S2E1: In the Beginning
Beginnings /:1:/ In the Beginning.
Remember, all the preview material below is optional. Just show up!
Scripture Covered: John 1
Optional Reading: Genesis 1
Themes: The Creation Story, the Word (logos), the Deity of Jesus, the Ministry of John the Baptist, Children of God, the "offices" of Jesus the Messiah
Key Question: Who is Jesus?
In the beginning was God... and then God created everything out of nothing. It's pretty simple, right?! (can you sense the sarcasm?) This is how the epic origin of the universe begins. And as we've concluded from the previous "Basics" series, the Bible is God's way of communicating directly to humanity. So we begin this study of the Bible at the beginning, with the Gospel of John.
Why not begin with Genesis? Well, for starters, John provides an explicit parallel to the creation story in the Book of Genesis. And because we believe the Bible is an integrated narrative of 66 different books that progressively point toward Jesus the Messiah (we discuss that title in detail, btw), we thought it fitting to start with the Gospel of John in order to preview where we're headed, and to set the context for the creation narrative of Genesis, which comes immediately after. (See our schedule).
Are you ready?!
Our ministry partners at The Bible Project have a series of great videos that simplify some of the major themes of the Bible, along with overview videos for every book of the Bible. You might want to watch this short video that summarizes the first half of the Gospel of John as a preview of what we'll be covering the next few weeks:
The central theme of the Bible is reconcilation and restoration, and the central character of the Bible is Jesus! He is subtly present throughout the entire Old Testament, revealed explicitly in the Gospels, proclaimed in the Book of Acts, and explained in the letters of the apostles. The Gospel of John portrays Jesus as the "Word made flesh" (that is, the "Logos" of God), which is a descriptive way of saying He is the very essence of the divine nature in humaan form. John is careful to make clear who Jesus is and the purpose of his mission, filling the role of priest, prophet and king of humanity, revealing the character of God and restoring our relationship so that we can know and experience God personally.