John  ◦   Chapter 1

1In the beginning was Jesus–God's very thoughts made audible and visible–and Jesus was with God, and was God.

2He was with God before anything else existed.

3Through Jesus everything was created; without Jesus nothing was created that has been created.

4In Jesus was life–original, unborrowed, underived–and his life enlightens the mind about God: about his character, methods, and principles.

5The light of Jesus' life shines into the darkened minds of human beings — darkened by Satan's lies about God — but their darkened minds have not understood the light.

6There came a man called John who was empowered and directed by the Spirit of God.

7He came as a witness to testify that Jesus was the true light sent to dispel the darkness enshrouding the mind, so that everyone might believe the truth about God and be healed.

8John was not the light of truth; he came only as a witness to the light.

9The true Light that enlightens everyone–God's very thoughts made visible and audible–was coming into the world.

10Jesus — the true Light — was in the world, and even though the world was created by him, the world was so blinded by Satan's lies that it didn't even recognize him.

11Jesus came to his own people — whom he had especially chosen, instructed and blessed — but many refused to accept him because they preferred Satan's version of a savior.

12But all who recognized and accepted him — all who valued and accepted the character, methods and principles he revealed — he made them children of God, transforming them into like character, practicing God's methods and principles.

13They were made God's children not because of genetics or biological descent, or because of human procreation, but because of the transformation of mind, heart and character brought about by God.

14Jesus became a real human being, and he established his temple–the temple of his body–among us. We have seen the glory of his character–the character of the One and Only true God. He came from God, and perfectly revealed the Father who is the source of all grace and truth.

15John the Baptist testified concerning Jesus. He proclaimed, "This is the One I was talking about when I said, 'He who begins his public ministry after mine is superior to me because he existed before I was even born.'

16From all that Jesus is, and all he has to give, we have received every blessing heaven has to give–one blessing after another.

17The written rules, which were designed to protect us while we were still ignorant of God's methods and principles, were given through Moses; but the truth of God's gracious character and His methods for running the universe is revealed through Jesus Christ.

18No human being has ever seen God, except God’s One and only Son — Jesus Christ, who stands with his Father and has perfectly made the Father known — because Jesus and the Father are One: one in character, power, divinity and authority.

19John was giving this testimony about Jesus when the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent religious leaders to ask him who he was.

20John didn't hesitate for one second to freely proclaim, "I am not the Deliverer of Israel or the Savior of the world.

21The religious leaders asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah who went to heaven in a chariot?" John stated clearly, "I am not Elijah who went to heaven in a chariot." "Are you the Prophet Moses?" He answered, "No I am not."

22They finally asked, "Who are you then? We need to report back to those who sent us, and we must tell them something. So who do you think you are?

23John replied by quoting the prophet Isaiah's famous reference about the one who would prepare for the Messiah's coming: "I am the voice calling in a dark and desolate land: 'Prepare your minds, untwist your hearts, and prepare for the Lord to come with his healing Remedy.'

24Some of the legalistic religious lawyers who had been sent by the authorities in Jerusalem

25asked him more questions. "Why then do you immerse people in water if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah who went to heaven in a chariot, nor the Prophet Moses?"

26"I simply immerse people in water to symbolize the washing away of the old selfish life; but among you, right now, is the Messiah, and you don't even recognize him.

27"He is the One who comes after I have called people to turn their lives around, and who will bring real healing and transformation of heart. He is so awesome that I am not worthy to untie his shoes."

28All this happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River, where John was immersing people in water.

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Look, everyone! The sacrificial Son of God, who reunites this world with God by restoring in humans God's character and removing from people the rebellious principles of Satan.

30"This is the One I was talking about when I said, 'He who begins his public ministry after mine is superior to me because he existed before I was even born.'31I personally didn't know him, nor had I ever met him, but the reason I was immersing people in water was to prepare their hearts to recognize him when he came."

32Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit of God come down from heaven in the form of a dove and settle on him.33Because I had never met him, I wouldn't have known him, except that God, who sent me to call people to a new life and immerse them in water, told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down on and remain, is the One who will immerse people's minds and hearts in love and truth from the Holy Spirit.'34I have seen this happen and hereby testify that Jesus is the Son of God.

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the sacrificial Son of God!"

37When the two disciples heard him say this, they left John and followed Jesus.38Turning around, Jesus saw them following him, and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Teacher, where are you staying?"

39"Come," Jesus replied, "and you will discover for yourselves." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon.

40Simon Peter's brother, Andrew, was one of the two who heard what John said, and followed Jesus.

41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, "We have found the Savior of the world. We have found the Christ!"42And he brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Pebble." (When translated Pebble means Peter.)

43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

44Philip, like Peter and Andrew, was from Bethsaida.45Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom God’s spokespersons also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph, but really — the Son of God."

46"Nazareth! Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see for yourself," answered Philip.

47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true and faithful son of Israel, in whom there is a pure heart and nothing false."

48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "While you were still under the fig tree — before Philip called you, and even before you were born — I saw you."

49Then Nathanael declared, "Great Teacher, you are the Son of God; you are the King and Deliverer of Israel."

50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see much greater things than that."51Then he added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and you shall see all the blessings of heaven flowing to the earth as the angels of God ascend and descend on the Son of Man." (He said this indicating that he is the connecting link between heaven and earth.)