Image Credits: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Text: Mark 1:1a; Luke 1:1-4; John 1:1-18
The story of Jesus is Good News for all people – for all races, ages, nations.
He is the Messiah ( Mashiach in Hebrew) – God’s Anointed One – Christos (Greek) – The Chosen One. The Son of God. (see Mark 1:1a). This was a momentous declaration from John Mark, the writer of the Gospel of Mark – a younger contemporary of the Apostle Peter and Paul. Mark was an interpreter of Peter and the Gospel of Mark is a record of Jesus’ teachings, life and death as narrated by Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle, to Mark – set down about 20-30 years after Jesus’s death.
The Messiah is a title for God’s promised deliverer of the nations of the world – chosen by God to bring justice to all the nations one day, to free those in captivity, to comfort all who mourn, to release those in darkness (see Isaiah 42:1 and Isaiah 61 for example). In short, Jesus is the one chosen to save the world. Note that the name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek from of ‘Yehoshua’ which means ‘The Lord Saves’.
Luke, Paul’s companion and physician, wrote his own account of Jesus’ life about 10 years after Mark wrote his after careful investigation of Jesus’ life – as recounted by eyewitnesses.
We can be confident that the accounts of Jesus’ life are true and trustworthy. Jesus story has been verified and tested and verified. The writers and main actors suffered and died affirming these words and attesting to the change that Jesus had brought in their lives. We too can be sure of the truths of these accounts which have stood the test of time and are still with us almost 2000 years later – having the same powerful effect as then. Why? Because of the person of Jesus the Anointed One.
Another gospel writer, John, Jesus’ disciple and close friend describes Jesus as The Word (or ‘Logos’ in Greek) in the opening chapter of his account (see John 1:1-18). Logos according to the Britannica encyclopaedia means: the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning.
We derive the word ‘logic’ from logos.
In a nutshell, Jesus is the logic of God. The reason for the world’s very existence. The very form of God. This is mind-blowing stuff!!! God in human form. These are incredibly audacious claims. And this writer does not shy away from it. In fact, according to Tertullian (a 1st century theologian) John was so adamant that he was plunged into boiling oil after refusing to renounce Jesus Christ – when nothing happened to him, he was banished to the Island of Patmos, where he received the famous Revelation of Jesus – what we call the Book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible. John staked his life on what he had witnessed.
Back to John 1. Jesus existed from before the beginning of time. From before Genesis Chapter 1. No wonder John the Baptist said Jesus existed long before him (see John 1:30).
He was with God. He was God. He was right there with God. The entire world was created through Jesus. He gave life to everything that was created. And his life brought light to everyone. This light shines in the world’s darkness. The world, John says, did not mostly recognise him. Jesus would later say that his sheep hear his voice (see John 10:27). And those who believe and accept his voice, Jesus gives the right to become children of God. Think on this today and what God is really saying here. You have worth. You have value. God values you. Not your bank account. Not your looks. You. No other worldview offers this amazing gift. That God would come in person. And walk the earth with his creation. Many, as a result struggle to believe this…yet, the world needs a saviour. And Jesus indeed came. What an amazing truth. Believe. Believe. Believe.
Jesus said no one can come to Him unless you, the Father, draws him – and when we do come, you promise to raise us up at the last day. We thank you for drawing us as we seek to relearn your Son. Thank you for your incredible promise. Thank you for sending The Word to come and bring us light and life. Words cannot express our gratitude. Help us to express it by our daily lives and please open our minds and hearts that we might know and understand him. Amen.
- Ier Jonathan-Ichaver is a Bible student, striving Jesus follower and social worker.