This lesson focuses on John 1:1-13 with an emphasis on what God brings to us through Jesus.
If you have your Bible you can turn to John 1. One of the things I like to do each year is to take the kids and drive around and look at lights. We don’t do it all in one night. One night we will go out to the nursing home in Madison and drive through their display a couple of times. One night we might go to Fulton to look at their massive display. One night we drive around Mexico and look at lights. Me and the kids we love that kind of stuff.
Most people do not realize that there is symbolism behind the Christmas lights. The Christmas lights on the trees and on the house originally were used to represent Jesus who brings light to a dark world. That’s what John 1 is talking about today. Let’s take a look at it.
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. (NLT)
Christmas reminds us that God brings us five things.
God brings us a message for our hearts
Number one, God brings us a message for our hearts. Look closely at John 1:1, In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God (vs. 1-2, NLT). There is a lot going on in that statement. We are told that Jesus is equal with God, is God, and has always existed. But what I want us to focus our attention on today is this phrase “the Word.”
John begins his gospel by introducing and describing Jesus as “the Word.” The Greek word John used is logos and it literally means word. It is a word that refers to a message. Jesus is a message and He has a message. Who Jesus is and what He has to say is a divine revelation.
Throughout time, God has spoken to people in many ways. He’s used visions, dreams, prophets, angels, burning bush, and the written word to name a few. However, God’s final and ultimate communication is “the Word,” Jesus Christ. He is the message.
As we will see, Jesus – “the Word” – brings a message of salvation. He has come to save His people from their sins. The angels declared it. The shepherds declared it and the star pointed the wise men to Him.
Jesus, the Word, brings a message for our hearts.
God brings us power for our lives
Number two, God brings us power for our lives. Now look closely at verse 3, God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. We are told that Jesus has the power to create. Everything was created through Him. Jesus has the power to give life to everything and He has the power to bring light to everyone so they can see in the darkness.
Let’s lay the foundation regarding a very important truth. The Lord has the power to create. This tells you He is sovereign. He is in control. He is all powerful, omnipotent. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is the creator. He can make something out of nothing. Later on, Paul would say something very similar in Colossians 1:15, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (vs. 15-17, NLT).
Why is all this important? Why must John remind us of the power of Jesus? Because He is about to tell us that Jesus has the power to bring light into darkness and the power to save people out of that darkness. There should be no doubt that Jesus can do it because He is the Word that created everything and everything that was created is for Him and by Him. This Word of hope and salvation can be as easily accomplished as the act of creating everything. Through Christ, God brings us power for our lives – the power to save.
God brings us light for our darkness
Number three, God brings us light for our darkness. John 1:4-5 says, His life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. Several years ago I went on a mission trip. As part of the training, the leader of the trip gathered us in the lobby of the church and told us to go into the sanctuary and spread out and find a place by ourselves. He said it will be dark except for one candle at the front. I went in and sure enough I could hardly see where I was walking. I made it about half-way down the church and found a pew and slid in. But as I sat there, I noticed something strange happening. My eyes began to adjust and I could see more and more of what was in the sanctuary. It was as if the light had become brighter and illuminated or pushed the darkness back. After several minutes the mission leader goes to the front of the church and says four things.
- This light (pointing to the candle) has brought light to everyone in here.
- This light shines in the darkness. It does what it is supposed to do when its dark.
- This light cannot be extinguished by darkness. You cannot put out this light by adding more darkness.
- This light, the darker it is the brighter it appears.
No matter how much darkness there is in the world. No matter how much sin, evil, wickedness, and selfishness there is in the world it can never put out the light of Jesus. The more dark it is the more evident the power of the light is. Darkness cannot extinguish the light. The light always wins in the midst of darkness. That gives me hope for me and for others who are still in the darkness.
God brings us people for our edification
Number four, God brings us people for our edification. There are some people living in darkness that have not seen the light yet and God sends people into their lives to point them toward the light. God brings people into our lives to help us to see what we need to see. God brings us people for our edification. Look at John 1:6-11, God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
Every believer is to be like John the Baptist. In some way, your responsibility as a follower of Jesus is “to tell about the light so that everyone might believe.” But I want you to notice that John didn’t have to know all the Bible, he simply had to share “his testimony.” His testimony is what He knew about Jesus. Your testimony is what you know about Jesus. Two thoughts here.
- God has brought people into your life who shared their testimony with you in some way. You have heard them tell their story of how Jesus saved them and how they went from being lost to found. You have heard their testimony about how God has provided for them, guided them through life. You have heard their testimony about what they have learned from God’s Word and how they have applied it to their lives. They have shared with you their story of how Jesus has impacted their lives. They are not the light, but they are telling you about the light.
- God wants you to share your testimony with others in some way. He wants you to testify to the light of Jesus. Tell your story to your family of how you became a follower of Jesus. This Christmas, gather the family around and tell your story of how Jesus saved you and has provided and guided for you. Tell them who Jesus is to you and what you have learned about Him. Testify to the light.
God brings us the gift of our lives
Number five, God brings us the gift of our lives. There are going to be two reactions to Jesus. There are going to be two responses to the Word and to the light. Some will reject Him and some will believe Him. Look at John 1:10-13, He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
- Reaction number 1: When it comes to Jesus one reaction will be those who “didn’t recognize him” and “rejected him.” Sadly, most people will fall into this camp. They will not recognize Him as a Savior, Redeemer, the Messiah or the Son of God who came to save them from their sins. As a result, they will reject Him.
- Reaction number 2: Another reaction to Jesus will be those “who believed him and accepted him.” The Bible is very clear on this point. Those who “believed him” and “accepted him” are the ones who are given “the right to become children of God.” Everyone is created by God, but not everyone is a child of God. Only those who have been “reborn” in their heart are children of God. This “birth” does not come from our own doing, but it is “a birth that comes from God.”
The opportunity to become a child of God and be reborn is a gift. It is the reason for the season. It is the real meaning behind Christmas. Receive God’s gift of salvation today.