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The ultimate revelation of God

December 28, 2023
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Daily Scripture

John 1:6-18

6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. 8 He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.
9 The true light that shines on all people
    was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through the light,
        but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to his own people,
    and his own people didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
        those who believed in his name,
    he authorized to become God’s children,
13         born not from blood
        nor from human desire or passion,
        but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh
    and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
    glory like that of a father’s only son,
        full of grace and truth.
15 John testified about him, crying out, “This is the one of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than me because he existed before me.’”
16 From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace;
17     as the Law was given through Moses,
    so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God.
    God the only Son,
        who is at the Father’s side,
        has made God known.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

“From the phrase ‘In the beginning’… to the language of light and darkness, Genesis is ever present in John. John wants us to perceive that the stuff of earth is the stuff of God.” * Since that beginning, the world had grown dark by turning away from God’s light. John summed up what Jesus meant to the first Christians. Hebrews, likely written before John’s gospel, said, “In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

  • John’s emphasis on “light” coming to the world was not a new idea. “Scripture and Jewish tradition recognized that God’s word offered life (Deuteronomy 8:1; 11:9; Baruch 4:1) and also light (Psalm 119:105; Baruch 4:2).” ** But John’s clear claim that “the Word became flesh” (in the person of Jesus) went beyond what Greek or Hebrew thinkers thought. How does it deepen your gratitude for Jesus that he didn’t just love you from a “safe distance,” but personified God’s light in his life on earth?
  • John’s message showed us that the person of Jesus, not a book, was God’s ultimate revelation. Pastor Hamilton wrote, “I’m proposing that we hear, examine, and interpret all scripture through the lens and filter of the definitive and unmitigated Word of God, Jesus Christ…. it is Jesus who serves as the final Word by which other words of scripture are to be judged.” *** How can you study the Bible, not as a source of abstract facts, but as a means to get to know Jesus better?
Prayer

God, you have always wanted your human children not just to know about you, but to know YOU. Thank you for coming in Jesus to give us the clearest picture of your loving, forgiving heart. Amen.

GPS Insights

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

One of the hardest things for me about being a Floridian living in the Midwest is the darkness. I had no idea the complexities that would come with just being in a different geographic location. I knew Florida was called the Sunshine State, but growing up I would always think, “It storms like crazy here, it’s not as sunny as people think!” But now, in hindsight, I had no idea that when you live that close to the equator, the sunshine seeps into your bones and radiates there—so that even when storm clouds come, you can still feel the sunlight radiating in your bones. It’s like those portable chargers that you can plug your phone into when you’re too far away from a source of electricity.

While I love the season of fall leading into winter… and the twinkling Christmas lights that can reflect on a fresh layer a winter’s snow—my body betrays me. In the winter months, particularly December, the sunshine that used to radiate in my bones is so far gone, I feel like a phone with 1% battery life without a backup charger.

The solution, I discovered, is light! I have to set up specific types of lights in my home—not to light up the darkness in my home, but to light up the cold darkness that seeps into my soul, the darkness that seeps into my bones.

It’s so interesting to me that our bodies crave light. Without it, our bodies begin to wither like a plant left in a dark corner for too long.

I think it’s no coincidence that when God began creating this universe we inhabit, the first thing that was infused into the shapeless expanse was light.

Then, when John began to describe the much needed and anticipated Messiah, he described that Savior… as light. “The true light that shines on all people was coming to the world.” God’s light came and shone in the midst of darkness. God became human, just like us.

It means so much to me that God put on these bodies, that are prone to sadness, depression, anxiety, sickness and so many other things, to walk among us. Jesus was God while feeling the same things we feel on a regular basis.

Did Jesus struggle to enjoy holidays because His body was responding to the darkness of a season? To the darkness of living in a society that yearned for a brighter future? To the darkness of losing a loved one? To the darkness of missing loved ones from afar? Maybe. He was human after all.

But the beauty is, even in that human form, with all that comes with it, Jesus’s presence here on earth is light in the darkness. Jesus is the light we get to soak up… into our very bones until it radiates within us. “From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace”—warming our souls and overflowing to those around us.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Jamie Clark-Soles, introductory note “Genesis Creation” to John 1 in The CEB Women’s Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2016, p. 1337.
** NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (p. 9217). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. The book of Baruch, probably written about 100-200 years before Jesus’ birth, was not included in the Hebrew Scriptures, but reflected Hebrew beliefs at that time. Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles include it; Protestant Bibles list it as an “apocryphal” book.
*** Hamilton, Adam. Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today (pp. 175-177). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.