But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.John 20:31
A Baby the world would not forget
Once upon a time a simple man and his wife were forced to travel one hundred miles to be taxed and counted in the census of the man’s hometown. His young wife was carrying a child that was not his, but he had accepted this baby and vowed to care for him as his own. For many days they endured their journey, him on foot and her riding a humble donkey. As the man’s birthplace came into view, his young wife went into labor. Frantic, he entered the city and searched for a place for them to stay, but no one had a vacancy. Finally, an innkeeper took pity on them and offered them the use of his stable. Grateful for a place to rest at last, the young man lifted his wife off the donkey, laid her on a bed of straw, and coached her through the birth of her firstborn son. Before long, the hands of a carpenter received a newborn child, his son by adoption.
As we look back on this event with our modern-day perspective, we may consider it a miracle that both mother and child survived a birth in such a filthy environment, with only a young carpenter to attend to them and naught but rags to cover the infant. But the greater miracle is that we know the story of this baby at all. Think about it. How many babies are born every day around the world—in hospitals, in homes, in cars on the way to the hospital, in tents, in virtually every conceivable place and fashion—and they do not receive the attention this one did. Even if they do, the fame of such babies seldom outlives them. And yet this baby was born over two thousand years ago, and we have heard his story and still celebrate his birth! Well, there are many who have not heard, but that any of us know of him at all is indeed a miracle.
A Man the world would not receive
If you have heard His story, then you know the Baby of whom I write is Jesus Christ. You know that Mary was not unfaithful to her betrothed Joseph, but was chosen by God to carry His Son, conceived miraculously by the Holy Ghost. You know that He is God, but He humbled Himself to be born as a man so that He could identify with us and redeem us by His sinless life, His death on the cross, His resurrection three days later, and His ministry of intercession for us from that day to now. You know that during the three years in which He preached and performed miracles, showing His deity to the world, many believed on Him, but many more rejected Him. They could not see past His humanity to view Him as God and Savior, especially those who had grown up with Him. You also know that the same is true today. Many continue to place their faith in Jesus, but many more continue to reject Him. These may say that He was a good man, but not God; or they may go so far as to assert that He was an imposter and a deceiver. Both views are wrong.
A Message the world would not believe
Jesus came into the world to preach a message of life and light. But men love darkness rather than light, because their works are evil. Yet without light one cannot have life. The people of Jesus’ day constantly asked Him for a sign to prove that He is God. Jesus told them to search the Scriptures, affirming that the Old Testament speaks of Him. “If you will not believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (See John 5:46-47.)
The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell the story of Jesus’ earthly ministry from the perspective of four of the men who lived and walked with Him every day. We can learn much about Jesus by studying the Gospels.
Over the next few months, I invite you to join me in the study of the Gospel of John. In this study, we will see that Jesus is God. He is not just a good man, and He certainly was no deceiver—Jesus is God. He did not come into existence at birth, but always was and always shall be. We will see evidence of this truth in the book of John, as well as in cross references throughout the Scripture.
The deity of Christ has been refuted through the centuries by the influence of the devil upon the minds of gullible men and women. I’ve seen the lies that Satan would have you to believe, and I am grieved. This topic has been burning on my mind for months, and I am finally ready to share my thoughts with you. I cannot convince you of the truth, but I can expose you to it. What you do with it is up to you. If you already believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior, then join me as together we strengthen our faith in Christ. And if you do not believe, then stick with me and see what the Word of God has to say about the Son of God, praying every day that God will open your eyes to the truth.
This week’s reading
For the past few weeks I’ve been reading the book of John. The first time, I read the entire book all the way through, and since then I’ve focused on a smaller segment. Whenever possible, I read the verses aloud, for it further helps to put me in the narrative, so that I can hear the hubbub of the streets, smell the food of the feasts, taste the wine made from water, feel the rain on my face in the storm, and see the crowds as they gather around Jesus to hear His lessons and witness His miracles.
Friend, will you join me in reading through the book of John? There are 21 chapters, and we will cover them one at a time. In preparation for each week’s study, I challenge you to read through that week’s chapter at least once each day. If you do not own a Bible, you may read the chapters online, or install a Bible app on your phone; there are plenty of free ones from which to choose. It takes about 5 minutes to read a single chapter. Surely you can find 5 minutes a day to read the Word of God. And as you do, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and show you wondrous truths from His Word. In time you will become quite familiar with the events recorded here, and the Word will come alive to you. For a bigger challenge, try reading chapters 1-7 every day. This takes only 30 minutes. Start today with Chapter 1, and I’ll see you next week for the study.
This week’s memory verse
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1
Photo taken at Princess Beach in Destin, Florida, 2019