Reading through the Bible together

Friday, January 9, 2015

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The Gospel of John is my favorite book of the Bible. I am stirred by the way the beloved disciple presents Jesus in His authentic simplicity, and yet in full divinity.  In many ways, an equivalent to the opening words of Genesis, John’s Gospel presents God as speaking, but this time He speaks salvation into existence.  God’s Word takes on human form and walks into history in the person of Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”  What an awesome refrain!  Written towards the end of the 1st century, some 30 years after the writing of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), John addresses several major dangers threatening the church at this time—the denial of Jesus as God being one of them.

Jesus comes to bring light, healing and salvation to whoever is willing to accept His generous gifts. He comes as one who desires nothing but the best for the human race. Ellen White describes that reality by stating: “God desires them to become all that He has made it possible for them to be, and to do their very best with the powers He has given them” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 397).

Over and over again, the stories in this chapter point to the reality of Jesus—while still God—choosing to be a part of the human family for our benefit and our salvation. We can be like John the Baptist and share Him with everyone who will listen.  We can seek Him like the first disciples and proclaim Him as the Messiah.

Let us receive Jesus anew in our hearts today, and by so doing enjoy the power to be His sons and daughters for eternity.

Willie Oliver
Department of Family Ministries
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists