Jesus Was Before
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Jesus Was Before
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. However, what happened before the beginning? We tend to think that Genesis tells us where everything starts but this is unfortunately false. Genesis tells us the beginning of our world and tells us the beginning of mankind however what about before all of that? There is one book that tells us what was before the beginning. John chapter 1 tells us what happened before the heavens and the earth were created. Several years ago, we had a group of Christian rappers come to perform in our church to put on a concert for our teens down in Hikone. There was one rapper that had shared with us something that I will never forget and he has stuck in my mind since then. His name is Voorhees and too me he was the most talented of the group that came. Not to say that the others didn’t have talent but his rap had a message and it was done in such a way that it was easy to hear and understand. Before he started this one particular song, he explained that his daughter would often ask questions about God and about Jesus and where Jesus came from. So, he wrote a song that explained all of this and it follows well with John chapter one. He said that Jesus was before.
Before what? Before everything. John doesn’t start with in the beginning God created. John says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. If we replace the Word with the name Jesus then it would go like this. In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. Jesus was with God in the beginning. This tells us what was there before the world began. Jesus was not just there 2000 years ago but he was there long before all of that. He was there before the command let there be light. John then says, “through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” In order for all things to have been made then he would have had to have been there before all things were made. Since then, nothing has happened or has been created without him having a direct hand in its creation.
In him, Jesus, was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Sin brings us darkness because sin brings us death. However, Jesus both created life in the beginning and in him is life even now. This life is the light that shines in the darkness of mankind. It is the life that he brings that overcomes the darkness of sin. It is impossible for darkness to pierce its way into light. Every single time it is the light that cuts through the darkness. I took a trip about 10 years ago with my sister to Mount Rushmore and we took a tour of Jewel cave. At one point they shut all of the lights off so that we could see and feel the darkness around us. There was absolutely no light in that cave. I imagine that is what it was like before the words let there be light. However, as soon as you light even a single match the light pierces through all of the darkness and you can see much more and as you increase the light it pierces through even more. This light in a dark cave is an example of the life that Jesus brings that cuts through the darkness of sin. And this light and life began long before the world began.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Even before creation his plan was for us to be holy and set apart from the darkness but his creation chose darkness over light and some still choose darkness even today. Because we chose disobedience instead of obedience which preserves life the Word decided to come into the world to bring light and life back into the world therefore piercing through the darkness of sin and death. In verse 11 Paul says that “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” We were chosen to take part in his predestined plan. Meaning his plan that was before everything. Again, we are told that Jesus was before.
John goes on to say something interesting that still rings true today. “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” I wonder if John knew when he wrote this that this would still be true even today. Even today many of his own will not receive him. Many will choose death over life because life requires obedience which is not something that comes naturally. However, many also continue to choose darkness because they have not yet seen the light. Sadly, there are still those who already have the light and the life and they will not share it. I think many of us in this country have grown accustomed to keeping the good news to ourselves. Unless someone seeks out the Word for themselves the church will not seek that person in the darkness. The church has grown accustomed to be in silence as the world pushes to silence the church outside of its walls. So, unless someone enters through the door and to the other side of our walls they will never see or hear the Word. There are still some who will go out beyond the walls and share the light and life with others but it is easy for us to just send them out with some financial support and let them do the job for us while we stay protected and comfortable behind our walls. How many more might actually hear the Word of life if more would come outside the walls to share it?
There is a blessing and promise to receiving the Word. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” We are given this right as children of God because Jesus was not just here 2000 years ago but he was before. He was with God and he is God. We who receive him are called his children and we share in His inheritance. Therefore, this begs the question, why are we keeping this right to ourselves? Why are we not sharing it with the world? Sure, some are but why are there still so many of us living in silence. There are so many in our world today including atheists who need to know that Jesus was before. When they ask where he came from if he is the one who created us and when they ask who created him, they are acknowledging that they themselves had to be created. If they are trying to answer the question, who created God as an argument for why they believe that there is no God then they must also acknowledge that there must be a creator and that our existence cannot have happened by random chance. This is when we answer their question with this answer. Jesus was Before.