Worship VII Day 10 King Of Kings: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) Why did John use the phrase “the Word” when writing his gospel? (verses 1-5)

2) Why bring up John the Baptist in this gospel? (verses 6-8)

3) Does John use the term “The Word” in other places besides his Gospel?

John 1:1-8

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

Original Intent

1) Why did John use the phrase “the Word” when writing his gospel? (verses 1-5)
The Gospel of John was the final Gospel written and it has a completely different flavor. The first three Gospels tell us “what Jesus did”; the Gospel of John tells us “Who Jesus is”. (Guzik) John stated his purpose in writing the Gospel towards the end of his book, “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) When you read through the Gospel of John, you will likely come to believe that Jesus, who was and is and is to come, is the King of Kings. There is significance in using “the Word” in this gospel.  John lived and wrote his gospel in Ephesus. He needed an expression that both Jew and Greek would understand and connect to God. The Jews were familiar with the phrase “The Word of the Lord”. These words were often used in place of God Jehovah. There was such a high respect for the name of the Lord that many would not even say His Name aloud or write it; therefore, they replaced His Name with “The Word of the Lord”.  Throughout the Old Testament the phrase was used over 320 times and commonly understood as referring to Yahweh. (Barclay) But how could he present God to the Greeks? Amazingly, God had already prepared a way. In Greek thought, the idea of “the word” began way back about 560 B.C., and, strangely enough, originated in Ephesus where the Fourth Gospel was written. The word was used and developed by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus. He believed “…that which controlled the pattern was the Logos, the word, the reason of God. To Heraclitus, the Logos was the principle of order under which the universe continued to exist”. (Barclay) This concept fascinated the Greeks, especially the Stoics who believed, “All things are controlled by the Logos of God. The Logos is the power which puts sense into the world, the power which makes the world an order instead of a chaos, the power which sets the world going and keeps it going in its perfect order”. (Barclay) This is yet another example of how “Jesus came in the fullness of time.” (Galatians 4:4) John easily wrote with complete understanding for both people groups. “He came to tell them that men need no longer guess and grope; all they needed was to look at Jesus and see the Mind of God”. (Barclay)

2) Why bring up John the Baptist in this gospel? (verses 6-8)
John the Baptist is mentioned here not only for historical reasons, but also as a witness to the Light, The Word of the Lord. A witness is a profoundly serious thing in proving fact both in ancient times as well as today. John the Baptist was a persuasive witness for his God-given message; Jesus was, and is, the Son of God. John “the Baptist” received his nickname for baptizing people with water as the forerunner of Jesus, the Son of God, who had the power to baptize with the fire of the Holy Spirit Himself. John was very well received among the people; he had many followers and was a significant witness to Jesus. The writer of this gospel wanted to show that “there are those like John the Baptist who have committed themselves by their witness to Christ.” (Morris)

3) Does John use the term “The Word” in other places besides his Gospel?
John uses “The Word” again in the book of Revelation. At the end of his life, John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos. It was there he received a vision from God. John’s description of this vision is recorded in Revelation. In chapter 19, we find his depiction of Jesus’ Second Coming. Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:11-20) David Guzik explains that in Bible times, most soldiers were foot soldiers. To own “a horse spoke of honor, of power, and of speed. The color of the horse depicted victory.” The title, “Faithful and True”, shows Jesus as the Keeper of Promises, including His promise to judge the nations. Jesus will arrive in glory and sit for the final judgment of man. The many crowns on his head indicate He is the ultimate in power and authority. It is a visible manifestation of what we mean when we say Kings of Kings, an expression of unlimited authority. (Guzik) As King of Kings, he is not just leveling all world governments; but rather, He will totally displace all this world’s sovereigns and governments, taking all dominion and authority out of their hands and putting it in the hands of Christ, as the true and only King of the world.” (Seiss) There’s so much more to unpack here, but in just these few sentences we can discern that when John spoke of “The Word”, he was speaking of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who will one day return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to set up His eternal Kingdom. And every knee shall bow to worship Him as Lord. (Philippians 2:10)

Everyday Application

1) Why did John use the phrase “the Word” when writing his gospel? (verses 1-5)
The Word of the Lord is still powerful and alive today. It brings men to God all on its own. This happened in the Old Testament when Josiah found the scrolls in the temple. The scrolls of the Law had been lost for many years and God’s people had turned to their ways, until King Josiah ordered renovations to the temple. Lo and behold, the scrolls were found and read to the king, who fell to his knees and tore his clothes because of their sin. (2 Kings 22) The book of John is used, even today, to evangelize those of Jewish faith. They can easily make the connection of “The Word” as Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah. (Jews For Jesus) The Gideons International base their ministry on this reality. They believe if they can just get the Word into the hands of unbelievers, God’s Word (through the power of the Holy Spirit) will do the rest. Therefore, they pass out Bibles in schools, colleges, and the military. They place them in hotel rooms and have received myriads of testimonies from people who were in crisis and found a Bible in their hotel room. These people discovered hope and salvation because, through The Word, the Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts and changed their lives. Who do you know who needs life change? Maybe even yourself? Commit to reading through the gospel of John on your own or with a friend, praying for God to make Himself known as the Word made flesh!

2) Why bring up John the Baptist in this gospel? (verses 6-8)
Just like John the Baptist, we, too, are to be a witness to the Light. (verses 4-5) Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount we “are the light of the world.” He tells us we are to shine our light so others see Jesus in us; drawing all people to Him. We must be concerned not only about receiving the Light, but also about bringing others to the Light. If we are not shining that light, we are essentially worthless for His Kingdom. Jesus’ sermon on the mount is our instruction book on how to be light-bearers. We can certainly see how the world has fallen deep into darkness, desperate for Light they don’t realize they need. This is why it is imperative for us to shine our lights before them. We must not hide the Light or keep it to ourselves. The life marked by the Beatitudes is not to be lived in isolation. We often assume these inner qualities that mirror God’s can only be developed or displayed in isolation from the world, but Jesus wants us to live them out before the world. The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon said, “Christ never contemplated the production of secret Christians, – Christians whose virtues would never be displayed, – pilgrims who would travel to heaven by night, and never be seen by their fellow-pilgrims or anyone else” (Enduring Word) Are you shining your light before men? Ask the Lord to bring conviction and encouragement in this area of brilliant reflection of the One True Light.

3) Does John use the term “The Word” in other places besides his Gospel?
This universal homage to The Kings of Kings does not indicate a universal salvation, but rather an enforced homage. Only those who have repented and claimed Jesus as Lord before His return will be saved. As Paul implores his readers, “See! Now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2) One day, however, even those who have rejected Christ will be forced to kneel and confess that He is Lord. There will be no other option. The Apostle Paul continues to write to the Christians in Philippi… “Therefore, my dear friends, (…) work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked world and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, by holding firm to the Word of Life.(Philippians 2:12-16) God and His Holy Spirit work within us to do good works that reflect His character, these works make us “shine as lights” as He created believers to do. As we live and serve our Lord here on Earth, we are in awe of God, wanting to bring glory to Him in everything we do. We strive to live our lives as a reflection of Christ to glorify Him. We thank Him continually for all He did for us and praise Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My Jesus, You came in humility to redeem me. You did it all for me. I worship You as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Help me to shine as a light, reflecting Your image, and drawing others to You. I give You my highest praise and my heartfelt worship. Amen.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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