proclaiming that even though Jesus was born after John, He was before him. John the Baptist’s meaning is that Jesus is eternal. This is John’s way of acknowledging that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.
John 1:30 “This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’”
We also see this in John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” This shows Jesus’ separate personality from the Father and shows that there is a relationship to the other Persons of the blessed Trinity. This is the confirmation of the deity of Christ—that Jesus Christ is God. If Jesus Christ is not God, He could not accomplish your salvation as “… the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Jesus Christ was and is and always will be God the Son. Even Thomas had his doubts about Jesus’ resurrection, but as he stood before Jesus and touched his wounds, he proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
Now, to be very clear, God the Father is not God the Son, and God the Son is not God the Father; they are distinct persons. But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, not three Gods.
Look at John 1:32: “And John bore witness: ‘I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.’” Here we see a distinction between the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is an equal part of the Godhead. So when we say that He is God, we are not saying in absence of the Father and the Holy Spirit; we are saying in equality with them.
What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God, and why is it of the utmost importance to our lives? Jesus is God and co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. That is first and foremost. John is testifying here in verse 32 what he saw at the baptism of Jesus. The Holy Spirit descended on Christ like a dove and remained on Him. At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father says this of Jesus:
Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Did you hear the love of the Father for His Son? We need to understand it is in the holy Trinity, the eternal relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that love and life find their origins. Everything about real LIFE and love traces its origins and power back to the Trinity.
Did you know that the first mention of the word love in the entire Bible is found in Genesis 22:2? “He said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love …’” This is what we call the principle of first mention, which means the first place something is mentioned, and it gives us a base to understand it elsewhere.
Because the Jewish people knew God’s word so well, they would have understood love through the lens of the love of a father for his son. This would have been their basis for understanding what love is. What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God, and why is it of the utmost importance to our lives? Because without the Son, we would not know the love of God.
Since we are separated from the holy God in our sin, we are left to scramble and spin up our own versions of what love really is. The love this world knows apart from God is not real love; it is a counterfeit love—a man-made replica that doesn’t look at all like the real love of God.
So, unless God intervenes to save us from our sin, unless we can be reconciled to God, we will never know real, lasting love: the love the Father has for His Son. This is the love that has thrived in utter perfection in the holy Trinity for all time. Without the Son, we would not know the love of God.
So, how do we have new life and true love with God forever? The answer is the Son of God! Listen to God’s word:
1 John 4:7-9 … whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
To have love, we need the Son of God.
1 John 5:12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
To have life, we need the Son of God.
1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
When John says in verse 34 that Jesus is “the Son of God,” He is proclaiming the most important news we could ever hear!
The only way to the Father is to have the Son. To deny the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is to deny your relationship with the Father. To have the Son is the only way to the Father. Jesus himself makes this oh-so plain in John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
So, when John says, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” in John 1:29, we are introduced to God the Son, who came to be a sacrifice for us that would set us free. Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb who paid the ultimate price for us so that we can be set free from the penalty of our sin before a holy God.
Praise God that the Word (God the Son) became flesh and dwelt among us. Praise God, because without His work to come take on flesh and to die in our place, we would have no hope. No salvation. No eternity with God.
I look forward to digging in deeper into John in the coming weeks as we finish this year’s reading plan. May we know the Son of God, trust the Son of God, and worship the Son of God with all our lives.
By His grace and for His glory,
Soldiers for Jesus MC