Gearing Up Through the Eyes of an Apostle

November 25, 2006

Introduction:
1.  Today begins a new series – a series of looking at Christmas through the eyes of those closest to the event or those most directly connected to the event
- A word we could use to set the tone for this study could: Perspective
= the idea of looking at a situation through the eyes of another person
Examples:  Surgery – for the doctor doing the surgery, it’s more of a ‘routine’ from his perspective – in fact, for all of us, all surgeries are routine unless it’s being done on YOU!!
-  recently, I went to Home Hospital to visit one of our members having surgery – I saw Jerry Jeffson, who is a surgeon and a member of FBC, and I asked him if he was doing the surgery.
> he opened his notebook and said, ‘No, he’s not on my schedule” (you have to appreciate a guy whose job is to perform surgeries on people – while it may seem strange to us, it’s routine to them– yet, Jerry is also very compassionate doctor
-  when Caleb cut his foot – Jerry sewed it up (numbed the foot, got the needle and thread…) – I couldn’t watch it without getting . . . well, you know!
Point: I was amazed at his perspective of the situation – and I learned something!
. . . Jerry needs to keep doing his job, and I’ll keep doing mine!
Example: Giving birth to a child – from a guy’s perspective … well, I’m not even going there!
Example: Giving your child proper discipline (whether that is a spanking or other consequences) – the perspective is different for the parent and the child
Point: When you look at something from someone else’s perspective, you seen things in a different light – you gain a greater appreciation or understanding of how THEY view the situation
 When you’ve had a loved one die, you understand better when it happens to someone else
 When you can’t give birth to a child, you understand the thoughts of another person in the same situation
 When you look at life through the eyes of a couple who has a special needs child, your perspective changes when you walk in their shoes for ONE day!
Example: Picture of a pork barbeque sandwich . . . delicious to some, but death to others
Point:  Perspective has a lot to do with how we view life and how we RESPOND to situations
– THAT’s why often times it’s good to get another person’s perspective on a situation . . . and then make your decision or determine how you’re going to respond.
2.  With those thoughts in mind, please open your Bible to John 1 – page ___ (bibles under the chair in front of you, or _____ of the Chinese bible)
3.  Our emphasis this year has been on “Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness” is reaching out to people, building bridges in our relationships with people, getting out of our comfort zones and ‘connecting’ with others,
. . . and ‘Gearing Up’ for next year as the Community Center opens and the Lord gives us numerous opportunities to minister to the people in this community!
• Our primary goal:  To glorify God by being prepared to meet the needs of people in our community by showing them the love of Christ as we reach out to others! 
> part of that is being ready to meet people where they are (that’s what our emphasis on discipleship is all about) and helping them take the NEXT step of growth
4.  Throughout this year, we’ tried to keep the following question in front of all of us!
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you, for your family, for your ABF, for our church family?
[serving, leadership, evangelism, hospitality to others, prayer life, study of the Word, etc.]
5.  We’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on one of the most important areas in our Christian life . . . and in the life of our church: Stewardship of our Resources – specifically, our treasure (how we use the money God has entrusted to us!)
- that’s important because where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is
- evidently, there are some people around here whose heart is rooted deeply in advancing the kingdom of Christ in Lafayette and around the world because your giving reveals that!
6.  But during our time of worship the next few weeks we want to look at one of the most significant events in all the scripture . . . the BIRTH of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
- events like Creation, the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection are incredibly significant events for all mankind . . . but especially to believers
* The title of our study today is:  Christmas Through the Eyes of an Apostle – John 1:1-14
- specifically, the Apostle John (read John 1:1-14)


I.  We Can Recognize the Big Picture of the Birth of Christ


- before we look at the specific descriptions of Christ to which John referred, we need to think about the author and his perspective:
A.  From one of Jesus’ closest companions: John
- some here today may be asking, “Who is John?” – here are a few details:
• Follower of Christ (1 of 12 Disciples that answered the call of Christ to “follow Me” – he was an Apostle because he saw the resurrected Christ!) – he was committed to serving the Lord and following Him no matter the cost
• Saw Jesus perform the miracles (John is one the most attacked section of the NT – because if Jesus didn’t perform the miracles, then He’s not God, and if He’s not God then we can live our lives however we want, and we don’t have to change!)
• Part of the ‘inner circle’ (Peter, James, John)
e.g. Mount of Transfiguration – it was those 3 that Jesus asked to join Him for that special event in His life – John was there
• “The Beloved Apostle” . . .
• “The disciple whom Jesus loved” (it’s not that Jesus loved John MORE than the others, it simply recognizes a special relationship with John)
• Put his head on Christ’s chest during the Last Supper
> Yet still denied Christ – “they all forsook Him and fled”
• Martyr – history records that John died on the island of Patmos as he was boiled in oil
Point: His perspective, under divine inspiration, is a very important one for us to consider.
- it’s also important for us to see that . . 
B.  John’s perspective is different than the other Gospels
- each Gospel is more of a snapshot of the life of our Lord – because even John said that no complete biography could ever be written about ALL the things that Jesus did:
 John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
- Each of the Gospels is different in this way:
Author Audience Purpose
Matthew Jews King
Mark Romans Servant
Luke Greeks Son of Man
John  World Son of God
- Mark and John do not give the specific details about the birth of Christ (e.g. the wise men, Mary & Joseph in the manger, the shepherds, the angels, etc.)
- instead, John cuts right to the heart of the public ministry of Christ – focusing more on what the Babe in the manger grew up to be like – what He DID, what He ACCOMPLISHED!
- we CAN and SHOULD appreciate that different perspective during this time of Christmas
“Whereas the first three Gospels major on describing the events in the life of Christ, John emphasized the meaning of these events.” – Wiersbe, Bible Expository Commentary, John 1
- that is a major mistake in the life of many people – they focus ONLY on the events in the life of Christ instead of seeking to understand the MEANING of those events
e.g. some people only see Jesus in the manger – as a babe – but neglect to focus on the meaning of that special event
e.g. some people only see Jesus on the cross – but neglect the power of the resurrection
e.g. some people only see Jesus as gracious but neglect to see His holiness – or right the opposite – some only see His holiness but never recognize His GRACE!
Point: That’s why it’s important for us to get John’s view of Jesus and His life


II.  We Can Appreciate the Different Perspective on the Babe that Was in the Manger


* READ John 1:1-3 again!
A.  Remember, the Babe in the manger was Living and Eternal Word of God.
Word = (Greek word, logos) to arrange in order
“Much of our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is God’s “Word” to reveal His heart and mind to us.” – Wiersbe
- Jesus is God in detailed order – in fact Philip, one of the other disciples, struggled with this concept and asked Jesus to show him the Father:
 John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
“. . . Words are composed of letters and Jesus Christ is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:11), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet!” – Wiersbe
- we thank God for the written Word, but Jesus was the Living Word – He is eternal – i.e. He has no beginning because He has always existed

- that’s why John’s statement about Christ is so significant:  And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us . . .”
- this was actually a fulfillment of what Isaiah would write concerning the coming Savior:
 Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
- while John’s statement is a short version, it’s highly significant and IMPORTANT!
B.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the source of Life.
- it’s in this passage that John refers to Christ as being the Co-Creator of the universe
- make reference to Gen. 1:1 “In the beginning, God. . . “ (plural form of Elohim  – a reference to the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit)
- when God breathed into man the breath of life, Jesus was there!
- and as a result of man’s sin (Gen. 3 – especially 3:15 – the seed of the woman was sent to bruise the head of the serpent!
- Jesus would later validate this perspective:
 John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”
Point: That Babe in the manger is the Living Word, He is the Life, and we also need to . . .
C.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the Light of the World.
Q:  What does light do?  -- it reveals, it casts out darkness
- Jesus would later refer to Himself as “the Light of world”
 John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
- then shortly after that statement, John would record Jesus’ words:
 John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
- the Light of the world came to reveal the darkness of man’s heart – but notice the phrase ‘while I am in the world’ . . .
- now that Jesus has ascended to heave, that mission has been place on our shoulders to be the salt of the earth and the light of world
 Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
- while we rejoice in His coming, we need to also rejoice in the responsibility He has given us to represent Him
** Example: Christmas for Everyone, Living Nativity, Christmas Musical, time w/family!
D.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the Lamb of God.
- this is the whole purpose as to WHY Jesus came in the first place
- He was born to die
- note John’s reference to ‘grace and truth’ – He is the way, the truth, and the life – but He was/is full of grace
- grace allowed Him to come to fulfill the plan of redemption
* Song: It Was My Sin . . . that nailed Him to the tree!
>  but that’s why He came
 John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Note: The mention of rejection – v. 11 “He came unto his own . . .
Q:  Where do you stand in your relationship with Christ? Your service for Him? Your commitment to faithfulness and worship?


III.  We Should Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.


 John 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
A.  For eternal life
-it was John who recorded one of the most known verses in all the bible:
 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
- it was John who recorded the words of Jesus in John 14:6
 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
[Explain the Gospel – make an appeal to those who may not know the Lord]
Note: It would be great to celebrate the Christmas season for the 1st time knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior!
B.  For motivation for faithful service
- believer, do you REALLY believe that Jesus is Who He said He was? //
- do you really believe that the Babe in the manger is God clothed in human flesh? //
- do you really believe that you are going to stand before the King of Kings and give an account of your life?
- if the answer is yes, then what area in your life do you need to ‘GEAR UP’ in order to give a good account when you stand before Him:
 Serving
 Leadership
 Outreach to others
 Hospitality
 Prayer
 Bible study
 Scripture Memory
 Communication / solving problems – instead of anger, bitterness, and pride!

Conclusion:
- Remember John’s perspective:
 the Babe in the manger grew up and lived a life of holiness
 …did what His Father wanted Him to do
 …died for our sins –
 …rose again on the 3rd day –
 …and ascended back to heaven and is coming again!
-Yes, at one point, He was a baby, a child . . . but
 Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
 Philippians 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Christmas Through the Eyes of an Apostle
John 1:1-14

Introduction:

Perspective = the idea of looking at a situation through the eyes of another person
Examples: 


Point:  Perspective has a lot to do with how we view life and how we RESPOND to situations!
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you, for your family, for your ABF, for our church family?


I.  We Can Recognize the Big Picture of the Birth of Christ
A.  From one of Jesus’ ___________ ________________: John
• Follower of Christ
• Saw Jesus perform the miracles
• Part of the ‘inner circle’ (Peter, James, John)
•  “The Beloved Apostle” . . .
• “The disciple whom Jesus loved”
• Put his head on Christ’s chest during the Last Supper
• Martyr
B.  John’s perspective is ________________ than the other Gospels

Author Audience Purpose
Matthew Jews King
Mark Romans Servant
Luke Greeks Son of Man
John  World Son of God

“Whereas the first three Gospels major on describing the events in the life of Christ, John emphasized the meaning of these events.” – Wiersbe

II.  We Can Appreciate the Different Perspective on the Babe that Was in the Manger
A.  Remember, the Babe in the manger was ____________ and _________ ________ of God
Word = to arrange in order
“Much of our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is God’s “Word” to reveal His heart and mind to us.” – Wiersbe
“. . . Words are composed of letters and Jesus Christ is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:11), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet!” – Wiersbe

B.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the source of ________

C.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the Light of the World
** Examples:


D.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the ___________ of God


III.  We Should Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
 John 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
A.  For _________ __________


B.  For _______________ for faithful service

 


Conclusion:

Christmas Through the Eyes of an Apostle
John 1:1-14

Introduction:

Perspective = the idea of looking at a situation through the eyes of another person
Examples: 


Point:  Perspective has a lot to do with how we view life and how we RESPOND to situations!
Q:  What is the NEXT step of growth for you, for your family, for your ABF, for our church family?


I.  We Can Recognize the Big Picture of the Birth of Christ
A.  From one of Jesus’ ___________ ________________: John
• Follower of Christ
• Saw Jesus perform the miracles
• Part of the ‘inner circle’ (Peter, James, John)
•  “The Beloved Apostle” . . .
• “The disciple whom Jesus loved”
• Put his head on Christ’s chest during the Last Supper
• Martyr
B.  John’s perspective is ________________ than the other Gospels
 John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.

Author Audience Purpose
Matthew Jews King
Mark Romans Servant
Luke Greeks Son of Man
John  World Son of God

“Whereas the first three Gospels major on describing the events in the life of Christ, John emphasized the meaning of these events.” – Wiersbe

II.  We Can Appreciate the Different Perspective on the Babe that Was in the Manger
A.  Remember, the Babe in the manger was ____________ and _________ ________ of God
Word = to arrange in order
“Much of our words reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is God’s “Word” to reveal His heart and mind to us.” – Wiersbe
 John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
“. . . Words are composed of letters and Jesus Christ is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:11), the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet!” – Wiersbe

 Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
B.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the source of ________
 John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”
C.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the Light of the World
 John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
 John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
 Matthew 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
** Examples:

D.  Remember, the Babe in the manger is the ___________ of God
 John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
III.  We Should Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
 John 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
A.  For eternal life
 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
B.  For motivation for faithful service
 Serving
 Leadership
 Outreach to others
 Hospitality
 Prayer
 Bible study
 Scripture Memory
 Communication / solving problems – instead of anger, bitterness, and pride!
Conclusion:
 Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
 Philippians 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.