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Comments on John 1:4,5

From John: The book about Life, by Matthew R. Freije

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.

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While Jesus was on earth, he lived as a man. He was still God, but did not use His supernatural power. Instead he living in total dependence on the Father:

John 4:34  "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

John 5:19  "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:30  "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 6:38  "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 14:10  "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

John 15:15 …"for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness

Luke 5:17 One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.

Here’s what the Apostle Paul and the writer of the book of Hebrews said about Jesus’ life on earth:

Phil 2:6-8 Although He [Jesus] existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [The words in brackets were added for clarity.]

Heb 5:7,8 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus did miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwelled in Him. He had perfect faith, without sin, so the Spirit was in no way hindered from controlling Him and shining through Him.

Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know

Acts10:38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus provided the perfect example of how the Christian is supposed to live in total dependence on God, allowing the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, words, and actions. But a significant difference between Jesus' life and that of the Christian is that Jesus did not need a Savior because He was God—He had just set aside His power while on earth. And He had no sin. By contrast, we are not God. We were born in sin. We need a Savior. If Jesus had not come to earth, died for us, risen from the dead, and ascended to heaven, we would not be able to live in fellowship with God and experience the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian can have life--the Spirit of God--because of Jesus Christ. But Christ is the Life, and has the power and authority to give Life to those who trust in Him:

1 John 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--

John 5:26 "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself

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

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.

John 5:21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.

1 John 5:11,12 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Spirit of God shined through Jesus onto the people around Him. Today Christ still provides light for the human race—in two ways: (1) Christ exposes what is in the dark--man's rebellion against God, imperfect thoughts, words and deeds, and all that's evil. (2) Christ brings understanding (illumination) to everything past, present and future. Understanding Jesus Christ and His purpose for coming to earth sheds light on world history and present world circumstances. Christ also sheds light on each individual; He is the answer to the big questions in life: Why am I here on earth?, Where will I go when I die?, How can I be fulfilled and content?, and What truths are absolute and unshakable?. Christ reveals who man is relative to God, sheds light on man's darkness, and brings sense to everything. Christ also reveals that God exists, and shows us what God is like.

Jesus Himself declared that He 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."

The darkness did not comprehend it. This statement could mean that people did not understand who Jesus was. It could also mean that people who did not--or have not--placed their trust in Jesus cannot understand His light. The word comprehend is translated from the Greek word katalambanw, which means to lay hold of, seize, to take eagerly, possess. Some Bible scholars believe that the word is better translated overcome, giving verse 5 the meaning that the darkness of evil and the world cannot conquer the light of Christ—indeed, Jesus Christ has won victory over evil and death. All three interpretations are okay, because other verses in the Bible support each of them. For further discussion of the light of Christ versus the darkness, see John 1:9-11 and 3:19,20.

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