All posts by Andrew McGill

John 1:1-17: Jesus rejected or received

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

JW mistranslation: “and the word was a god”: this is exactly what it does not say.


2 The same was in the beginning with God

Just in case you didn’t get it.


3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Same as Hebrews 1:1-2:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

And while we’re there,

8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

v2 The trinity: A clear doctrine in scripture:

Gen 1:1: Father Spirit and the Word:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.


Creation, not evolution:

150 years ago, Charles Darwin wrote, “Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits.”

“Clever words”:
quadruped: four legged thing
arboreal: tree climber
He means, “I’m an ape that can’t climb trees anymore.”


Gen 1:26-27: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

cf. John 1v3

We in his image

Not he in our image: Darwin thought himself clever, and was a fool. He …

changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

When you think you are cleverer than God, you are stupid.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Jesus, the light of the world. None of the pretenders:

  • Real light: not the fake light of entertainment, or infatuation
  • Not new age inner light of occult stupid
  • Not you yourself (humanism)
  • Not society (ubuntu)
  • Not the government (socialism)
  • Not politicians, not even the good ones: not Jacob Zuma, nor Nelson Mandela, nor HF Verwoerd, Jan Smuts, nor Shaka Zulu.
  • Not the party: your party is not going to save you: the ANC is not going to save you, the DA, EFF, ACDP, IFP, nor their leaders.
  • Not science
  • Not the Pope, nor Muhammed, nor Buddha
  • Not some modern prophet or apostle

One hope, no pretenders

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

People who do not know Jesus are in the dark

Jesus is

  • Not official
  • Not certified
  • Illogical
  • Not politically correct:

    1 Cor 2v7-8: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
    8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But shining: blindingly obvious, but for those that will not see

Cockroaches: running away when the light comes on

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

Prophets: speaking from God, sent from God

God sends prophets, not:

  • Spiritists
  • Scientists
  • Archaeologists

God sends real prophets, not false prophets:

Jer 23:28-29: The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.
29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

“A witness”: observer that reports what he saw and heard; e.g. witness of an accident (and take pictures too)

Not a false witness: 2Peter 2:3: “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”

“Might believe”: Believe is …

  • “That is true.”
  • “I agree”
  • “I’d stake my life on that”

Faith (believe) vs works:

  • Not cease to do evil, but believe
  • Not begin to do good, but believe
  • Not to prove yourself worthy, but to believe
  • Not to make a new start, but to believe
  • Not to be elect, but to believe [calvin]

All men”: this means you too. All men means everyone:

  • The good, the bad, the ugly
  • Every tribe, tongue and nation: our friends, our enemies

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

When you go with the gospel:

  • You are not the light (handsome, charming, beautiful)
  • We don’t preach ourselves 2Cor 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus is the light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

True light: Only Jesus; all others are false – they did not bring the light:

John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Every man”:

  • Gospel is for all nations
    Isaiah 49:6: “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
    Isaiah 56:7: mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
  • Racism is evil: hating on account of appearance (skin, face) or language
  • For all languages: gift of tongues in Acts:
    Acts 2:9-11: “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
    10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
    11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our
    tongues the wonderful works of God.


10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He was: this is an historical record – he was here

in the world: it is not so very odd that he was in the world. We are made in his image:

Gen 1:26-27: 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

We look like him

He came into the world and looked like we do

Knew him not: The great tragedy of the fall of man: we have fallen into sin: we don’t know God

We know:

  • clever philosophy
  • social structure
  • clever schemes and technology

but not the creator.


11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

He came:

Nobody had to go and get him

Received him not:

  • The best people – God’s chosen people
  • Not foreigners: they knew his law, his love, his character
  • You expect: a party, a parade
  • You see: genocide by Herod, traps by Pharisees, condemnation by priests and elders, murder

Why? John 3v19 : And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.


12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

received – how shall we receive him

power – you don’t have the power

believe – here’s the thing:

  • not by dedicating your life to serve him (“Lordship salvation”)
  • not by giving up sin – not by deciding to try
  • not by good deeds – not reforming life


13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Born again: Jesus discusses this with Nicodemus:

  • of blood: not your family
  • not of flesh: not by trying
  • not by will of man: not by me trying for you

This is the work of God.

It is his grace to those who believe.


v14-17 : Epilogue:

Repeating what we have already seen in a different form:

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Only begotten: Not adopted, but the genuine family bond

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Jesus: from before the world began

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Always good to us, and giving us more than we deserve

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

Moses brought the law: the great display of God’s character. The greatest commandments:

Deuteronomy 6:5: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

We all come short of the glory of God because of sin.

Jesus didn’t just bring the law and explain it better.

He brought something new:

  • grace: undeserved favour – the law told what to do for deserved favour
  • truth: the whole story

We cannot keep the law, but Jesus did:

  • Jesus shed his blood on the cross as the penalty for sin.
  • He died, and was buried.
  • On the 3rd day he rose again.

1Peter 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

John 3:16: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Rom 10:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Ask him to save you: “Lord Jesus, I’m lost in my sins! Save me!”