Christ came so we might have life
and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Some modern preachers want us to
believe this refers to wealth and prosperity, so they urge people to go boldly
before God and claim this promised abundance. To them, faith is measured by how
much God blesses us materially.
However, the God revealed in the
Bible is not some big “sugar daddy” in the sky, ready to give us everything we
want. We may prayerfully sing, “Oh Lord, won’t you give me a Mercedes
Benz?” and we might get it, but that doesn’t mean God gave it to us.
John does not start "the story of Jesus" in the usual way. He says nothing about the way Jesus was born. Rather, he takes us back in time to "the beginning." In the beginning, he says, was "the Word." Modern readers may not know at first what this "Word" is, but it becomes clear in verse 14: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." The Word became a human being, a Jewish man named Jesus.
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Many preachers quote John 10:10 as support for the idea that Christianity leads to physical prosperity and "every good thing." The verse has been used as a description of the Christian life, the normative pattern of life that Christians can expect because of God's blessings.
Jews celebrate the Passover as a yearly reminder of the time when God rescued them from slavery in Egypt.
But Christians look to something else. The New Testament Passover is neither a day nor a ritual, but is Jesus himself. We look to Jesus because he is the only way we can be rescued from the slavery of sin.
"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,
grace and truth." —John 1:14
He pitched his tent among us—that is the
literal meaning of
"made his dwelling among us." Our human minds can’t understand how
Jesus was born by the direct action of God. But the fact that God
tent with us, coming to live among us, is all-important. It is our
Some people ask how to understand John 1:1, since some sects claim that this verse should read that the Word was "a God"—or "a god." This claim is based on the fact that in the original Greek text the word theos in the last clause of John 1:1 does not have the definite article as it does in the second clause, which refers to the Father. This argument is based on ignorance of Greek grammar and syntax.