For whatever reason, all of my kids are late crawlers.
My youngest is 10 months and he has not started to crawl yet.
Just like any good dad, I want my kids to succeed and excel at life so I have attempted several times to give my 10 month old baby some instruction on how to crawl.
This can be quite difficult as you can imagine.
Now I could sit him down on my knee and go over all of the finer points of crawling, going into the importance of learning to crawl for one’s development, and how the mechanics work, and what you can do to start building your muscles up so you can crawl.
And I could give him a very well articulated pep talk about crawling, but what do you think his response would be?
Most likely you would smile at me and blow raspberries, or he would start to cry because he is either hunger or tired or both.
Would he have comprehended anything that I tried to tell him?
What if he really wanted to understand and comprehend and do what I wanted him to do, would that make any difference?
No- he is completely unable on his own to communicate with me at my own level.
If any kind of communication is to happen, what needs to take place?
Well, I am the one who is going to have to stoop down to his level and reach out him in a way that he can comprehend.
It has to start with me.
So, what I have tried doing is to get down on the floor with him, put him on his stomach, and then pull his knees up underneath him and help guide his little body through the motions of crawling.
So far I have made little progress.
But I figure that if I keep reaching out to him on his level, in a way he can comprehend, eventually progress will be made.
How can we comprehend God?
How can we understand Him? Wouldn’t God, by definition of Who He is, be at such a higher level that it would be impossible for mere mortal humans like to us to understand Him?
How does one understand what God wants of us?
How do we get to know Him?
Where do we even begin to start?
Last week we started a new series in the Gospel of John.
And the underlying belief, the lens if you will for how we are viewing John’s gospel is from Heb 4.12-13.
In other words it is the Bible that is living and active.
It is the Word of God that can reveal our inner most thoughts and beliefs of our hearts.
No creature is hidden from God’s sight- God will use His Word to expose our inner most thoughts and beliefs.
When I ask the question- “How can we comprehend God?” My expectation is not to answer that question for you based on my own beliefs.
My expectation is to show you for yourself what God’s Word has to say about the question.
Because the important thing is not what I believe the answer to the question is, but what you personally believe the answer to this question is.
I don’t want to tell you what to believe.
I want to show you what the Bible says for itself, and let you make your own well-thought-out conclusions.
The other premise of this study is to get us to think about leading someone we know that has never read the Bible, or has read the Bible very little.
What if we asked that person to sit down with us and read the Bible together so they can see for themselves what God’s Word has to say and they can for themselves make their own well-thought-out conclusions?
How would we do that?
How would we go through John’s gospel differently if we were leading someone through it for the first time?
This is the approach we are taking to John’s gospel.
Imagine you asked one of your friends who has never read the Bible this question, “How can we comprehend God?
Where do we even begin to start?”
What would they say?
How does the Gospel of John answer that question?
Where does the process of comprehending God start?
What was the recurring problem in vv.
1-13 of John?
If our natural problem as humanity is that we cannot comprehend Him, if we cannot or will not know Him or receive Him, then how are we supposed to begin to understand God?
All religions speak of humanity’s trying to reach God.
The process starts within each person.
How effective is this?
Think about this.
Imagine that I am sitting in a living room, and over in the corner I see an ant.
Suppose that this ant wants to communicate with me.
What should he do?
Should he come over, crawl up on my shoe, and yell at me in ant language?
But what if I don’t want to talk to him?
I could leave the house, and the ant would never have the chance to reach me.
So before the ant can speak with me, I have to want to speak with the ant.
Could we possibly find God if He didn’t want to speak with us?
Doesn’t it make logical sense that God would have to take the initiative in communicating with us before we could communicate with him?
Suppose I did want to speak with the ant.
How would I do it?
I could go over to the ant and talk to him, but he wouldn’t understand.
I would have to speak “ant language” to him.
I would have to describe myself in terms that the ant would understand.
Because I am far more complicated than the ant, I would have to describe myself very simply.
If an ant wanted to get to know me, then everything would depend on me for this to take place.
However, the best way to communicate with that ant would be to become an ant!
Great idea, but it could be dangerous.
There are millions of ants in the world.
What if they didn’t like me?
They could even crucify (oops!), uh, kill me!
How has God chosen to communicate with us?
What does verse 14 say?
Look at any of the world’s major religions.
Religion is humanity’s attempt to reach God; the direction goes from us to God.
The Bible is the only religious book that turns the process around and starts with God.
As we can see in v. 14, humanity did not reach out to God first, but God reached out to humanity by becoming one of us.
I don’t know about you but when I think of my own limited understanding, if God didn’t reach out to us first, would we ever have a chance at understanding God?
What does it mean to behold someone’s glory?
(Example: Klay Thompson- 37 points in a quarter) What if that person claimed to be God?
What kind of glory would you expect them to show off?
What does the term “only begotten” mean?
It does not refer to time but to priority.
The same term is used in Hebrews in referring to Isaac as Abraham’s “only-begotten son” (Heb.
This term then cannot be referring to time, because Ishmael was Abraham’s first child in terms of time.
Rather than going into a lengthy theological discussion, it is usually enough to understand that Jesus is God’s only son- the one whom God gives priority to in His will for mankind.
If you would like to study this term more for yourselves you might compare Acts 13:30-33 and Psalm 2:7- I find an exact answer for what God means when He begets his only Son.
Coming back to John 1:14- what are grace and truth?
If we commit a crime and have to go to court for it, what do we hope the judge will do?
Show us grace, of course – that is, overlook our bad deed.
The last thing we want is the truth!
What do we want if we are innocent?
Would we be interested in grace?
No, what we want is the truth.
In any case, we seldom see the two terms, grace and truth, together in the same context.
We need to discuss each term separately first.
How would you define grace?
Get everyone’s opinion on this question, then look it up in a dictionary.
Grace is undeserved and unearned favor, in spite of earned punishment.