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Why Do Christians Worship Jesus?

October 4, 2019

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18) 

John is referring, of course, to Jesus Christ, who is the subject of his Gospel and indeed of the whole Bible. How can Jesus make God known? How can He do what no religion has ever done and what no other person—past, present, or future—can ever do? 

Verse 18 is the conclusion of the entire introduction to John’s Gospel, which explains why Christians worship Jesus. These verses give us a seven-fold description of the unique glory of Jesus Christ: He is the eternal, personal, divine, creating, life-giving, incarnate Son of God.

1. Eternal 

In the beginning was the Word… (John 1:1) 

It does not say, “In the beginning was God and no one has ever seen him or made him known.” It says, “in the beginning was the Word.” What this means is that God speaks. 

It has often been said that all religions are like blind men trying to describe an elephant. One blind man gets hold of its tail, and says the elephant is like a long thin rope. Another blind man gets hold of its trunk and says, “No, the elephant is like a long flexible tube.” A third blind man stands next to the elephant and says, “I don’t know what you guys are talking about. You must be blind! The elephant is like a huge wall made of leather.” 

Those who want to critique faith tell a story like this and say, “No one has ever seen God. We are like blind men trying to describe an elephant.” A good response to that story is: What if the elephant was able to speak? What if the elephant could say, “Let me tell you who I am. I am a very complex animal with a trunk a body and a tail. Listen to me, you blind men, and I will tell you who I am and then you will be able to make sense of your experience!” 

In the beginning was the Word. God speaks and He has made Himself known, otherwise we would never be able to know Him. 

2. Personal 

The Word was with God… (John 1:1) 

The Word is not simply an aspect of God, or a characteristic of God, like His mercy or His love. There is distinct personality here. That’s why John goes on to say, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). We are bumping up against the most marvelous, complex doctrine of the Trinity here. 

3. Divine 

The Word was God. (John 1:1) 

This Word is a divine person. He is not part of the creation, like the angels and ourselves. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1)—distinct personality and divinity. You find the same thing in verse 18: He is the only God and He is at the Father’s side. 

4. Creating 

All things were made through him… (John 1:3) 

The creation gives us some knowledge of God (Romans 1:20). Why is that? The creation is God’s handiwork. It was made by Him and it contains an impression of the One who made it. 

5. Life-giving 

In him was life… (John 1:4) 

J. I. Packer says, “Here is the Bible’s answer to the problem of the origin and continuance of life, in all its forms: life is given and maintained by the Word.” [1] 

What makes me alive? The question should be: Who makes me alive?  

In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) 

6. Incarnate 

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (John 1:14) 

The baby in the manger that we celebrate at Christmas was the eternal word of God. He was called “Immanuel,” God with us. 

7. Son of God 

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) 

Why do Christians worship Jesus? Because He was at the Father’s side from the beginning. He is the one and only Son, He has come down from God, He is God with us, and He has made the Father known. Jesus is the eternal, personal, divine, creating, life-giving, incarnate Son of God.

This article was adapted from Pastor Colin’s sermon, “Knowing Who God Is,” from his series Meet Jesus.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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