Saturday, 16 March 2013

Jesus is.....

We are teaching through John’s Gospel at church and I was blessed with sharing from John 1 v1-18. Have you ever tried to tell someone about a film or a song that moved you to tears or impacted your world so much but you cannot find the words? This passage is very much in my view one of these things; I have not got the words to fully describe how beautiful and majestic it is.The words poetically written speak about a God who chose to subject Himself to the frailty and fragility that is this human body.
Jesus revealed as the word in Greek this translates as LOGOS or Lego meaning – to ‘lay forth’. Jesus becoming the cornerstone or capstone in 1 Peter 2:6 “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Jesus is the WORD – the foundation we build upon ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus revealed by John as God right from the get go, no meandering around he wants us to know this is who Jesus is.

Jesus is The Light - we read another ‘In the beginning’ in Genesis 1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Today we take light for granted, I had the joy of living in Norfolk with my family for 20 years, now if you want to know what darkness is like you need to take a trip into the countryside. The first time I drove off our estate to Sandringham there was no street lamps and I realised for the first time what true darkness looks like, it’s dark! But then we have Jesus who is ‘The Light and He shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

The Jews had waited for the promise of a Messiah for many years and John tells us that Jesus came to his own people but they didn’t receive him. The promise of this coming King in Isaiah 9 for to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ When we choose to side with Him, he gives us the right to be children of our God and as children we are part of the family of God. We are called to be light to others shining the light of Jesus into their darkness to bring the light of his hope. In the brilliant book by Rachel Held Evans ‘A year of Biblical womanhood’ she speaks about how ‘ in the Jewish tradition there is no word for charity instead they speak of tzedakah which means justice or righteousness. While charity connotes one act of giving justice speaks to right living of aligning oneself with one another that sustains rather than exploits the rest of creation. To living as a family.’ In Micah 6v 8 we read He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’
Justice is not a one off action it is a gift a lifestyle a commitment to the Jewish concept of ‘tikkun olam’, which translates ‘repairing the world’ or ‘healing the world’. So we see that Jesus God incarnate (think ''chille con carne, which translates 'with meat', incarnation translates 'embodied with flesh')  ‘The word became flesh and dwelt’ (Gk - Skayno- to tent or encamp) He pitched His tent right in the middle of this enemy infested world. In Philippians 2 ‘who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man.’ Came to be the repairer the healer of our world. John the Baptist explains 'this is the one I have been talking the one who is beyond because he was before, the one whose sandals I am not even worthy to untie'. How poignant is it when we hear the story of Jesus washing His disciples feet in John 13. Oh what a Saviour who became a Servant, what a great example, what an awesome God we see revealed in Jesus

Jesus is where divinity and humanity collide in one amazing and beautiful explosion of Grace and Truth.When we read John 1 we see that John The Baptist makes it very clear he is not the promised Messiah, the Theologian Buechener speaks of the 2 voices the Divine and the Human resonating throughout this chapter.

"It is good to have both the voices. The sound the second voice makes is a very human sound, and you need a very human sound to get your bearings by in the midst of the first voice’s unearthly music.
It is also good to have the interruptions. There should be interruptions in sermons too: the sound of a baby crying, someone sneezing, another coughing—something to remind us of just what this flesh is that the Word became, the Word that was with God, that was God.
What it smells and sounds and tastes like, this flesh the Word buckled on like battle dress.
Glory and humanity. Word and flesh. The New Testament itself is written that way: the risen Christ coming back at dawn to the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus with the mystery of life and death upon him, standing there on the beach saying, “Have you any fish?”
Have you any fish, the risen Christ wants to know? Precisely. The Christ and the chowder. The Messiah and the mackerel. The Word and the flesh. The first voice and the second voice. It is what the great text is all about, of course, this mystery, this tension and scandal; and the text itself, with it’s antiphony of voices, is its own illustration.
Somebody has to do the vacuuming. Somebody has to keep the accounts and put out the cat. And we are grateful for these things to the second voice which is also of course our own voice, puny and inexhaustible It is a human voice.
It is the only voice the universe has for speaking of itself and to itself. It is a voice with its own message, its own mystery, and it is important to be told that it was not the Baptist, it was Jesus—not that one standing over there bony and strident in the Jordan, but this one with the strange north country accent, full of grace and truth.
Behold, the Baptist said, that is the Lamb of God. Not this one but that one. We need to know."

This divinity, this mystery and the humanity shout loudly through these verses. Our search for mystery should never be at the expense of the mundane and ordinary clearly we see from this passage that the divine and human meld together beautifully.
After all ‘everything is spiritual’.

 And then we have this Jesus who is the giver of grace and more grace ‘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.

We have received Grace in place of Grace

The law was given through Moses...

BUT grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see

Grace Amazing Grace freely given to everyone of us, its freely given by our Saviour who came to pitch his tent with us.

He knows you and your journey. He knows your pain and your fears. He knows your joys and your hopes.

He knows you

Grace speaks of safety, protection, room, we are no longer deserted or alone. He has pitched his tent right in your neighbourhood. He comes to bring light into your darkest places and chase away all your fears of tomorrow.

Jesus is …… GOD WITH US