John's Perspective on the Christmas Story

Advent 2022  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:23
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This is the last Sunday in our Advent series on the four evangelist and their perspective on the Christmas Story.
If you have been here through the entire series, Hopefully you have seen the pathway of how they are connected and how they give us the readers of this story of God a greater picture of the Christ Child.
This week we finish off our series with the look at the book of John and his perspective on the the Christ Child.
I want you to think for just a moment on the beauty of nature.
Something that give you a glimpse of God’s great creation and when you see that you are reminded of the glory of God’s creation
It is a view of the majestic mountains as you hiked up and see at a distance God’s beauty laid out in front of you.
Or you are out camping in the prairies and you are awoken to the rise of the Sun casting a beautiful pallet of colors on a canvas of the open skies.
Rising to bring upon you a new day of God’s Sustaining grace.
Or maybe its the marvel of a newborn held in your arms an amazement of wonder and awe of the life that was created, sustained and grew to be delivered to proud parents.
Or maybe you are like the investigating child who with a magnifying glass in his hand is roaming through the fields to discover the unnoticed vast array of the miniature Eco system of the bugs so small, yet so intricate all woven together for a purpose in God’s Creation.
What about those fish at great depths many cannot see, but God has ordained them with flashing colours only for God to enjoy.
What get’s your attention of the Creation of God.
John’s Gospel is no different. He begins with not the birth of the Christ child but the glories wonder of God.
One author wrote,
The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 27: John (Chapter One: The Divine Overture)
Is there any way one can plumb the depths of John’s prologue to his Gospel? Such intense power in so few words!
I can readily understand why both Augustine and Chrysostom are reported as saying, “It is beyond the power of man to speak as John does in his prologue.”
John Calvin has written of the prologue, “Rather should we be satisfied with this heavenly oracle, knowing that it says much more than our minds can take in.”1
John has caught the sweep and wonder of the history of salvation and shared it in hymnic form. All through the prologue he is setting forth the career of the Incarnate Word in simple, powerful phrases—“the light shining in the darkness,” “became flesh and dwelt among us,” “full of grace and truth,” “declaring the Father,” some “did not receive Him,” but others were “born of God.”
We watch in our world today, and through the famous Hallmark movies attempt to catch the wonder and magic of Christmas, but we have the very story right in our hands today.
And it is with that awe and wonder of Christmas, I want you to have as we look into today’s text
Turn with me to John 1:1
John 1:1–2 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
I hope you have been seeing this in the other gospels as we have been looking at the Christmas story that it didn’t begin with the Christ Child.
As amazing as that is and one to celebrate, God’s magnificent story did not begin at the arrival of Immanuel, but that of the Arrival Of the World.
Last week I mentioned, the Creation, cradle, cross and Celestial dwelling concept.
Now we see this in Action.
Long before the Christ Child, long before the prophecies about the coming of this child
God’s Word was at Creation.
God’s Word had a part in Creation as the spoken Word was a part of the building of creation
John then finishes off with a powerful statement.
The Word was not only God, but this Word now is beginning to be identified as someone specific.
Have you ever played the game with children called Guess Who.
Each player is given a person and by the process of elimination, you are trying to solve Who each player has by asking questions about the other players.
You see everyone in the game on your board and you ask a questions and if the answer is no or yes it helps determine the hidden player.
John is doing the reverse of the game.
One phrase, one paragraph at a time, he begins to tell the readers about the wonderful news about Christ.
It could be described this way

“In the beginning” recalls the opening words of Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The expression does not refer to a particular moment of time but assumes a timeless eternity. “Word” is the Greek logos, which has several meanings. Ordinarily it refers to a spoken word, with emphasis on the meaning conveyed, not just the sound. Logos, therefore, is an expression of personality in communication. Scripture also tells us that it is creative in its power: “By the word [logos, LXX] of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps 33:6). This verse clearly implies that the expression of God had creative power and called the universe into being. To the Hebrew “the word of God” was the self-assertion of the divine personality; to the Greek the formula denoted the rational mind that ruled the universe. John is asserting that the “Word” is the source of all that is visible and antedates the totality of the material world.

John wants the readers to know that in Genesis, Those very spoken utterances were not only words that created, and they were not only God, but there is a personality attached to these words.
You see this person who he is talking about is responsible for and was a part of creation.
Psalm 33:6 ESV
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
The Psalmist declares what John was stating and Paul backs him up by telling the Believers in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
This Word that is being presented to us Today is the God that was there at creation, spoke the world into existence and is one God.
John also wants his readers to hear that this one that he is speaking about is not another Diety, but the same God.
It has been stated this way
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 9: John and Acts (A. The Preincarnate Word (1:1–5))
The “Word” was deity, one with God, rather than “a god” or another being of the same class. This is the real meaning of the phrase. Unity of nature rather than similarity or likeness is implied. The external coexistence and unity of the Word with God is unmistakably asserted
If you are still marveling at these thoughts,
That fisherman of men then takes the knowledge a few steps deeper
John 1:3 ESV
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John is not just describing an event that happened in the past, that this God who set things in motion then let it work out the rest of it on its own means.
Know This,
God who was at creation is still actively working in and through us to create and sustain us.
When we were younger, God moved our family from Manitoba to Southern Ontario. A young family with a 9 month old.
We had been called to go and while we waited for our next ministry placement, God provided a job for me at a manufacturing plant.
As part of the job, I had the pleasure of drawing up plans for a piece of machinery that would take paper and grind it up to it’s fibers.
It was like a 42” wide food processor for paper.
Two wheels, 42” in diameter, one fixed and the other spinning at a fast speed, almost touching would create a means to grind newspaper into fibers.
I had the pleasure of taking the concept from an idea to technical drawings to production, to operation, then to sales.
I was involved in the process of building this creation. Seeing this creation in action in our own plant. Building multiple machines and selling them to other plants who would in turn use them to grind up paper.
I guess you could say I was a part of the creation process of this machine.
But here lies the difference from me and those machines and The God we are taking about today.
Those machines ran without me. They continue, with maintenance and repair may still be working today.
I have left, I don’t maintain them. I have no part in building of new machines.
John’s words were clear.
This Word, Logos was and is responsible for the planning, building, sustaining of everything we see here today.
Like I said, John is not referring to a one time event, but that of an ongoing event.
Colossians 1:16 ESV
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Are you getting a picture of this Word, this Logos.
This morning when you woke up, whether you saw the sunrise or it was already up when you got up, This Logos, this Word is responsible to make all this happen.
Not only to make all this happen, He is responsible, capable, and successful in maintaining all that we see today.
Are you catching the wonderful and marvelous picture of Who this Logos is but are still wondering how John is going to explain the Christmas Story to us today.
He will, He is coming to the story shortly.
John then moves onto the purpose of the Word.
John 1:4 ESV
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
In Him, This Logos, the sustainer of Life, the creator of Life is also example of what Life will be like.
He embodies an eternal life.
You see this word, Life or in the greek, Zoe, used throughout the Gospel is telling the readers of a life that is both physical and spiritual.
It is often used in and with the term eternal that denotes to us the quality and power of what will become of our life ever after.
This Logos shows and will bring about life eternal.
John in his Gospel uses these words over 36 times to give his readers the Picture that this Christ is the life giver.
and if that isn’t enough,
This life shines a light on us a people.
Truth is about to come through this person who John is introducing.
And before John moves along to another theme, he adds one more powerful statement
John 1:5 ESV
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This light will over power any type of darkness.
There is one thing you must understand clearly about the principle of light.
Light is always stronger than darkness.
If you have ever been in a room that has blocked out all available light sources and you stand in that room in total darkness you can feel that darkness has won.
In that moment, all you need to do is light a match.
It shows the power of Light.
That room that was once dark is now overcome by that simple little match.
How is your world feeling today.
Are you needing a little light to shine into your life today?
No matter what the circumstance, no matter how dark it may feel today,
This light that has come into the world is not match for the darkness of the world.
As hard as it may try, the world’s darkness is no match for His light.
So in those moments as you struggle with the darkness or apparent troubles of this world that are very real. They will not last.
They will be overcome.
There is light, and not just at the end of the tunnel but for us today.
In a moment, John will outline what that light will do.
It is my prayer that this Christmas season that you come to the foot of this light we will be talking about.
That you come to the Christ, the light of the world, not to take away the problems of your world but to shine on your eternal condition of being lost in darkness and to receive the gift of life, eternal life.
That would be the greatest gift you could receive this Christmas Season.
and yet, John moves on in his Gospel.
He is not satisfied in his thought and the Christmas Story.
Like Mark, John begins to highlight the fore runner of the light that will be coming.
John 1:6–8 ESV
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
Although the other Gospels tell the miraculous story of John’s calling and purpose, John keeps it simple.
There are three things that are defined by John.

He was sent and called by God

John the baptist’s life from the beginning to the end of his life was there as a witness to the one coming after Him.
His entire life was centered around that. From the moment the angel spoke to his father until the news of his death that reached Jesus, John’s life, his parent’s discussions, his friends and even John the baptist knew his life was a life of a calling.

He was a Witness to the Christ

The second part of John’s life was that he was called to be a witness.
A witness to the coming Messiah.
A witness to the greatness of God.
A witness not about his life but about God.

His life drew people to Christ

All that John the baptist did through his entire life was to bring people to Christ.
His mission was one of belief in the coming messiah. The Christ.
It wasn’t about how many successful baptisms he performed. It wasn’t about the number of disciples he had, if fact, he celebrated when some of them turned an followed Christ.
Once again, John before describing the Christmas story, and after describing John the Baptist, John turns the focus on us the readers.
John 1:9–11 ESV
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
You see the true light was about to come to the people and this true light has come to us today.
John points out in his Gospel that even though Christ was there at the beginning and has a hold on creation, that that very creation does not see Him.
Do you?
Have you?
You see the people of the world, those who live in darkness like many of us have before we came to Christ, do not see the light.
For many they choose the darkness and look away from the light.
John even points out to his readers that God, the Christ, the messiah came to the people called out by Him, His chosen ones
Remember the last three gospels,
They pointed out so clearly both his ancestral path, the fulfilment of the many prophecies, that even those people did not receive Him.
If you were to stop reading John’s Gospel at this point it would look very bleak.
If you stopped reading at this point and wonder what the Christmas story was truly about, you would be sad.
Fortunately for you and me John doesn’t stop with this thought.
Look what he says
John 1:12–13 ESV
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
If you look at the personal right’s laid out in this scripture. The world teaches you that you have rights. Fight for them. Stand up for them.
John points out that the right you can stand on today is the right to be a child of God.
I am a son of my father because I came from him, but when I took the step to first Receive Christ, Call out his name and believe, I have the right to be called a son of God.
It wasn’t anything I did to be called son, God has claimed that for me.
It isn’t anything I can do to claim this victory, my flesh, my will my determination is not what makes me a child of God, no it is rather my acceptance for this for my life.
What about you.
Do these verses on the screen apply to you today?
Have you take the moment to give you life over to Christ?
This advent season we have been looking at the Christmas story through the eyes of the 4 Evangelist.
Matthew showed us the lineage, the prophecies. Taught us about the wiseman, the trip to Egypt and back home to the promise land.
Mark gave us a great understanding of John’s and Jesus’ early calling and ministry.
Luke give the details of the birth, the coming Christ child, the apex of he promise coming to this earth to be the Messiah.
John sums up the Christmas story in a simple verse.
In preparation of this verse He gives for us the realization that this coming child is in fact God.
Fully God.
This coming Christ Child, the promised one, Who was there at the time of Creation and was a part of Creation,
Now John turns to the story of Christmas
John 1:14 ESV
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.
He was and is, Immanuel,
Eugene Peterson in his paraphrase of the Bible states it this way,
John 1:14 M:BCL
14 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.
The amazing part of this Christmas Story is that God chose from the beginning of Creation that He wanted to have an intimate close relationship with His Creation, Us that He chose to leave the wonder of Heaven and came as a child.
Life begins at conception, but for Christ, He chose to take on that form.
He worked outside of his natural order and came to dwell with us.
You may not know, but I enjoy the genre of Science Fiction. The very term is an oxymoron. A contradiction of terms.
In an episode of star trek, the crew encountered a life form that was passing by them and were curious about them, so this life form came to one of the female crew members, was born and grew up to be a child to experience humanity.
The parallels between what God did and this episode stopped there.
You see the alien life came out of curiosity, God came to save us.
The preexisting Christ, came not to find out and experience humanity, He came to dwell with us so that by coming to Him we know that He has experience what we have experienced.
He came so that we might life.
Life everlasting.
He came from creation to the Cradle to take the place of the separation that sin has caused in our lives.
Have you come to Christ, accepted that He came from Creation to the Cradle and then to the Cross
This Christmas season is about the God, the creator, coming to us in the form of the familiar, a child, to grow to become the saviour of our lives.
This Christmas season, the greatest gift you can receive is the one that you can take.
John 1:12 ESV
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Have you believed in his name today? Are you wanting to start this day forward being called a child of God.
The God that created this world, sustains this world and came to dwell with us. You can today.
If you haven’t, don’t leave this building without taking that step. I would be happy to talk with you after the service and show you the powerful Christmas story can be your story as well.

In Summary

As the worship team comes forward to lead us in a song of response, if this morning, there is anything you need to bring to God, the front is always open for you to come. Come and give those things in your life that seem to be weighing you down and bring them to the Lord.
Come and pray and we would be happy to pray with and for you this morning.
Feel free to come as we sing or after and we can pray for you.

Response to Worship


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