This is Episode #308 and today we’ll read John chapters 1&2 together. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #308 and today we’ll read John chapters 1&2 together. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Intro to John
I’m very excited that we are beginning the book of John today. The other three Gospels – called the Synoptic Gospels – tell the story of Jesus’ life from the vantage of say, an eyewitness or an historian. John is more of a preacher or teacher. He doesn’t just want us informed; he wants us transformed. By the way, if you missed or need a refresher on what the Synoptics Gospels are, go to www.liftinghervoice.com and listen to Season 1, Episode 46.
As you know, there are two main Johns. The John we’re talking about today – the disciple – wrote this Gospel that we are about to begin, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd John, and finally the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament…and the whole Bible. Several times, you will hear John, the disciple, being referred to as “the one whom Jesus loved.” This gives us the impression that John was Jesus’ best friend, perhaps His confidant. We’ll discuss our impressions along the way, I’m sure, but for now, let’s get started with the Gospel according to John.
John Chapter 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
Grace Upon Grace
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”) Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side — he has revealed him.
John the Baptist’s Testimony
This was John’s testimony when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”
He didn’t deny it but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”
“What then?” they asked him. “Are you Elijah?”
“I am not,” he said.
“Are you the Prophet?”
“No,” he answered.
“Who are you, then?” they asked. “We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What can you tell us about yourself?”
He said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord — just as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. So they asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you aren’t the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John answered them. “Someone stands among you, but you don’t know him. He is the one coming after me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to untie.” All this happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Lamb of God
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’ I didn’t know him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and he rested on him. I didn’t know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit descending and resting on — he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come and you’ll see,” he replied. So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed him. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated “the Christ”), and he brought Simon to Jesus.
When Jesus saw him, he said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated “Peter”).
Philip and Nathanael
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me.”
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him.
“Come and see,” Philip answered.
Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
“Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you,” Jesus answered.
“Rabbi,” Nathanael replied, “You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel!”
Jesus responded to him, “Do you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “Truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John Chapter 2
The First Sign: Turning Water into Wine
On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding as well. When the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.”
“What has this concern of yours to do with me, woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”
“Do whatever he tells you,” his mother told the servants.
Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons.
“Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. Then he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” And they did.
When the headwaiter tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from — though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom and told him, “Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people are drunk, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.”
Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
After this, he went down to Capernaum, together with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.
Cleansing the Temple
The Jewish Passover was near, and so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and he also found the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, he drove everyone out of the temple with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
And his disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for your house will consume me.
So the Jews replied to him, “What sign will you show us for doing these things?”
Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days.”
Therefore the Jews said, “This temple took forty-six years to build, and will you raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. So when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made.
While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man.
I think you will be glad that you have the foundation of the facts of Jesus’ life from reading the other Gospels systematically. Spoiler alert! John is going to use that foundation to help you make spiritual connections throughout this book. And he starts right out of the gate laying the groundwork to prove to you – wait for it – that Jesus is God. He states it boldly in the very first line. And if that first line sounds familiar, it is. It was the very verse you read this year – Genesis 1:1. Take note of the plural in 1:26 and 3:22. Hmmm…who was the ‘us’? Always remember…The Lord is One – Deuteronomy 6:4. He manifests in three different persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the ‘us’) – but He is One God. Let your finite mind noodle about that today!
Let’s pray. Father, we are treading on some pretty ethereal stuff here. We do have finite minds so it’s expected that we’ll have trouble with this sometimes. Help us to approach it with trepidation, respect, and soberness. You command us in Your word not to add anything to Your Word or take anything away. You also tell us it is wise to seek counsel. Help us to remember to do that, both with You in prayer and our pastors. All that said, Lord, we rejoice that You have provided Your Truth to us in a way that we may know and love You more each day. Help us to rightly divide that truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If John 1 touches your very soul like it does mine, share it with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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