This fall we begin a new series: The Gospel According to John: The Invisible Made Visible.
There are many ways that God has revealed Himself to us, made himself known. First in creation and nature, sometimes called general revelation. Paul wrote in Romans 1:19-20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” God has also revealed himself in history and providence as he works in events and people to accomplish his sovereign plans. We see his unceasing activity in the overflowing of his love and good will: Ps. 145:9, Mt. 5:45–48. He has revealed himself as He upholds his creatures in ordered existence: Acts 17:24-28, 2 Chron. 33:10-13, Col. 1:17, Heb. 1:3. As He guides and governs all events and circumstances, even the acts of angels and men: Ps. 107, Job 1:12, 2:6, Gen. 45:5–8. Even how He directs everything to its appointed goal, for his own glory: Eph. 1:9–12. God also revels himself directly through the word of the prophets as they speak and interpret events: Jer. 30:1-2, Ex. 4:22-33.
But God’s ultimate and final revelation is in his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. John opens his account of the gospel by saying: “1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The incarnation is God’s final word and revelation. Jesus himself said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” The writer of Hebrews said it this way: 1:1-3 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
The purpose of John’s gospel account is not simply “who is Jesus?” It is to show us clearly that Jesus is the Christ; he is the Son of God. John 20:31 “these things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Our study then is rather simple yet very profound. It was written in order that he may bring us to a place of faith and to new life in Christ’s name. It is not merely for more information but transformation. It was Charles Spurgeon, the well-known Baptist preacher of London, who said this about that the Gospel according to John: “It is shallow enough for a child to wade in and deep enough to drown an elephant.”
I do hope you will join us on the journey as we grow in our faith by encountering Jesus the Christ, “The invisible made visible.”