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Like Son, Like Father – John 1:1-18

September 12, 2013

My wife and I are expecting our third child any day now.  We have elected to not find out whether it’s a boy or a girl.  We’ll be happy either way.  But there is one thing that Erika is pulling for: a child that looks like her.  To be sure, one can see resemblances between Erika and our two children.  Still, most people agree that those kids look like their daddy (whether or not this is a good thing, well, I don’t know).  Our two children are unmistakably mine.  I would go so far as to venture that if you saw my kids but didn’t know me, you’d be able to pick me out of a crowd as their father.  You can learn a lot about me by taking a good look at my kids.  To flip a phrase, like son and daughter, like father.

Last night we kicked off a new adult Bible study at St. Peter’s.  I’m leading a twenty-six-week Bible study on the Gospel of John.  We got off to a great start, and I’m thankful that there are eleven intrepid folks who are willing to commit to twenty-six weeks of anything!  Each week I’ll try to post some thoughts on our passage for the week as a companion piece to the course.

We covered some general, introductory matters and then dove into the Prologue of John’s Gospel, 1:1-18.  John, in magnificent language evocative of Genesis 1, introduces the story of Jesus of Nazareth by going all the way back to the beginning, to the Word that was present with God – that was God – before creation itself was called into being.  John starts with God in God’s most majestic, creative, and unknowable being.  And as everyone reading John’s Gospel knew, no one has ever seen this God.  Although God had revealed his presence in a variety of ways God remained unknown by his own people, people who continually chose darkness instead of light.

Into this world comes the eternal Word, God the only Son; the one who was there in the beginning has now shown up in the flesh.  It seems John wants to say, “You want to see God?  You want to know God?  Well, take a look at Jesus.  He’s all you need to know.”  In so doing John sets the stage for the whole story.  For John, Jesus is not some messenger, some prophet; Jesus is God incarnate.  As Eugene Peterson so wonderfully puts it in The Message, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.  We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish” (1:14).

We live in such self-inflicted darkness that we’ve lost our ability to see God.  No matter.  You want to see God?  Take a look at Jesus.  Listen to him.  Trust, believe in him.  He’s all you need to know, for in seeing him you have seen the Father.  This principle, the truth that in Jesus God has become human, drives John’s narrative forward and will shape our study.  We’ll look to him.  After all, like Son, like Father.

“No one has ever seen God.  It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”  John 1:18.

From → Scripture

  1. Russ permalink

    If one could not attend last night, can one come next week?

    • Absolutely, Russ! We’d love to have you. 7:00 p.m. in the conference room. Invite Cyndee, too.

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