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John 1:1-18 ~ When God Moved into the Neighbourhood

December 4, 2016 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: The 1995 one hit band, Dishwalla, in a song called, Counting Blue Cars,: Must of been mid afternoon / As I could
tell by how far the childs shadow stretched out / And he walked with a purpose in his sneakers down the street / He had
many questions like children often do / He said, Tell me all your thoughts on God, and tell me am I very far.
On the one hand, its a fun experiment: say to people, Tell me all your thoughts on God, and see what they say. But
on the other hand, it seems like you could possibly come up with 7 billion different answers, as many as there are
people. Sure you might find some similarities, but still theres got to be a better way to know God.
But what if you could go to the source yourself, or better yet, what if the source came to you? What if God could, as it
were, move into the neighbourhood & you could pick his brain? You could get to know him? You could actually become
If that questionhowever preposterous it seemscan capture and stir your imagination, then Jesus has some good
news for you: thats exactly what he has done.
The season of Advent dares to suggest that God has made himself know in the person of Jesus Christ. And it further
claims that the degree you get to know Jesusnot just know about, but actually know Jesusto that degree you know
God himselfthe one who created all things, who holds the molecules of your body together, who provides the oxygen
that is in your lungs at this moment, and who sustains your life.
When God Moved Into The Neighbourhood ~ John 1:1-18
Whether you are brand new to Christianity or whether youve believed for as long as you can remember, I want to invite
you to listen in on the opening of a historical biography about Jesus written by the Apostle Johnone of Jesus inner
circles of friends and one of the most influential spokesmen for Jesus in the first century.
I want to invite you to listen in and to consider carefully what he is saying, because if we grasp what he tells us about the
identity of Jesus Christ and what he came to do, we can never be the same.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
1. In the beginning was the Word.
(1) Gen. 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Its the story of God and the world.
If Genesis introduces us to the story of God and the world, then the Gospel of John introduces us to the new
way in which God is at work in the world.
(2) NT Wright, This book is about the Creator God acting in a new way within his much-beloved creation. It is about
the way in which the long story which began in Genesis reached the climax the Creator had always intended. In
Genesis 1, the climax is the creation of humans. In John 1, the climax is the arrival of a human being.
2. and the word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
(1) John, I know that Im pressing language to the limits, but blame it on Jesus. If you get who he is, youll begin to
understand why the language we use to describe him sometimes seems inadequate.
(2) This text is one of the building blocks for the doctrine of the Trinity.
(3) John: Ill explain more in a minute, but for the moment suffice it to say that the person known as Jesus of Nazareth
the one of whom it is said was born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and
buriedthat person existed long before he was ever born. And to understand that, you have to understand that he
was with God and was God.

3. All things were made through him..

(1) To the Greek philosophical mind, the Word (logos) was the impersonal organizing principle of the universe. John is
saying, What you think is the impersonal organizing principle of the world is actually a person. He name is Jesus.
(2) Col. 1:15-17, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominos or rulers or authoritiesall things were
created through him and for him. And his is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory.
1. The Word became flesh
The Incarnation = The embodiment of God.
2. The Message: The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.
(1) Tim Keller, No other religionwhether secularism, Greco-Roman paganism, Eastern religion, Judaism or Islam
believes God became breakable or had a body. Eastern religion believes the physical is illusion. Greco-Romans
believe the physical is bad. Judaism and Islam dont believe God would do such a thing as live in the flesh.
(2) Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity. Pleased as man with men
to dwell. Jesus our Emmanuel. [Pleased with us in flesh to dwell / Jesus our Emmanuel].

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Fathers side, he has made him known.
1. he has exegeted him.
2. John 14, Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If
you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. Philip
said to him, Lord show us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and
you still do not know me Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
3. But not everyone liked what they saw.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world
was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not
receive him.
1. Jesus is called the true light. He brings enlightenment, understanding. And yet.
2. John 3:16-19, 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not
perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the
world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is
condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the
light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
2 Beloved, we are Gods children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears
we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
If you want to know God, you have to get to know Jesus because in Jesus God has made himself known.


1. The Christmas story is about him.

(1) He is not a supporting actor in a story that is all about me. Rather, I am a supporting actor in a story that is all
about him.
So this Christmas, lets lean into this story that is all about God becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ.
(2) John 20:30-31, Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this
book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing
you may have life in his name.

2. The Christmas story includes us.

(1) Tell me all your thoughts on God, and tell me am I very far.
Christianity is not so much about us finding our way to God, as it is about God finding his way to us.
Not only were we very far from God, our condition could only be described as lost. And Christianity is about God
coming on a search and rescue mission, b/c we are very far from him.
(2) 1 John 4:8ff, God is love. In this the love of God was manifest among us, that God sent his son into the world,
that we might live through him. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of
the world So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us.

This Christmas may you get to know Jesus,

b/c in Jesus God has made himself known.