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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Behold I Make All Things New -- Gospel of John

      The Apostle John was one of the first disciples chosen by Jesus. He served Jesus on earth longer than all of the others. John was the youngest apostle and the last apostle to die. He was originally a disciple of John the Baptist, but at the revelation of John the Baptist that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” John began following Jesus. John followed Jesus from the beginning of His ministry to the end and beyond. John was the only apostle who was at Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus rewarded John for his faithfulness by revealing great revelation knowledge. John was taken up into the spiritual realm and was shown spiritually “what was (past) and is (present) and is to come (future).
            John’s gospel is very different from Matthew, Mark and Luke. His gospel focuses on Jesus as deity. John revealed Jesus as the Preexistent One, the Divine Word of God, the Great I am, the Divine Light and Life, Divine Love, Divine Truth and Divine Grace.
           The Apostle John is most commonly known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” John never called himself by name in his gospel but instead referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. John knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was loved by Jesus. And, John wanted us to know that we too are loved by Jesus. John drew close to Jesus and saw things more deeply. In the painting of the Lord’s Supper, John is the disciple who was leaning close the Lord’s heart. John 21:20: Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following, who also had leaned on His breast, at the supper….”  John, like David in the Older Testament, was a man after God’s own heart. The word “love” is used in John’s Gospel more than any of the others. John desired to be connected to Jesus heart to heart in a close, intimate relationship. The closer a person draws to another, the more intense and intimate the love. The Apostle John’s life gives us an illustration of a deep and abiding love relationship between a disciple and His Master.
      Of course the first thing Jesus made “new” is the New Covenant sealed by His shed blood. Matthew 26:28: “For this is My blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” None of the Older Testament Covenants could give eternal life and take away sin. Only the sinless blood of Jesus who is God could do this. All of the Older Testament saints had to follow behind Jesus when He ascended back to God and His former glory with the Father before time began and anything was created. Jesus paved the highway of holiness to the Father for all whether Jew or Gentile.
            Jesus fulfilled all of the Older Testament covenants given by God to man.
      God sent someone “new” to earth – One who is fully Man and fully God. This God-Man will make new creations out of those who love and follow Him. Jesus the Perfect Word of God became the Perfect Man to show us two things:
          1.     God in His fullness – God is made up of three parts: God, the Word and the Spirit and these three are One. They work in perfect harmony and agreement. The Father wills a thing, Jesus (bread of life) words it and the Holy Spirit (breath of life) brings it to fruition.
               God wants humanity to know Him as He truly is in all of His mercy, grace, beauty, goodness, light, love, glory and power. We must also know His justice. Our example, Jesus is the full and final revelation of God to mankind. Hebrews 1:1-3: In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.” God sent Jesus to reveal His heart and character, to show us our need of a Savior, to share in humanity’s needs, to settle our sin debt and redeem us and give us the power of the Holy Spirit and Truth to transform us into His holiness again.
             Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit have an unbroken union. Theirs is a unique oneness that encompasses pure, perfect love, grace, mercy, truth and justice. The Godhead wants those who love and follow Jesus and His life example to know Him in a deep and abiding way. Jesus came to earth to make God visible to mankind. The fact that Jesus took on flesh and the nature of mankind yet without sin does not diminish His Divine power and glory. He remained holy. The devil had no hold on Him. Jesus is the Perfect Creator and the Perfect creation (human). No one else in heaven or on earth can make this claim!
             The more we allow the Word and the Holy Spirit to remove sin in us, the closer we will draw to the Lord, and the more we will radiate His light and glory to a world that is lost in darkness.
       2.     Man in the fullness of life – God wants humanity to have the fullness of life that only He can give. Fullness of life in mankind comes with the removal of sin. Adam was without sin and clothed in God’s glory and light when He was created by the Godhead but unfortunately sinned causing Adam to lose his glory. Jesus, the Second and Last Adam, never lost His glory. He remained sinless. Jesus measured up perfectly to God’s pattern for mankind.
            God wants us to be fully human like Jesus by allowing Him to reshape and reform us back to the original condition of the first man and woman before sin entered God’s most holy place in the garden.
           Jesus took on the flesh of man, but His divinity, glory, character, grace, truth and power did not change. He was full of God’s glory when He walked the earth, although it was veiled by His flesh. God wants to remove the veil of our sinful flesh so we too can radiate God’s glory and have the fullness of life that God intended for us.
      At God’s appointed time, He sent His Son to unveil the mystery of God and His Kingdom (See Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10) and to remove the veil between Him and His people. When we see Jesus, we see God. He is the express image of God. “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:18 
     As Jesus’ deity was veiled in His flesh, He was also veiled throughout the Older Testament. The presence of God was also veiled in the Older Testament in the tabernacle and temples. A veil separated the reduced Shekinah glory of God in the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. As the presence of God in the Shekinah glory dwelt in a tent, Jesus dwelt in a tent of human flesh as He walked Israel and its surrounding areas full of God’s glory and presence. God wants His glory and presence to dwell in our flesh. Jesus still has a “flesh Body” through whom He can work to establish His spiritual kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. 
May we with unveiled face, behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

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