Herbert Barnett - Monday Night Gospel Meeting - October 5, 1987

John 1:1-4 and 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (2) The same was in the beginning with God.  (3) All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.  (4) In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  (14) And the Word was made 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 was writing an account of Jesus to both those who knew Him and those that didn’t know Him.  I enjoyed noticing when he was writing these people, he started by saying, “In the beginning was the Word.”  I thought of these people being told about Jesus and maybe wondering, "Who is this fellow just appearing out of nowhere and then He died and disappeared and we don’t see Him anymore.  Just how much substance is there to this, is it something that really has the backing of God behind it?"  But John had the understanding to see that this thing didn’t start when Jesus appeared on earth, what he believed and found in Christ was there since the beginning.

 

Now you might notice that word, “Word” starts with a capital letter, it’s talking about a person.  In the 3rd verse it says “all things were made by Him.”  In the 14th verse “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  Was talking about Jesus here.  In the beginning was the Word – Jesus.  Now I could talk to you all today about what I had for breakfast and you might say, Big Deal!  It doesn’t mean anything to me now or to you, that was something very passing.  And we can get taken up with a lot of things in life that seem very important for the present and seem important now, but we are not interested in what is important now, we’re interested in something that was important from the very beginning and will be important when this world ceases to exist.  We are very concerned that we are seeking that which was from the very beginning and has God behind it.

 

It calls Jesus the “Word.”  And “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”  A lot of people read the Bible and to them it is like reading a history book, something dead and gone, happened 100s and 1,000s of years ago.  And some read it like a book of Mythology, some fancy tales someone has dreamed up.  But you know when John wrote this book and read the scriptures, there came the day when these things weren’t just words anymore.  When Jesus came along, he found a life that the word was made flesh in, not only preaching out of the Bible, but living fulfillment of what he preached.  The Bible had never been more real and could never be more real then when those people looked on the life of Jesus.  That was the “Word” of God founded way back in the beginning, something that was determined then but they saw it being made a reality in Jesus’ life.  You know that is what enables the scriptures to become real to us today.  It is not that we have to have faith to believe that it’s right, there is that part, but it takes more than that for the scriptures to be opened up to us and realize that those things are read.  And that comes when the day dawns on us that we begin to see these things, the reality of them – see people whom these things are being fulfilled in their life.  These disciples had found a treasure, the Son of God – the perfect fulfillment of the Word of God.

 

It says in that 4th verse – “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”  You might think, of course there was life in Him, He couldn’t be alive without life – everyone walking about has life.  But this was a special life, not just talking about breathing.  Talking about something that was divine, something that came down from God, the eternal life was inside Him.  Some people think eternal life starts when you die, that is not true.  Eternal life starts in life time, but the fulfilling of it comes when a person dies.  All of us here today are in eternity.  We have entered into an eternity when we were born, because there was something in us eternal, the soul.  But the condition of our eternity has not yet been determined and sealed.  Jesus had eternal life in Him so that we could receive something divine, something more than sheer self-discipline, something that comes from above.

 

These disciples when they looked at Jesus saw something in Jesus worth giving themselves for.  Not that He was so eloquent in His speaking, impressive and good looking, or that kind of thing, but what they saw in that man was the quality of an inner life.  And the more they got to know that man and saw what He was on the inside, they realized this was not something human, realized this man must be the Son of God.  What would a person expect to find  in a child of God?  Not a perfect people, but people whose desire is to be like Christ and because of this desire God is gradually working that in their life.  That life came down to this world, made flesh living among them and it was the light of men.  He came to this world to forever clear up the issue of God’s will for our life.  In spite of all the religion in the world today, the biggest mystery is still – what is the Will of God?!  Jesus came to clear the mystery and show us by His life what IS the will of God.

 

We are glad when we read the scripture that we are reading something from the beginning, something that came from God and yet even today it is the will of God for men and women.