March 16 – Gospel Readthrough – John 1

Read John 1:1-51

Ohio’s Phil Keaggy has been called the greatest guitarist in the world. Guitar Player Magazine readers’ polls frequently rank Keaggy as one of the world’s top 3 “fingerpicking” guitarists. I have seen him in concert three times and have seen him play his guitar behind his back, with a guitar between his ankles and with his teeth. But more than that, his music can be beautiful. He sings and writes about the Word of God.

He sings, “Tell me who’s that writing, John the Revelator…”

“John the Revelator” is a song written about the apostle John in his role as the author of the book of Revelation (and other books, including John). The song quotes several passages from the Bible. The guitar solo in the last part of the song represents, to me, all of the great words that John wrote in the Bible.

The book of John was written by John toward the end of the first century – A.D. 85 or later. This gospel is based on the recollections of an eyewitness, John! He was actually there and is telling us what he saw through words. Chapters 1-18 is the prologue and it begins and ends with the affirmation that Jesus is at the Father’s side!

John 1:1-4 (NLT):

“In the beginning the Word already existed.” Verse 1.

In verse 1a of John, the Word is capitalized because the Word is God.

What does this tell you?

“The Word was with God.” (John 1b)

What does this tell you?

In verse 1c, “the Word was God.”

What does this tell you?

I recently had a student who was a Jehovah’s Witness. We had a nice discussion of comparing our faiths. In his Bible – The New World Translation, John 1:1c reads:

“The word was a God.”

The letter “a” is also a word. Do you see the difference one word can make?

Jesus not only revealed God, but WAS God, not one of many! He existed in the beginning with God.

John viewed the actions of Jesus as divine activity. The word of God is good news from God (see Acts 15:7).

Jesus is the source of life for all people (verses 4,9). Jesus had all the witnesses and limitations that humans have, while still being God. He became weary (4:8), thirsty (19:28) and hungry (Matthew 4:2). As a child, He grew in wisdom and stature.

The words of Jesus are now in red letters in the NIV version of the Bible. This makes it easier to see and understand what Jesus said.

The book of John is written by John the Revelator, who witnessed many of Christ’s miracles. He knew Jesus. He was a follower of Jesus. What John wrote is truly awesome! His testimony is in his words.

What does Jesus being the Word and “in the beginning” mean to you? In what way does it strengthen your faith?

In what way can you, like John, share with others what God has shown you and done through you?

Tom Weckesser

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