Monday, April 7, 2014

COME AND SEE (John Chapter 1)

John 1:39, “He saith unto them, Come and see’.”
John 1:46, “Philip said to him, ‘Come and see’.”

Let me take the liberty of borrowing this phrase, “come and see,” from its immediate context because it a befitting introduction to the Gospel of John and its first chapter.

John chapter 1 introduces major themes that are reiterated and expanded upon in subsequent chapters.  These themes are commonly bound to John’s purpose in writing his inspired account.  His purpose is stated in John 20:30-31, “May other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”  It would be fair to say that John’s gospel is an invitation to us to “come and see” that which the Apostle John himself witnessed regarding Jesus Christ.

John’s first chapter is replete with words having to do with this “come and see” matter.  The word “Word” (Jesus as self-revelation of God) is used 4X.  The word “light” (Jesus as the source of spiritual enlightenment) is used 6X.  The words “see” is found 5X.  The words “behold” or “beheld” occur 6X.  The word “witness,” which means “to bear testimony” of something seen, is found 7X.

Correlating to this great theme is the precious declaration made by the Apostle John in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the father, full of grace and truth.”  The word “glory” speaks of “the nature of God in self-manifestation” (Vine’s).  John’s testimony was that he beheld the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  What did he see in Jesus?  He spoke of Him as the Word and thus identified Him to be the divine Son of God.  Certain related truths regarding Jesus are affirmed from the very beginning of John’s gospel: 1) He is eternal (John 1:1); 2) He was with God (John 1:1); 3) He is God (John 1:1); 4) He is the creator of all things (John 1:3); 5) He is the source of life (John 1:4); He is the source of light (John 1:4-5).  His identity as the “only begotten from the father” was confirmed by His many miracles (lit. “attesting signs”).  John highlights seven of them in His gospel account, though no book could ever hope to record the “many other things which Jesus did” (John 21:25). 

The Word became flesh.  Jesus “emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).  He dwelt among men.  John was a witness to the truth regarding Jesus.  He saw Him, heard Him, and touched Him (Cf. 1 John 1:1).  What did he see and hear?  He heard a man who spoke as no other man and saw Him do things that no man had ever done before.  He saw the glory of His divine nature for He was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14; Cf. John 1:17). 
The Apostle John was a witness to the truth concerning Jesus.  He beheld the beauty of His godly and sinless character.  He saw Him lovingly minister to the needs of others.  He saw Him healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, feeding the multitudes, and walking on water and calming the storm.  He was there, when with a word, Jesus called Lazarus forth from the tomb.  He was a witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  He was one who saw and then pleaded with others to “come and see.”  He faithfully devoted his life to that cause (Cf. 1 John 1:2-3).  He “could not help but speak of what (he had) seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).  He willingly suffered persecution for “the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9).
The Apostle John wrote His gospel that we might “come and see” what he saw, and in seeing, believe in Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Cf. John 20:30-31).  Indeed, all of the Scriptures were written that they might “bear witness” to Him (John 5:39).  The Holy Spirit has that very same ministry (Cf. John 15:26; 16:14) and He invites us to behold the glory of the person and work of Jesus as we read through this precious gospel account.  Look for it--yearn to behold it--as you read!

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