Rabbi Schneider - Born Again in Jesus
I'm taking time as I'm going through the Gospel of John because it truly is one of the most remarkable books in the entire Bible. We know that the whole Bible is the Word of God. But some of us have special books in the Bible, favorites you could say. And the Gospel of John is one of my personal favorites because John brings forth spiritual mysteries that are talked about no place else in the Scriptures. Now I'm not gonna go through and review everything that I've covered. I really want to encourage you, get this series. Get season 1 where I talk about the Trinity. I'm going to continue right now in this second message in season 2. I'm picking up in verse number 12 of chapter 1, where I left off last week. Hear the Word of God: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name. And I discussed that last week.
Let's continue on with the 13th verse: Who were born, he's speaking of these that have received him now and have become children of God, and then he goes on to say this: Who were born not of blood nor the will of flesh nor the will of man but of God. So John is saying here that those of use that have received Jesus have had this birth experience. And this birth experience that we've had, he said, it isn't a birth that's come through blood. It isn't a birth that's come through the flesh. But this birth that we've experienced, listen now, has come from God himself. Now get this. There are certain capabilities that God has built into the flesh. In other words, God has built in to the flesh not just of humanity, but into the animal kingdom itself, the ability to procreate, the ability to reproduce, the ability to give birth.
In other words, two rabbits can procreate and reproduce. This is a birth by the flesh. This is a birth by the blood. Two monkeys, the same thing. You go to any species in the animal kingdom, they have the ability to reproduce themselves. This is because of a capability that God built into their flesh. But John here is saying that this experience that one enters into when they receive the Lord Jesus causes them to experience a birth that isn't possible through anything of the blood or of the flesh. It's something that's happening in the spirit world and it's totally from another world. It's from the realm, beloved, of the supernatural, from God himself.
Now I'm gonna touch more about this in chapter 3, where John speaks about what he calls the born-again experience. Sometimes people hear that word born again and they completely miss it because soon as they hear that term born again, they think of a certain type of Christian. But listen, Jesus himself uses the term born again. He said that which is born of flesh is flesh. That which his born of Spirit is spirit. He said, truly, truly I say to you, listen now, you must be born again. Jesus said that. So let's forget about every pre-conceived notion as to what we think the term born again means. Let's just put all that behind us and ask ourselves, did Jesus use the term born again, and if he did, what did he mean by it, because if Jesus said it, it's important.
So let's again receive the Word from the Spirit and understand how it applies to our life. So John is hinting on that now in the 13th verse when he speaks about people being born not of the flesh, nor of blood, but of God himself. And I'm gonna speak more to the point on this when we get to John, chapter 3. Let's continue on now because we're going verse by verse through the Gospel of John. This is called expository preaching. We're going line by line, precept by precept. I encourage you, even take notes on this. Get the Bible studies that we provide on-line through discoveringthejewishjesus.com. I encourage you even to start a Bible study in your home as I'm going through the Gospel of John. Watch the episode together. You can even record it on your DVD. Have a group of people over to your home once a week. Watch the broadcast together. Get the study notes off the website. Look up the Scriptures together. Ask the study questions. Do a study in the Gospel of John. I'm telling you, it will bless you and the fellowship that you'll have will be amazing.
Let's continue on. Verse number 14: And the Word became flesh, speaking of Jesus, because remember, John said in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So he's saying that the Word was in the beginning. He was with God and he was God. And then he said in verse 14: And the Word became flesh. So what's he talking about? That this Word, who is God, who has been in the beginning, he became flesh. And so Jesus is the Word. Jesus is therefore, get it now, God in the flesh. This is why Jesus said later in the Gospel of John, before Abraham was, he said, I Am. Jesus is God in the flesh.
Let me say it again. Jesus is God, Yeshua HaMashiach. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Listen to John 1:14 again: And the Word became flesh. Who's the Word? Remember John said in John, 1, earlier, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And now he says, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. And so the Word that became flesh is God, who was in the beginning. Now think about this. The person of Jesus, he is fully God because he's the Word, remember? The Word became flesh. John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So this Word who is God has now become flesh. That means this.
Get this now because there's an application for you and I. Jesus, hear me, he is fully God as the Word, but he is also fully flesh because the Word became flesh. He clothes himself in humanity. And what that means is that when you and I come to Jesus, he fully relates to us, and has compassion on us, and has empathy for us because he himself came to earth clothed in humanity. He understands us, beloved, as another human being would understand us because he lived his life on earth for 33 years clothed in humanity. So when we come to Jesus, get this now, he can fully relate to us in our humanity because Jesus is humanity. But he's also the Eternal Word that has been from eternity. And so Jesus is kind of that conduit between God and man. Jesus is fully God so he relates to God as God, but he's also fully man so he relates to us man to man. And he is in the middle between God and humanity so that he can be the bridge to bring us into our experience with divinity.
We hail your holy name, King Jesus, and thank you, Father God, for what you have done and the wonderful plan you have made by bringing us to yourself through Jesus.
Jesus said, I am the Way. I am the Truth, and I am the Life. No man cometh to Father but through me. He is the Way, fully God and fully man.
Let's continue on, verse 14: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Get this next portion now, beloved ones. We saw His glory. I love this. Get it now. John said, we saw his glory. There's a lot of people that consider themselves Christians. They attend church a few times a year. They consider themselves Christians. They believe they're Christians because they consider themselves to be good people. But you know what? They think the Bible's just a fairy tale. When it gets right down to it, they think it's just a book of myths. They think it maybe is for weak people that need a crutch. Even though they call themselves Christians, they don't really believe the stories in the Bible. But John said, we saw him. Get it. He's talking about real history. In John's letter, John wrote, that which we have seen, that which we beheld, that which we handled with our own hands, that which we have touched and heard, he said, we proclaim to you.
Listen, God in the flesh, hear me now, is a real person; that God himself literally, historically, actually and physically, get it now, entered in to the human experience. God in heaven appeared in humanity's physical universe 2,000 years ago clothed in humanity, walked amongst us for 33 years, and died on the cross for our sins. Jesus, beloved ones, is a real person. John said, once again, listen, and the Word became flesh. God himself became flesh. God clothed himself in humanity, and dwelt among us. He really walked with us. He lived with us. He's one of us. He's our brother as well as our Lord. He's our Savior and our friend. He dwelt among us, John said, and we saw the glory as the only begotten glory of the Father on his life. Jesus, beloved, is real and he's just as real now for you here today as he was 2,000 years ago when John wrote this. John said, I saw him. He's real. This Jesus, beloved, we believe in, he's not just a God of yesterday. He's not just a God of tomorrow that's coming back again. He's the God of the now. The same Jesus that John saw is here for you and I today. Let's just pray for a second.
Father God, we thank you for your Word and we ask you to impart faith to us right now. Strengthen us so that we can reach out by faith and take ahold of your Son. Help us to seize your Word, Father, by faith and bring your truth, the truth of your Son, deep into the inner recesses of our lives and our hearts.
You know, the Apostle Peter wrote similarly in his book when he spoke about the time that Jesus brought Peter, James and John up to the top of a mountain. And Peter writes about this in his letter, and he said, I was with him on the mountain; Peter, John and James together. Peter says, James and John were with me on the mountain. And he said, listen, when we told you that he was transfigured before us into a being of light, just like John described him, earlier we spoke about this. He is the Light, Jesus said, that came into the world. John said, we went on top of the mountain with Jesus, and suddenly he didn't appear to be just flesh anymore, but he was a glorious being of light. And John said, now yet I see that, not only did I see that glory, not only did I see the light coming from him, but John said, I also heard a voice from heaven saying, this is my Beloved Son. Listen to him. And then Peter said this, listen. Then Peter said, and when I told you about this, Peter said, it's not a cleverly devised fairy tale. He said I experienced it. It's real.
You see, that's what John is saying here. I saw Him. Let's continue on: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. You see, when we hear this Word that Jesus, get this now, is full of grace and truth, I want you to hear me now, I want to put this in, this concept of God's grace revealed in Jesus in connection with the revelation of God that we receive in the Old Testament.
If you go to the King James Version of the Bible, you'll notice in John, 1:17, that grace and the law are pitted against each other. It reads that the law was given through Moses. And then it has the word but in the King James Version. And if you have the King James Version, you'll notice that that word but looks like a different font than the other words in that verse. It's italicized. And the reason, beloved ones, that the word but is italicized there is that the translators are showing that it's not in the original manuscripts. They added it to try to give it sense, but actually they did us a disservice because in their theological framework they thought that the God of the New Testament revealed himself in a completely different way than he revealed himself in the Old Testament. But in reality, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same God. It's just that God revealed himself progressively from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
And so God, get me now, church, was a God of grace even in the Old Testament. It's just that his grace was not fully manifest until we come to the New Testament. And so once again in the King James Version, they say in John, 1:17, that the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ, making it sound like the law and the grace that was realized through Jesus were opposite to each other, because the word but sets up a contrast. It sets up opposites. But in reality, the law in the Old Testament was actually part of God's grace because God was breaking into a barbaric culture and he began to set up boundaries and standards to bring that barbaric culture into a more for, a more fair, and compassionate, and equitable culture.
So back to John, 1:14, God has always been a God of grace. Once again, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, we saw his glory, glory the only begotten of the Father, get this now, fully of grace and truth. And again, in verse 17 we pick up that concept of grace: For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. And so we didn't really come to understand God's grace until Jesus came and revealed the heart of the Father to us.
So let's continue on, verse 15: John testified about Him and cried out saying, This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me has a mightier rank than I, for He existed before me; again, speaking of the pre-existence of Messiah. For His fullness we have all received, once again that word grace, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. Get those two sentences together: For of His fullness we have all received; verse 16, grace upon grace. So we have one grace and now on top of the one grace, another grace has come. John says, grace upon grace. What was the first grace? The first grace was the Law. Look at the very next verse here: For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
And so again the King James translators really got it wrong. They say that the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came, they say, through Jesus Christ, making it out like the law wasn't a part of God's grace. But in reality the law was the first dimension of God's grace. And then Jesus came on top of that and really revealed God's grace in the fullest sense. So once again, verse number 16: For of His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. The first grace was the law, then the greater grace was Jesus himself. And so he continues in the 17th verse: For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. Finally, verse 18: No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. So Jesus, our Messiah, comes to us, church, from the very bosom of the Father. The Son, get this now, is in the bosom of the Father. He is the focal point of the Father's heart. Jesus is the focal point of the Father's love. God by definition is love, and love needs someone to love. Jesus is the focal point of the Father's love.
Now hear this, church, you and I have been grafted in to Jesus. When we receive Jesus, listen to this, we were adopted into the Father's heart as the object of his love. All the Father's love, get this now, is focused on Jesus. And you that have received Jesus, get this now, are now in Jesus. And so the Father's love is focused on you even in the same way that it's focused on Jesus. Now the struggle of faith that we have is we live in a world where there are so many things happening around us, so many tragedies, so much darkness, so much difficulty that often times you and I have a hard time believing how safe we are in the Father's love. We have a difficult time believing how much the Father loves us. And because we walk by faith and not by sight, we don't always feel the Father's love. That's why Paul described our walk in this world, beloved children of God, as a walk of faith.