Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 11 July 2016

What was Jesus doing before he was born? (John 1:4-5)

John in his Gospel, in 1:3, says that Jesus was involved in the creation of all things. Jesus was the divine Agent through whom everything was made. In order to understand what is being said here, we can think of some of the great makers that we have heard about. 

Take Thomas Telford. He made the Caledonian Canal, which we know very well, or at least we think we do. But did he move every stone that had to be shifted or did he cut down every tree that had to be moved? No one knows everything about the Caledonian canal except God.

Or we can take Steve Jobs and Apple. It is likely that we all have something connected to Apple in our homes. When he was alive, did Steve Jobs make every piece of the Iphone, Ipad or Imac? No, he did not. Before he passed away, did Steve Jobs involve himself in every detail of how the Apple products reached the customers? No, he did not.

As far as Telford and Jobs were concerned, they were dependent on the skills of thousands of other people. They did not know everything about all the items they had been involved with, and they could not even recall all the contributions they had made to their products. But when we consider Jesus as the Maker of all things, he did it all by himself, he knows everything about everything that he made at the beginning, and he knows everything that has ever happened to anything.

It does not matter whether or not the particular detail was big or small as far as Jesus was concerned. He spoke and whatever it was appeared. It was not harder for him to make the planet Mars and hold it loose in space that it was for him to make some stones as a riverbed and have them lying beside one another. He can make an elephant and a mouse with the same ease. 

Here we see what he is capable of as the Word. He speaks divinely, he speaks directly, and he speaks dynamically. What do we think of the greatness of Jesus when we consider the galaxies? He made them all without difficulty, and that of course is a great encouragement when we realise that he cares for us.

John then points out that Jesus is the source of all life, but his focus is on how Jesus as life was the light of men. Probably he is still thinking of Jesus as the Word when he speaks about him as the light of men. In order to get his point, we should remind ourselves that the ability to say a word indicates rationality, that we are able to think, to use our minds. We know what life is like when people cannot talk. John here is saying that the reason humans can think is because of Jesus. 

Think of the number who lived between Adam and the time of John. They could think, even although they were sinful. And the mental abilities that they possessed all came from Jesus. Where did Socrates get his brains from? Or Archimedes? Or Plato? They did not use their abilities for the glory of God, but their possession of abilities came from Jesus. And it is still the same as far as all humans are concerned. In a sense, every conversation takes place because of the eternal Word.  Does this insight into what he does for all people not show us the greatness of Jesus Christ?

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