Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 1:18-19
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 1:18
v18 (continued): So, if “no one, up to this time, has ever seen God,” then whom did all these people see? And the answer must be that they were encountering the pre-incarnate Son, that is, the spirit of Jesus before He became a man. This truth helps us understand such statements by Jesus as this: “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw [it] and was glad.’ So the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am’” (Jn 8:56-58).

Monday: John 1:18
v18 (continued): Those who heard Jesus say such things fully understood that He was claiming pre-existence and divinity. On, at least, two occasions they reacted by picking up stones to stone Him for blasphemy (Jn 8:59; 10:31-33). They said He should be executed “because You, being a man, make yourself out [to be] God” (Jn 10:33). If Jesus was not God’s divine Son who came to earth, then, in all honesty, He would have had to have been psychotic to make such statements about Himself. He claims for Himself prerogatives that belong only to God. For example: John 1:51; 5:21-23, 25-29; 6:35, 40, 51; 7:37-38; 8:12, 24; 9:5; 10:18; 11:25-26; 12:32; 14:6; 15:5; 16:14, 28; 17:5, 24; 20:28-29. Either His claims to divinity are true, or He’s crazy. Nor is He intentionally deceiving people. He obviously believes what He is saying.

Tuesday: John 1:18
v18 (continued): John also described Jesus as being “in the bosom of the Father.” The Greek word (kolpos), which is translated here as “bosom,” often refers to the place where a robe folds across a person’s chest (Ex 4:6-7) and therefore symbolizes that place which is close to a person’s heart. So to describe Jesus as being “in the bosom of the Father” means that prior to coming to earth He was in the Father’s immediate presence, and since John uses a verb tense which implies an ongoing condition, this statement must mean that Jesus returned to that same place and is there now. Even during His ministry on earth we observe that Jesus maintained unbroken fellowship with the Father, except for those few hours on the cross when the judgment for our sin fell upon Him (Mt 27:45-46).

Wednesday: John 1:18
v18 (continued): All revelations of God, prior to the incarnation of Jesus, came by means of observing nature, dreams and visions, personal visitations by an angel or the Lord Himself, or the gentle “voice” of the Holy Spirit. Even where the knowledge about God, which we gain by these ways, was accurate, it was still, by its very nature, limited. They could only provide glimpses of God. Yet when the divine Son came to earth as a man, the Father completely revealed His heart and character to us. No longer was the human race left with only a partial understanding of God. Through Jesus we’re finally allowed to see God in a way that enables us to understand Him. Jesus “explained” Him. The word which is translated as “explained” (exhegeomai) is used in the New Testament when someone is explaining or reporting something they saw.

Thursday: John 1:18
v18 (continued): In Luke 24:35 two disciples report seeing Jesus on the road to Emmaus. In Acts 10:8 Cornelius reports what an angel told him about seeking for a man named Peter in Joppa. In Acts 15:12 Barnabas and Paul report to the Jerusalem Council what God did among the Gentiles. At the same meeting James reminded everyone of the things Peter had reported about the first time he preached to the Gentiles (Ac 15:14). And in Acts 21:19 Paul reported to James and the elders in Jerusalem “one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles.” By choosing this word John pictures Jesus as someone who left heaven and came to earth to report to us about the Father He has seen face to face (Jn 6:46; 8:14, 42; 13:3; 16:28).

Friday: John 1:19
v19: John the Baptist’s testimony concerning Jesus was very important to the apostle John. He had been one of the prophet’s disciples until the day he pointed to Jesus and announced that He was the One for whom they had all been waiting. He does not re-tell the account of Jesus’ baptism because that is not the purpose of this passage. The purpose of the passage is to let us hear the words John the Baptist spoke about Jesus and to tell us what John saw when he baptized Him. Apparently his account begins on the day before Jesus returned to the Jordan River, after He spent 40 days in the Judean wilderness (Mt 3:13-4:11). When Jesus first came to John to be baptized, John did not recognize that He was the Messiah. The two men were cousins, and their mothers were very close (Lk 1:36, 60), so they must have known each other to some degree. John knew Jesus to be a good man, in fact a better man than he (Mt 3:13-15), but he did not discover that He was the promised Messiah until he was in the very act of baptizing Him. When Jesus came up out of the water John saw the Holy Spirit descend from heaven and remain on Jesus and heard a voice say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Mt 3:16-17).

Saturday: John 1:19
v19 (continued): God had already instructed John on what to watch for. He had told him that He would bring the Messiah to him and would give him a sign to confirm who it was. He said, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit” (Jn 1:33). And that’s exactly what happened, and then afterward Jesus had been led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil (Mt 4:1-11). But at the end of those 40 days it appears He came back to talk with John before returning north to the region called “Galilee” (Mt 4:12; Mk 11:14; Lk 4:14). And it’s on the day before He arrived back at the Jordan that John picks up his account. On that day religious leaders had come down from Jerusalem to interview John. They wanted to determine why God was using him so powerfully. Was he merely a zealous man, or was he actually the arrival of one of the prophetic figures promised in the Scriptures? 

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