[David Bearden, the new pulpit minister for the University Church of Christ, has kindly offered to provide questions and other supplementary materials for those teaching this class. To place things in a useful order in the column on the right, I’m backdating these materials.]
PORTRAITS OF JESUS
Purpose of John (John 20:30-31)
Purpose of this class (John 12:34) “Who is this son of man?”
Views of Jesus:
1. He never lived (Legend)
2. He lived, but was merely a good man, a great teacher, and a great philosopher and moralist who possessed a greater and deeper concept of God as Spirit than any who had lived before him or after him.
3. Jesus was not Messiah, but as a deeply religious Jew of northern Palestine, He believed that He was. (Lunatic)
4. Jesus was a shrewd and cunning imposter (Liar)
5. Jesus was what John claimed for Him, and what He claimed for Himself: the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah of prophecy. (Lord)
Portrait 1: Jesus – God in the Flesh
Text: John 1:1-18
Jesus portrayed as Word, Light, Life = God in Flesh
Gen. 1 God speaks to create, light, life, giving life to flesh
Look at the relationships of Jesus in John 1:1-18
1. Christ’s relation to deity: God (1; Heb 1:1-4)
a. In beginning was the Word
b. With God
c. Was God
2. Christ’s relation to the Physical World: Life – Creator (2-3; Col. 1:15-17))
3. Christ’s relation to the Moral World: Light (4,5,9; Gen. 1)
4. Christ’s relation to Humanity: Hope (10-13; Heb. 2:10-18)
5. Relation to the Father: Revealer (14-18; Phil 2:6-11)
1. How is the portrait of Jesus in John 1:1-18 parallel to the portrait of God in Gen. 1?
2. How is God speaking the word to create like Jesus being the Word of God?
3. How is God being the light and giver of light like Jesus being the light and the giver of light?
4. How is God being the life and giver of life like Jesus being the life and the giver of life?
5. What is the indication that with Jesus, John is leading us to understand “spiritual eternal life,” rather than physical life?
6. Compare God creating living flesh to Jesus as God becoming living flesh.
7. What would John want us to see this picture of Jesus?
8. How does this picture help us answer the question, “Who is this ‘Son of man’?”
9. Why is seeing Jesus in his relationships, as God, life, light, hope, and revealer, important to one being in a relationship with Jesus?
10. If we are to be like Jesus, how can we be like him in our relationships to others? How can we be “Godlike, Life, Light, Hope and Revealer” to those who do not have a relationship with Jesus, or are struggling in their relationship with Jesus?
by David Bearden