Hello again! This week we will be going into the slightly-confusing-at-first-glance book of John. My hope is that you either find something new from my thoughts today or are just reminded of the truth you already know!
Thought #1 – Vs. 1 – 18: Do you ever want to find the person that wrote this book and say, “You know, you could have written this much more clearly for us and a lot of doctrinal debates would be very different…”? Because I sure do. But then again, much of the confusion that comes from this chapter surrounds translation issues and reading out of context, which I’ve noticed our world today does quite often. To truly get at what the author of this book is trying to say, it is critical to go back to the first translations. When looking at verse 1, we see “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And thus starts many doctrinal debates right with that tiny little word ‘was’. But if we go back to the Greek, we see that the “Word” here is ‘Logos’, a Greek word meaning “plan.” That little translational difference dramatically changes how people may interpret this first verse. This entire book is such a great reminder to always dig a little bit deeper. As someone who is part of the COG faith, I’ll be honest in saying it can sometimes get tiring to feel like I constantly need to defend my beliefs. And sometimes it’s a little scary because I’m afraid I’ll be proven wrong. Over the past two years or so, I have been very motivated to dig for truth in Scripture. At first, it was a little nerve-wracking and truthfully just plain exhausting. But as I continually found passages of Scripture that aligned with what I believed to be true, I found such joy in the process of digging! It was so encouraging and grew my faith as I grew in confidence of the God that I believe in. When having discussions with other Christians with different perspectives, it is important to come with an open mind and heart. It’s also important to be comfortable answering difficult questions with “I’d like to look into that more, can I get back to you?” Don’t rush the process, detectives don’t solve a case in a day! Sometimes after difficult conversations with others I would find myself praying later that day for wisdom in how to respond, and BOOM, someone somewhere would lead me straight to a Scriptural reference or two to help. You will find an answer if you’re willing to DIG. Have you become tired or afraid of defending your beliefs? Have confidence in our God; find joy in the process of digging into Scripture with an open mind to seek truth!
Thought #2 – Vs. 46-51: Jesus is a little sassy, and I love it. In these verses Nathanael has no faith that Jesus is the true Messiah. When he does believe, Jesus basically tells him, “Oh my friend, you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m just getting started.” I wish that I could have been there to witness that! It would’ve been a perfect “oooooh snap” moment. The best part is, Jesus has every right to say these things! He is the true Messiah, and he was about to do some absolutely amazing things that would radically change the entire world FOREVER. We are right in the midst of the Easter season, and these verses come at a great time to remind us of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth. I can’t even imagine being alive during Jesus’ time on earth and how COOL that must have been! To witness miracles, to witness him simply being the promised one that I had been hearing about probably since I was born! And he was just getting started! I wonder if Jesus’ followers at that time were just as confident as he was when speaking to Nathanael, or if there was still some hesitation and doubt. As we prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, pause and reflect for a moment. How do you react when faced with doubt about truths within Scripture? Do you stand up with confidence as Jesus did, or do you question like Nathanael first did?
Thanks for sticking with me during this longer post! I look forward to continuing John with you in the next few days.