December 10, 2004

John 1:6-13 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - John :: Permalink

John 1:6-13
(December 12, 2004 Sermon Notes)

Christmas is controversial. Many people object to talk about “Christmas” or the singing of Christmas carols in public because it emphasizes the birth of Christ. They prefer you to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Such people may be ungodly cranks, but they do recognize that Christ’s birth isn’t a heartwarming event that appeal to everyone. Jesus’ Lordship irritates people who don’t want to submit. Jesus is the Light, but he came into a world of darkness.


The apostle John tells us (literally) “There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.” We usually call him “John the Baptist,” but it might be better to call him “John the Witness.” He was sent by God to give testimony to the Word, the Light, before the court of Israel and the world.

From the beginning, Jesus was on trial. But John is the crown witness who identifies Jesus as the light and calls everyone “so that all through him might believe” (v. 7). And now, John the apostle adds his testimony so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).


John calls Jesus “the true light … coming into the world” (1:9). As Jesus is the true bread from heaven (6:32) and the true vine (15:1), he is also the “true light,” the fulfillment of the Old Covenant light. Compared to him, the whole Old Covenant was darkness.

That Light “gives light to every man.” John doesn’t mean that everyone has some glimmerings of the light. In John, the light is linked to salvation, but John doesn’t mean that everyone is saved. Rather, he is saying that the light shines on everyone.

But not everyone wants to see it. Many love darkness instead (John 3:19-20). The light divides. Jesus came to the world he created, but the world didn’t know him. He came to his own people, Israel, but they didn’t receive him. They chose darkness instead.

That’s still true today. We shouldn’t be surprised that Christmas arouses controversy. The light shines on everyone, but many prefer darkness.


But the darkness cannot overcome the light (1:5). Some did receive the light, and “to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” The Jews thought they were God’s children (8:41), but John says that God’s true children are those who trust in Jesus. Jesus alone grants the privilege of being God’s children.

God’s children aren’t born through human reproduction or by the will of a husband or by any of the desires of fallen humanity (“flesh”). They’re born of God. He begot you by uniting you to Jesus, and he’s calling others to come to Jesus to share the Christmas gift: being God’s child in Christ.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:38 pm | Discuss (0)

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