Bible Red Thread 11a: Jesus of Nazareth His Birth (John 1)
sermon Gospel of John 1 : Patrice Berger, 2022_12_27, AB Lausanne church
title : Bible Red Thread 11a: Jesus of Nazareth His Birth (John 1)
Bible Red Thread 11a: Jesus of Nazareth His Birth (John 1)
Did you realize that the birth of Jesus has no equal and will never have? This is certainly why part of humanity celebrates Jesus’s birthday (at Christmas)!
A promising identity: In a certain way, the birth of Jesus is similar to all the births of babies since the dawn of humanity: a dad and a mom, nine months of pregnancy, and a delivery to give life. The baby benefits, like all Jewish boys of his age, from circumcision on the eighth day of his life, from his redemption at the cost of a couple of doves, and from a presentation at the temple at the age of twelve. After having benefited from an education at the religious school including the teaching of the “red thread”. He will learn, like many others, his father’s trade, and will become a joiner-carpenter in the small town of Nazareth. But, in accordance with the promise of the angel Gabriel, the identity of this man is more complex: his father is in reality the Holy Spirit of God. Joseph’s reaction when he learns of Mary’s pregnancy proves that he is not the real father. Why accurately report the arrival of this baby to us as if this event were unusual? Who is this child?
Beyond chance: Seven centuries ago, God promised his people, through the mouths of his messengers – Micah and Isaiah, that an exceptional personage would change the course of history. This character will be a gift from God, in accordance with God’s promises. He will be God’s son and he will restore the covenant between God and Man, marking the end of the rebellion of the creature against the Creator. He will carry out his action with perfection, submitting to God and being supported by God. He will hold the role of a King-servant. The sign that will confirm God’s rescue plan through His son will be the following: a virgin girl will be pregnant and will give birth to a son in the small town of Bethlehem, the homeland of King David. When discovering the accounts of Matthew and Luke, one cannot but be struck by the precision of these promises, which explicitly announce the birth of Jesus in advance.
A unique role in the history of man: The extraordinary aspect of the coming of Jesus is confirmed by the appearance of angels on seven occasions; an unheard occurrence for the birth of a baby! The name Emmanuel, which the angel asks to be given to the child, means “God is with us”! It confirms the unique role that Jesus will play for humanity. This role is further attested by the speech of the angel to the shepherds to whom he announces: “a Savior has been born to you”. Finally, the wise Simeon, who was waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promise, announces to the parents of Jesus, when he takes this baby in his arms, something exceptional: this child “is sent by God to save all nations and become Lord of all the earth. Thus, he can ask God to let him die, now “that his eyes have seen the Savior who comes” from God.
A near hope: Also announced by the messengers of God, the coming of a precursor who prepares the action of Jesus becomes reality. It will be John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus, who is 6 months older. As an adult, he warns the people of God of the imminent judgment of God on Humanity, because they no longer seek to achieve the objectives that the Creator had set for them in his initial plan. Far from helping things, the attempts at recovery that Men undertake erect mountains between them and God, further making their return even more impossible. But John promises that the crooked paths will become straight, the rutted roads will be levelled, and the mountains will be flattened. He also encourages his contemporaries to submit their lives of independence by giving God back His place as Lord of their lives.
The Lamb of God: By being baptized too, Jesus assumes his solidarity with humanity by accepting the consequences of the rejection of God’s authority by his creatures. He must also undergo the judgment promised by God to all those who refuse to trust the Creator. But this moment is also chosen by God to publicly announce the identity of Jesus: he is the “Beloved Son” of God and, therefore, perfect. The double identity – belonging to fallen humanity and to perfect divinity confirms the promising identity of Jesus. John’s expression “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” implies an essential role for this man/God to serve as a bridge between God and men and open the way to reconciliation. Would accepting God’s promised rescue plan ultimately come down to trusting Jesus?
Everything is unique with Jesus, his birth, his destiny, and his nature. Are there other equivalents in the history of humanity?
Biblical heads: Available in Darby online: John 1 (below), Matthew 1 to 3, Luke 1 to 3
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 received being through him, and without him not one [thing] received being which has received being.
4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5. And the light appears in darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.
6. There was a man sent from God, his name John.
7. He came for witness, that he might witness concerning the light, that all might believe through him.
8. *He* was not the light, but that he might witness concerning the light.
9. The true light was that which, coming into the world, lightens every man.
10. He was in the world, and the world had [its] being through him, and the world knew him not.
11. He came to his own, and his own received him not;
12. but as many as received him, to them gave he [the] right to be children of God, to those that believe on his name;
13. who have been born, not of blood, nor of flesh's will, nor of man's will, but of God.
14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we have contemplated his glory, a glory as of an only-begotten with a father), full of grace and truth;
15. (John bears witness of him, and he has cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me;)
16. for of his fulness we all have received, and grace upon grace.
17. For the law was given by Moses: grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ.
18. No one has seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, *he* hath declared [him].
19. And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites that they might ask him, Thou, who art thou?
20. And he acknowledged and denied not, and acknowledged, I am not the Christ.
21. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he says, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No.
22. They said therefore to him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23. He said, I [am] [the] voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the path of [the] Lord, as said Esaias the prophet.
24. And they were sent from among the Pharisees.
25. And they asked him and said to him, Why baptisest thou then, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet?
26. John answered them saying, I baptise with water. In the midst of you stands, whom ye do not know,
27. he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to unloose.
28. These things took place in Bethany, across the Jordan, where John was baptising.
29. On the morrow he sees Jesus coming to him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
30. He it is of whom I said, A man comes after me who takes a place before me, because he *was* before me;
31. and I knew him not; but that he might be manifested to Israel, therefore have I come baptising with water.
32. And John bore witness, saying, I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it abode upon him.
33. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptise with water, *he* said to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with [the] Holy Spirit.
34. And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.
35. Again, on the morrow, there stood John and two of his disciples.
36. And, looking at Jesus as he walked, he says, Behold the Lamb of God.
37. And the two disciples heard him speaking, and followed Jesus.
38. But Jesus having turned, and seeing them following, says to them, What seek ye? And *they* said to him, Rabbi (which, being interpreted, signifies Teacher), where abidest thou?
39. He says to them, Come and see. They went therefore, and saw where he abode; and they abode with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.
40. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard [this] from John and followed him.
41. He first finds his own brother Simon, and says to him, We have found the Messias (which being interpreted is Christ).
42. And he led him to Jesus. Jesus looking at him said, Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas (which interpreted is stone).
43. On the morrow he would go forth into Galilee, and Jesus finds Philip, and says to him, Follow me.
44. And Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
45. Philip finds Nathanael, and says to him, We have found him of whom Moses wrote in the law, and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph, who is from Nazareth.
46. And Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip says to him, Come and see.
47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and says of him, Behold [one] truly an Israelite, in whom there is no guile.
48. Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.
49. Nathanael answered and said to him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.
50. Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these.
51. And he says to him, Verily, verily, I say to you, Henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man.
Related Links / Notes
Study Notes are translated from the original French and available in the online magazine TaJeunesse (literlly “Your Youth”). The orginal texts are magazine articles. The texts provided here follow that form and include some of the images from the magazine, and help provide a deep understanding of the main themes of the Bible.
Services at the church AB Renens-Lausanne as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne. Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande.
Bible verses in the study link to the Darby bible. In addition to the Darby Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website (KJV, Basic English as well as the Webster version and Young’s Bible on the Action Biblique Suisse website.
The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.