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The Fulness of Christ

John 1:14-17 

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    And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [15] John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.' " [16] For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. [17] For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (NASB)

 Matthew and Luke tell the Christmas story from the perspective of the first century inhabitants of Bethlehem and beyond.  It is through their eyes that we meet the wise men from the east, the shepherds tending their flocks, the Angel of the Lord that brightens the night sky with "good news of great joy."   Because of them we know the details of the census that brought the blessed unwed mother and her fianc‚ to their home town and the overcrowding in the city that resulted in them spending that blessed night in a barn.  These two writers provide us with all the nostalgic details that form the context for our annual celebration of the birth of our Lord.  The evangelist John writes from a completely different perspective.  His Christmas story is void of the earthy details we snuggle up with on Christmas Eve.  He begins his story long before the fulness of time; he begins it in eternity.  "In the beginning was the Word," he writes, "and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1 KJV) 

 Aristotle identified three artistic proofs, the ethos, pathos and the logos.  Ethos is the overall impression you form about a person's honesty and integrity.  It is the feeling you have about people that makes you believe that you can believe them.  You can't necessarily quantify it, but nonetheless, it is one of the elements that persuade you.  We tend to believe believable people.  The second of Aristotle's trilogy is the pathos.  It is gut feeling you have about the rightness of something.  It is persuasion from within.  The last word Aristotle used was logos the very word John used in this text.  It meant the final word.  The logos is the truth that convinces you to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt.  It is the indisputable evidence.  In the opening words of John's gospel he makes an important theological statement.  Jesus is the preincarnate logos.  He is the final word that was from the beginning. As Rev. 1:8 says, "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'" (NASB) Before time began, in the great expanse of eternity, Jesus co-existed with the Father He "was with God," but He wasn't just with God, John also writes that He "was God."

 Jesus is the final word the truth that was from the beginning.  In 1 John 5:20, John wrote, "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."  (NASB)   John makes the same claim using apocalyptic language in the Revelation.  In Rev. 3:7 he wrote, "He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens," (NASB) And in Rev. 19:11 he wrote, "And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war." (NASB) 

 In John 14:6 Jesus said  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (NASB)  Notice that Jesus is not claiming to know the truth; He is claiming to be the truth.  That is the same claim John made about Him in the opening comments of his Christmas story. 

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