John wants us to know that Jesus is the promised Messiah. All of Old Testament scripture looks forward, longing for a day when the promised Messiah king will come. John declares that he is Jesus. John wants us to know that this Messiah king is the eternal Son of God, the creator of all things come into this world in a human body. This Jesus is both light and life. John wants his readers to experience the life and light that comes from knowing this Messiah king.
My deep desire is that as you spend time with Jesus you too will believe that he is the Messiah king, the Son of God and that by believing you may experience life in his name.
I have used the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee in these notes. It is a newish translation that we are trialling at St Stephens. Tell me what you think.
Whenever we study the Bible, we always want to have three questions in our minds.
Firstly, we want to ask what does the text actually say? Don’t short cut this process! Spend time with the text just listening to what it actually says. Try and cut out as much as possible your own thoughts and the noises in your head as you simply listen to the words of the text (I have put some questions in the white boxes to help you do this).
Having listened to the text we want next to ask what does it mean? When Jesus says, “I am the light of the world,” he is communicating a truth to us. We need to consider this meaning, making sure that we understand what he is communicating.
Finally, we can now move to ourselves. Truth always has implications and applications and so now we ask, how does this apply to me? (I have put these questions into the shaded boxes). Sometimes in order to answer this question we have to ask what did it mean to them back then? Before we can think about what it means for us today.
I have structured these studies a little differently so that we can work the text together – no homework!!!