John 1:1-2, 14, 16-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
I love the start of the Book of John. It reminds me of the start of the very first Star Wars movie from years ago; text in the foreground marching into a background of stars, great music score, and content that set up 6 movies and a very interesting story-line (although I must admit I’ve lost interest since the first three came out years ago). But John 1, in a very concentrated and symbolic language matrix gives God’s global view of His “person” and relationship with mankind. From eternity past, God has been somehow “Persons” and “Person” at the same time! This answers one of the great mysteries of Genesis 1… who was the “us” in “let us make mankind in our image”? There in Genesis, we are introduced to the “Spirit” who hovered over the face of the deep, but there is this third Person of a singular yet plural God, One who “from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) had planned to take on flesh and blood and identify with us!!! The mystery of the incarnation and the unfolding of God’s great plan to identify with us by actually becoming like us is the very engine of praise for the universe, igniting both all nations and all of the heavenly hosts to cry out, “You alone are worthy!!!” And so I’ll admit, I am jealous of 11 guys – those disciples of Jesus who had THE MOST AMAZING FRONT ROW SEAT IN HISTORY!
Peter & John (along with James) had the closest seats of all, and it is always interesting to read the first four books of the New Testament through their eyes. Peter, in Matthew 16 being both affirmed and rebuked, and in Matthew 26 denying Christ while in Mark 16 being reinstated by name. He walked on water and saw Jesus in a “heavenly body” along with Moses and Elijah, the great prophets of the Old Testament. John, as well, known as the “disciple who Jesus loved” witnessed these things, and being younger and more introverted than Peter, seemed to be in a position of absorbing much of the “soul of the Savior.” No wonder John finishes his written account of Jesus with these words, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25). These two men’s souls were BURSTING with a fullness that all men crave and yet never seem to satisfy.
Our hearts were built with God sized dimensions, but we spend a lifetime in the mundane world of finite trivialities. Not so for Peter and John. The great headline of the 1st Century should read: Humble Fishermen Turn World Upside Down. The reporter Doctor Luke quoted some of the early Jewish observers when he wrote, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Challenge: If you are an extrovert, choose the book of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and read through it quickly to get a sense of what it was like to be PETER and record your observations. If you are an introvert, read the book of John quickly and get a sense of what it must have been like to be a young fisherman chosen to be at the side of the Savior of the world, to be a witness of the greatest work of God – the incarnation of Himself to mankind! Record your observations:
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…