“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
What’s Going On?
We are going to start our reading journey, not on page one, but with the climax of the story. I believe that everything written in the Bible is connected to Jesus so it makes sense to me that we ought to start out with the account of His human life. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is going to begin at least four thousand years before we meet Jesus in person. But even before we look at how everything got started as recorded in the book of Genesis, I want us to have Jesus at the forefront of our minds. Colossians 1:15-20 tells us that Jesus was the “Firstborn over all creation” so even before we look at how the earth was formed and how the creation of all things began, we know that Jesus was there as part of the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Next week we’ll go back and start at the very beginning and see how the whole Bible is really just the story of how desperately the world needed a Savior, a Messiah, and how Jesus came to walk the earth in human form in order that God’s will for mankind could be fully carried out through Him.
John sat at the feet Jesus and heard His Words, saw Him perform miracles, watched as He was killed and then rose from the dead. John witnessed how the Gospel message spread throughout the earth and forever changed what was known about salvation. Years later, through the help of the Holy Spirit, he wrote down everything he wanted us to know about Jesus. There were already three other accounts of the life of Jesus, and we’ll read those when we get to the New Testament in September. But John had outlived all of the other disciples, he had read the words they had written, and he believed there was more to the story. The other three gospel accounts tell us more about what Jesus did, but John is the one who is going to tell us what it all meant.
So, before we start at the very beginning, let’s start with the words of John. I can’t help but sing “Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear. Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here. Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea; stories of Jesus – tell them to me!” Let’s spend this first week together reading the story of Jesus as told by the one who knew those stories better than anyone and through divine wisdom, tells us about Jesus the Messiah, the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
When and Where Are We?
The events take place around 30 AD and center around the areas known as Galilee, Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem in the land we know as Israel. Of course, there was no timeline known as BC and AD at the point these things took place. In fact, the events of this story are so world changing that because of them, all of time would forever be marked as Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD) which is Latin for “In The Year of Our Lord.”
- Jesus, the Son of God, made flesh to live in human form, in order to save the world by giving Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that sinful man would have access to the sinless God through the salvation offered to anyone who believes in Him.
- John, was both a disciple (student) and an apostle (messenger); the author of this book, was one of the twelve Disciples who walked most closely with Jesus during His earthly ministry.
- John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin who was sent to help prepare the world for Jesus. He preached out in the wilderness and was known for baptizing those who wanted to repent of their sins.
- The twelve disciples: brothers Peter (also called Simon) and Andrew, the brothers James and John (the author of this book), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Thaddeus, Simon (another Simon), and Judas (the one who will betray Jesus)
“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.” John 20:31
This week’s reading assignment:
- Tuesday: John 1-4
- Wednesday: John 5-9
- Thursday: John 10-14
- Friday: John 15-17
- Saturday: John 18-21