A Sermon in Song based on
The gospel of John is unique in that, unlike the other gospels, John begins with a beautiful prologue. This prologue, which goes on for 18 verses, is considered by some to have been a song used in worship during the time John wrote his gospel. In his commentary on the book, Frank Pack writes that John “purposely traced the origins of Jesus Christ back to the ultimate, eternal being with God. The Prologue, like the overture to an opera, states a number of the principal motifs of the Gospel.” No doubt it was a theological poem which summarizes the Lordship of Jesus – thoughts that could have been set to music.
Jesus is the Word
Jesus is the Word (logos) through whom God speaks to the world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3). Note that Jesus is the Eternal Word, the Creative Word, and the Incarnate Word.
The apostle John uses the word logos, a word of profound significance to the Greeks. John defines the logos, not as a concept, but as a person. The Word was with God in personal fellowship and closest association.
“A word, in the primary meaning of the term, is a vessel for the conveyance of an idea. Christ was the vessel which conveyed the true idea of God to humanity. Jesus Christ is God’s “Word” to reveal His heart and mind to us” (Wiersbe). “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)
A word is composed of letters, and Jesus Christ is “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:11), the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. According to Hebrews 1:1-3, Jesus Christ is God’s last Word to mankind, for He is the climax of divine revelation. (Wiersbe)
Our God He Is Alive
God Has Spoken by His Prophets – “God has spoken by Christ Jesus”
Shepherd of Tender Youth – “By Thy perennial word”
Jesus is God in the Flesh
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
“Here is the central fact of Christianity, that the Word who created all things, and was the light of men, became flesh at one particular point in time, in one particular human life, Jesus of Nazareth” (Pack). “Here is one of Scripture’s most definitive statements of the incarnation: ‘the Word was made flesh’ – ‘dwelling among us’ – literally, “pitched his tent among us.” Jesus stay on earth was temporary, therefore a tent rather than a permanent dwelling” (Standard Lesson Commentary).
“Even though John’s emphasis is the deity of Christ, he makes it clear that the Son of God came in the flesh and was subject to the sinless infirmities of human nature” (Wiersbe) “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
I Have Found A Friend In Jesus – “In temptation He’s my strong and might tower”
Ah, Holy Jesus – “For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation”
Come, Thou Almighty King – “Come Thou incarnate Word
Hark the Herald Angels Sing – “Hail the incarnate Deity!”
O Word of God Incarnate
O Come All Ye Faithful – “Word of the Father now in flesh appearing”
Jesus is God’s Only Son
The word Son is used for the first time in John’s Gospel as a title for Jesus Christ (1:18). The phrase “only begotten” means “unique, the only one of its kind.”
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)
Because He Lives – “God sent His Son”
Hallelujah What A Savior – “the Son of God who came”
Holy is the Lord – “Holy is the Son”
How Great Thou Art – “God His Son not sparing”
Lamb of God – “Your only Son no sin to hide”
O Listen to the Wondrous Story – “God’s Son upon the cross”
To God Be The Glory – “He gave us His Son”
To Us A Child of Hope is Born – “a Son is given”
Jesus is Divine Light
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4-5)
Light was the first item spoken into existence (Genesis 1:3). This light was intended to benefit mankind by dispelling darkness. There is also a moral light of goodness and purity dispelling the kind of darkness that is loved by wicked men because there deeds are evil. Only in Jesus is there “the light of knowledge of the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Light is a favorite term in John. Jesus teaches, “I am the light of the world” (8:12). Through believing in the light men can become “sons of light” (12:36). Light had often accompanied God’s revelation to men and his word has been described as light (Psalm 119:105).
O Heart Bowed Down With Sorrow – “In Jesus there is light”
Lead Kindly Light
O Love That Wilt Not Let me Go – “O Light that followest all my way”
PRAYER: “You have given us more than we can imagine, dear God, in sending your Son as Your Word and Your Way to life eternal. May our thanks include an eager acceptance of Your gift; and a joyous sharing of it with others.”
Information from: The Great Themes of Scripture by Richard Rohr and Joseph Martos; John by Frank Pack; Be Alive by Warren Wiersbe; Standard Lesson Commentary 1988-1999
Sermon in Song prepared by Paul Brown (1929-2017)