Jesus Moves Into the Neighborhood

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent.

Read It:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. [8] He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

[9] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. [11] He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. [12] But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, [13] who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

[14] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (ESV)

John starts his gospel differently than the others. He doesn’t start with Jesus’ life on earth, he zooms out to the very beginning. Echoing Genesis 1:1, John writes, “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus doesn’t have a beginning. He is fully God, the second person in the Trinity, eternally equal with God the Father and God the Spirit. But unlike the Father, the Son came to earth, took on flesh, and entered our world. In the Message, Eugene Peterson says, “He moved into the neighborhood.”

In this opening passage, John gives us the cosmic picture of who Jesus is: eternal, glorious, light, creator, human. He was the agent of creation and by the end of the gospel, we learn that he is the agent of salvation. That means he created and recreates. The light that he brings into the world ensures that we can be recreated to look like him. 

This passage also introduces one of the theme verses in John. Verse 12 says, “ But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” That’s the promise of the gospel and the wonderful truth revealed through Jesus. As we start this gospel together take a minute to meditate on this theme - every person that comes to Jesus can become a child of God.

Pray It:
God, thank you that through Jesus I can be your child. Thank you for the great family reunion that started at Jesus' resurrection and will continue until you gather all of your children to be with you forever. Help me to look to you as a Father. Help me to see Jesus in all of his glory and all of his humanity. Amen. 

Share It:
What is it like to be in God’s family? What are the family values? 
Why does John start at the very beginning? What do you learn about Jesus in these verses?
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