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Have you ever explained a new idea to someone else?
How did you do it?
Each of the four Gospels have a core message that is the same - to tell the story of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. And each of them have something unique - a style or approach that makes them stand alone. Mark wants his hearers to see that Jesus was the one the prophets were talking about. Matthew shows that Jesus is the answer to Israel’s search for a Messiah. Luke has done detailed research and shows who Jesus is goes all the way back to Adam. But John stands alone.
John doesn’t just suggest that Jesus is the answer to the prophets predictions, Israel's hopes or Adam’s fall - to John, Jesus is God in the flesh. John starts with a cosmic picture of Jesus as the Word. The Word that was at the beginning with God and was God - Jesus is the Creator Himself. And John finishes his Gospel by commenting about the innumerable deeds of Jesus, because He has been around forever.
But, Jesus didn’t go around patting himself on the back and telling everyone He was God. He walked a finely timed journey from the Jordon to Jerusalem. Because sometimes Jesus divine time line clashed with the wishes of mankind. And it is those times in His ministry that often make us uncomfortable. John is bold in bringing them out and showing them for what they were - odd and confusing - for Jesus’ family and friends.
When Jesus’ divine schedule clashed with human requests He would say things like: “My time has not yet fully come.” And then, He would do the exact thing He was requested to do.
His mother asks him to turn water to wine. “Woman! My hour has not yet come.” That’s his mother! For any human son to address his mother as “woman” would be rude. And yet, in effect, Jesus says “Human! Not yet!” showing His divine distinction. Then he does what she asks - humbling divinity to serve humanity.
In the story before today’s passage, Jesus’ brothers tell Him to go to Jerusalem and show off. “Do some miracles so people know you’re real!” He tells them He’s not going to the festival… yet. So, they go without Him. A few days later, He pops up at the festival and starts teaching in the temple with such Biblical knowledge that the scholars are stumped: “We know this guy didn’t study with a Rabbi, where did He learn all this stuff?”
Let the reader understand! Where do you think Jesus - the Word - learned the Word of God? These poor leaders didn’t have a clue. So Jesus explained to them that He got His understanding from the one who sent Him - God.
You can imagine how that went over. The crowds thought Jesus had a demon.
John wants you to believe in Jesus - not as “good man Jesus” but as “God-Man Jesus” - because John saw people slipping into less-than views of Jesus. And so, he started at the beginning - Jesus is God. He made it all. He understands it all. He is all!
Which is more important? Why?
The Review and Herald, February 7, 1888