Friday, September 7, 2012

Luke 19:28-24:53, John 1

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:16
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

I AM SO EXCITED TO START READING JOHN!!! John is, in my opinion, the best-written gospel. John had a special relationship with Jesus, so his account offers a unique perspective, and he is also a great writer. The passages above are twisty and weird, but also beautiful and theologically deep. I still get chills when i read over the first half of this chapter.

John 1:46
And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

This verse, John 1:46, is interesting for a different reason. I've read lots of books that attempted to factually prove the existence and divinity of Christ. While i do think that there is evidence of these things, and while i agree that intellectual satisfaction is important for a life of faith (especially for me), i don't think that we'll ever have absolute proof. Where is faith in the face of overwhelming evidence? Furthermore, i think that this is entirely the wrong approach to take with most people. We choose to disregard facts every day. People see pictures of smokers' lungs and still go through packs a day. We attend funerals of drunk drivers or their victims and still think that buzzed driving is okay. We refuse to wear seat belts, we eat junk food and avoid exercise, we drink coffee and Red Bull by the gallon, we eat out instead of buying groceries and cooking.

Jesus goes beyond fact. It's not enough to make arguments, to create bulleted lists, to produce eyewitness accounts.

Philip doesn't try to tell Nathanael about the things that he has seen. He doesn't remind him of prophecies, or tell him what John the baptist said, or try to get into an intellectual debate. He just says, "Come and see." Because in the end, there is no substitute for our own experiences.

Faith in Jesus is more than accepting a list of facts, more than bowing under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. Faith in Jesus is a personal experience. You have to come and see for yourself.

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