You are valued by God the Father even if you’re not valued by your earthly father.
I want to invite you if you have your Bibles or your Holy Mobiles to turn to John, chapter one. We’ll be continuing a series that we’ve entitled “Come and See.” Last week we looked at the first two verses, so if you’re just joining us and you missed last week, you didn’t miss but just two verses.
We’re just going to, for the next several weeks, months, years, however long it takes, journey through the Gospel of John with this idea of come and see – come and see who Jesus is, come and see what Jesus has done, come and see what Jesus is going to do. Come and see so that, as John says, so that we may believe.
I’ve been your pastor long enough now that you know my passion and love for the sport of football. I love football. I had dreams of playing in the NFL as an offensive lineman – all total of 5’6” of me! OK, now I don’t know if you’ve seen offensive lineman, but they’re not 5’6”. I had dreams, and I remember in high school, I would write letters and I would send videos to colleges like Carolina or Duke. I did! I even sent a highlight film to Florida and Miami. Miami was the big one back then. We all wanted to go to Miami.
And I remember pleading in that letter just come and see. Don’t worry that I’m 5’6”, don’t worry that I run a, you know, 6.2 sec 40! It’s OK. Just come and watch me play. Come and see because I felt like if they came and saw, they would believe that I could help their program, right?
Well, one school came and saw. It was smaller than my high school. And anyway, they did, and they offered. I mean, it was so small, they didn’t offer scholarships. They just say we want you to come and play and pay to play. Anyway, I was into it, and I was like, well, you know, I love football so much. I want to be a coach, but anyway, circumstances played out. Now follow me here because this does relate to come and see. Circumstances played out where it just wasn’t going to work out.
You know, they kind of backed out. I kind of backed out and it just wasn’t going to work out. The idea of playing, now this was kind of very prideful and narcissistic, but the idea of playing with lesser fans than I was used to in high school didn’t really appeal to me. So, it just didn’t work out, but I remember, I’d journaled through that. I prayed through that. But I remember this, this overwhelming feeling of the Lord, saying, I know this is not where you want to go because I was kind of being pulled to Pfeiffer.
I didn’t want to go to Pfeiffer. My brother went to Pfeiffer. I had family members who went to Pfeiffer. I just didn’t want to go to Pfeiffer. I didn’t want to be the family guy or the member of my family that went to Pfeiffer cause everybody seemed to go to Pfeiffer. But I went to Pfeiffer. I remember the Lord saying trust Me. Come and see what I’m going to do to your life if you just make this decision. First day on campus, she’s going to like this – no lie, first day on campus, I met Jennifer. And that’s my wife. She’s back in the back. First day. First time I ever set foot on the campus, I met her, and I’m like, this is pretty good. Like for me it was love at first sight. For her, not so much.
But I had to convince her to come on a date. Come and see how great your life could be with me, you know? Anyway, and then you know through that, I ended up being a teacher. I still wanted to play football. I wanted to coach football. I wanted to win state championships. I wanted to be in the high school hall of fame as a football coach.
And I did that. I coached – coached football, coached wrestling, coached for two years, and there came a moment in time and y’all have heard, I’ve told my testimony before, where I could really sense the Lord saying it’s a time for a change, and I just want you to come and see what I’m going to do in your life.
And so that’s when I accepted a call to full time ministry. And then over a year ago we were kind of in that same boat where it was time for a change. We didn’t know where to go, what to do, and it was like the Lord was saying, come and see what I’m going to do, what He is going to do at China Grove. So that’s this idea of coming and seeing.
Throughout the Gospel of John, you see several instances of this invitation – come and see what Jesus is going to do in your life. Come and see what He is doing, what He’s going to do, but we are in the prologue – the first 18 verses where John is offering the invitation to come and see Who Jesus is. Because Who Jesus is is vitally important to how we respond to Him, so that’s what we’re going to look at today. In verses 3 through 13, we will continue.
Last week we saw that Jesus was eternal. He has always existed. He has always been here. He is. There’s never been a time that Jesus wasn’t. We also see that Jesus is, 100% without a doubt, fully God in everything He does – that’s verses one and two. We’re going to pick up in verse 3 this morning, so read with me.
John 3:3-13 – All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through Him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 The true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was created through Him, and yet the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. 12 But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
The “John” in verse 5 is John the Baptist, not John writing the book, whose name was also John.
Let’s pray. Father, we thank You for this Word. Let it be a light and a lamp unto our feet and our path. Father, what we have not this morning, give us. What we know not, teach us. And what we are not, make us in Your name.
As we look at these verses this morning, continuing to answer that question, “Who is Jesus?,” John transitions from how Jesus relates to the Father, cause that’s verses one and two, to how He relates to creation. And he says this first thing.
1 – Jesus is Creator.
Jesus is the agent of creation, all things. Now I’m going to give you a Greek word study. OK, this is easy this morning. Do you know what the word “all things” is in Greek? Everything – it’s all things. It’s really the simplest thing ever. He’s talking about everything in existence was created through Jesus. Now here’s what I want you to see. First of all, he says it twice. He says all things were created by Him. Nothing was created apart from Him, so it’s a positive and a negative. John has this way of repeating himself because he doesn’t want to be misunderstood. He wants to be crystal clear. He wants people to understand everything was created through Jesus Christ.
Now the way he words it is so absolutely amazing, and I don’t want you to miss the power in this statement. I want you to picture in your mind for a second an Amazon warehouse. Anybody shop at Amazon? A huge, Amazon warehouse. John could have taken us on this journey and opened the doors of the warehouse and said, you see that? That’s everything ever created in this warehouse. Jesus did it. That’s the way he could have done this, but his words are so individualistic. So what John is doing is taking us through a journey into the warehouse. We’re going into the warehouse and we’re saying, oh look, there’s the biggest whale in the ocean. And John is like, look at the detail, look at the pattern, look at the color – look at his eyes. Look at his fins. Look at all this. Jesus did that. Then he goes oh, and over here – this is the smallest, microscopic amoeba in the ocean or in the waters. Look how detailed the nucleus is. Look how detailed those cells are. Jesus did that! And he goes, look at that beautiful sunset right there. Look at the detail of the colors in the sunset. Jesus did that. Look at that bolt of lightning. Jesus did that, and then he goes through this warehouse, pointing out every little thing and said, Jesus did this – every detail – down to the littlest thing. Jesus created it.
And then he gets to the end of the warehouse, and he says, you got to see this. Look at this. This is the best of God’s creation. It’s humanity. And Jesus did this – every hair on your head if it applies. Every hair that has fallen out of your head. Jesus did that and you’re like, well, I don’t know why He made me bald, but He did. It’s OK. The eye color – Jesus did that. Your skin color – Jesus did that. Your fingerprints – Jesus did that. By the way, nobody’s got the same fingerprints as you – ever. Ever thought about that? How big is humanity over the course of the history of humanity? We’re talking trillions of people. Nobody got the same fingerprint as you. Jesus did that.
That is the awesome thing about Jesus as Creator. Here’s what it means for you and me – we are valuable. Do you know that? I know we live in a world and society where we don’t always feel valued by other humans, do we? There are kids who are not valued by their parents. There are kids who struggle with that but listen to me. You are valued by God the Father even if you’re not valued by your earthly father.
You are valued – every life. Listen to me. Watch this. Every life is valuable from the womb to the tomb. Every life is valuable from the moment of conception. By the way, do you know the Bible says that it’s God, it’s Jesus that is weaving you together in the womb? You are wonderfully and majestically and beautifully made. From the womb to the tomb, you are valuable.
When you look in the mirror, you’re probably like me. I can point out every single imperfection on my body. Like man, I wish I had blonde hair, and I did for a while. I dyed it blonde in high school. Nowadays, not to belabor the point, my hair seems to be scared of my face, cause it’s retreating at a rapid pace and like man, I wish I had hair right here. I mean what happened to it? I can’t shave it because the back of my head’s so wrinkly it looks like a smiley face and so, I’m wishing my head didn’t look like a smiley face. And I can point out that I wish I was 6’2” so I could have played in the NFL or 6’3” or whatever. But then I’m reminded as I look at myself…you know what? I’m just the way God made me. I’m beautifully and wonderfully and perfectly made and created, and I’m loved by God because He created me.
Here’s what it also means for us. We should treat each other with value. We should work and communicate with each other and treat each other with respect and honor because we’re all valued. We should value human life. And I know, listen, we disagree. We disagree politically. We disagree socially. That doesn’t mean we should devalue anybody. We should value each other. Even non-Christians by the way, they deserve to be treated with love and honor and respect because here’s a little secret – they’re created by God, too. All life is made by God in His image. Human life in the image of God. Now, the next thing we see – Jesus is not only Creator, but
2 – Jesus is Life and Light.
He continues saying He is the Life and that Life is the Light of man. Now John is very redundant. We talked about that. We also know that John uses a lot of dual meanings in his writing. He’s talking about two things. He has Genesis 1 in mind. He has the creation of the world in mind. If you look at Genesis 1, you will see that, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness covered the surface and the watery depths, and the spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, let there be light.”
And there was light. By the way, Jesus was not created. He’s always been. But by the way, you know the sun wasn’t created until later, right? You understand there’s light piercing through the darkness at creation. That’s the light of Jesus, the light of God. Because the sun comes later. Such an amazing thing to think about.
So, John has creation in mind. He has in mind that Jesus created us in His image. He has in mind that Jesus breathed into us the breath of life, that Jesus is the Light of the world in the creation event. But He also has in mind the fact that Jesus is the new life, the giver of new life. Jesus is the restorer of life.
You might write this down. Here’s the way I want to put it. God formed us, right? We saw that – Jesus created. God formed us. Sin deformed us. See, we were created in the image of God, but that image was deformed. It was tainted, it was not destroyed; it was tainted. It was messed up when we sinned. So, God formed us. Sin deformed us. Listen, Jesus came to transform and restore us. Jesus came to fix the problem of sin. Jesus gave us life in the beginning, and He came to give us new life when we choose to believe in Him.
Jesus says that I am the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me. Jesus says I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life. Jesus came to change our present condition and our future destination. That’s powerful. That’s powerful that you are so loved, you are so valued, that the Creator of everything stepped out of heaven and said, I gave him life and I was light in the beginning. I’m going to give him new life. And I’m going to give him light to shine to the dark world.
And then he says, I love it, that Light will never be overcome by the darkness. Man, that’s powerful. What he’s talking about is really the end. As dark as our world seems today, as much as sin seems to be winning and evil seems to be ruling, in the end, the Light will always conquer the darkness. The Light always conquers the darkness.
And so it seems that he introduces us to a new character – John the Baptist, which seems like an odd place to do it. But what he is saying here, and we’re not going to talk too much about John the Baptist (we’re going to get there in a couple weeks in a more detailed study of him), but what he’s saying is, Jesus is the true Life, the true Light. John the Baptist is a reflection of the Light. John was a witness. John was an evangelist, pointing people to the Light, and here’s why he introduces it.
There’s a little cult that started. It’s a John the Baptist cult in the first, second century, where they thought John the Baptist was the Messiah. Again, it’s just very small. It never really gained any prominence or any traction, but a small group of people thought John the Baptist was the Messiah.
So, John the writer just says look, John the Baptist was a reflection of the Light. John was a Christian. John was pointing people, but Jesus is the true Light of the world. And again, we’re going to talk about John the Baptist in more detail in the coming weeks.
So, Jesus is eternal. Jesus is divine. Jesus is the Creator. Jesus is enlightened life. We now see two responses to Jesus. By the way, there’s only two. A lot of people say, well, I’m indifferent. I don’t really know who Jesus is. I don’t really care who Jesus is. If you’re indifferent, then you are a rejector – that’s the first one. The second one is a receiver.
You’re either going to reject Jesus or receive Jesus.
Jesus came to the Jewish people. They rejected Him overall. Jesus is clearly the Messiah and people reject Him. I studied it this week and I just found it interesting. He’s like, no wait a minute. It says the darkness cannot overcome the Light, but I live in a day when the darkness is pretty prevalent, and evil is pretty active. And it seems to be that the darkness is overtaking the Light. What’s going on here? How can the darkness not overtake the Light, but yet people are still rejecting the Light?
This is the best way I can explain it. As a teenager, I loved to sleep in on Saturdays. Any adults like to sleep in on Saturdays? If you have babies, you want to sleep in, but you don’t. Actually, have you ever noticed, this is a little side note, that you want to sleep in on Saturdays and your kids always wake up early, but on school days, like Monday when you have to wake up early, the kids sleep in? You ever noticed that? It happens all the time.
I love to sleep in, but here’s what my wonderful father did – every Saturday, never failed. About one o’clock in the afternoon, when he thought I should wake up, he was probably right by the way, I do this too, now or will do this; he walks into my room quietly. Now my room, at one o’clock in the afternoon, the sun beams through my windows, but I had blackout shades. My father quietly walks in, walks over to the windows. What does he do? (Sound of shades opening) And the light shines right in my face. And that does not make me happy. That makes me angry. And what happens is I want the shades closed.
Now, here’s why that matters. People in the world we live in, they have the shades pulled open and the light comes into their life. And the light does not always make people happy. The light reveals things that we really don’t want to be revealed about ourselves. And so, we get out of the bed, and we shut the curtains because we want to live in our darkness. Sometimes it’s easier to live in the darkness. They say light’s the best disinfectant, but we don’t always want to be disinfected because we love the darkness.
People reject Jesus because they love their lifestyle. They love the darkness. They love that pleasure they get. They don’t like being told what to do. You see, Jesus made our eyes, yet we refuse to see His glory, right? Jesus made our ears, and yet we refuse to listen to His Words. Jesus made our heads, yet we refuse to bow before Him. Jesus made our feet, and we refuse to follow Him. Jesus made our hearts, and we refuse to surrender it to Him because we love the darkness.
But verse 12 gives us what I think is the best word that you’ll ever see throughout the whole Bible. Just a little word. It’s a 3-letter word. It’s the word “but.” From Genesis to Revelations, that word “but” is the greatest word you’ll see in the Bible because it’s followed up with “but…God.”
“But God” – verse 12 – just look at it again. But to all who received Him, to all who believed in Him, to all who decided to follow the light of Jesus, He gave them the right to be children of God. To those who believe in His name, who were born, not of natural descent or of the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of the will of God.
Listen, in a real sense, when you’re born, you are a child of God because you’re created by God, but you’re not in the family of God until you are reborn. You’re not given the inheritance of God until you believe in Him, until you decide to follow Jesus, when you decide to receive the Light.
So here’s the question. Do you believe? Do you believe? That’s it. I mean, I think Christians can make being saved a really complicated process. But it’s not complicated. It’s, do you believe in Jesus? Have you or are you ready to receive the Light of life? Because when you believe, the next step is to repent, to turn away from the darkness and the live in the Light, and then you just follow Jesus the rest of your life. You just surrender and say Jesus, whatever You tell me to do, wherever You tell me to go, I’m going to do it. That’s what it means to be a Christian.
Do you believe? Have you repented? And are you following Jesus? That’s the question that you need to wrestle with today, and the invitation that we have for you today is simple. If you are ready to believe, then you’re invited to come and surrender your life to Jesus. Are you ready to step out on faith and say I’m going to follow Jesus?
You know, when Jesus walked around, you know what he said? He just looked at His disciples and said, follow Me. I know you’re messed up. I mean, Matthew was a tax collector. Peter was messed up. He still was messed up throughout the Gospels. My favorite disciple became the leader of the church. He says, I know you’re messed up. I know you’re sinful. You just follow Me, and I’ll take care of the rest. Just follow Me. Come and see Who I am. Come and see what I can do in your life. Come and see so that you would believe.
So, as we stand here in a few moments, that is the invitation for you today – are you ready to surrender your life to Christ? Are you ready to take the next steps and go public with that decision and follow Him into the waters of baptism? And maybe you’ve just been following Jesus for a long time, and you just need to say, you know what? It’s time for me to do better. It’s time for me to give God that blank page and go wherever He tells me to go. It’s time to stop closing the shades and live in His light.
Let’s pray together. Father, we thank you for Your Word. We thank you that You have always existed, that You are completely God, that You created us, that You breathed into us the breath of life and that we are valued, and we are loved by You so much so, that You sent Your Son to die for us so that whoever would believe would be received into Your family, would be called a child of God.
We thank You for the restoration and the transformation that is found in Jesus. Father help all of us to live in Your light, following Your ways until You call us home.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name, amen.