Jesus light of the world

20 Names for Jesus in the First Chapter of the Gospel of John!

Only 2 of the Gospels cover the Christmas Story, Matthew and Luke. Mark starts his account of the Life of Jesus with His baptism. John, the Apostle, writes a totally different introduction to the Life of Jesus. I’ve covered it before here, but for Christmas 2021, the Holy Spirit revealed to me something unique about the first chapter of John’s Gospel — there are 20 distinct names or phrases describing Jesus!

This is awesome as many people really don’t KNOW Jesus Christ as well as they should. Grab a piece of paper and as we read the chapter first, see if you can pick out all the different names for our Savior. Let’s dig in…

John 1

Jesus created the world. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Jesus created the world. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

John the Baptist: A voice crying in the wilderness. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
John the Baptist: A voice crying in the wilderness. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”


22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
    ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”

28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

Jesus, the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

Jesus is baptized and Holy Spirit came down on Him. Image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Jesus is baptized and Holy Spirit came down on Him. Image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The First Disciples

Jesus calls His first disciples. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Jesus calls His first disciples. Image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.

38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.

They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

John 1 NLT

20 Names Describing Jesus

  1. The Word – in Greek, that is “Logos”. The Word of God is the expression of the Mind of God. “Logos” also means “The Way”.
  2. Creator – He was around from the very beginning! If you read the account of the Creation in Genesis 1, you see that the Trinity existed from before day 1. God said, “Let there be Light and there was Light.” It wasn’t until the 4th day that God created the sun.
  3. The Light – which shines in the darkness and the darkness can never overcome it. Evil it the absence of God, just like darkness is the absence of Light. Seek the Light!
  4. The TRUE Light – it was not just any light, but the True Light, giving light to EVERYONE! He’s the Light of Life who came to destroy the devil’s work and for everyone in the world. Don’t run from it, run to it.
  5. Human – the Word became Human. He came down from His cushy home in Heaven to live among us. He became one of us. He had to so that He could take on all the sins of all the people to the cross.
  6. Glory – A Glory that could only come from the Father’s one and only Son. Full of unfailing Love and Faithfulness.
  7. Far Greater – John the Baptizer humbled himself when he said that Jesus was “far greater” than he was. Besides that, John says that He existed long before him. Remember, John the Baptizer was Jesus’ cousin. We read about his birth in Luke 1. He was born 6 months before Jesus. That means that Jesus did exist from the beginning.
  8. The Unique OneThere was never before anyone like Jesus and there never will be.
  9. God – Jesus was fully human AND fully God. Jesus reveals God to us.
  10. The Lord – the prophet Isaiah prophesied it in 700 BC. John the Baptizer was just a voice shouting in the wilderness, “Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!”
  11. Lamb of God – this one was important to the Hebrews. Going all the way back to the first Passover when God told Moses that the Israelites were to put the blood of a lamb on the posts of their doors to be saved from the final plague and the plague passed over all their homes. Subsequently, the Israelites had to sacrifice a lamb at the tabernacle first, then at the temple, to atone for their sins. Now, Jesus came as the final Lamb of God who takes away ALL the sin of the whole world.
  12. Messiah – the Anointed One of God. Kings were anointed to their position. Like Saul and David. Thus, Jesus carries the Scepter and position of King.
  13. The Chosen One – John the Baptizer saw the Holy Spirit come down from Heaven and heard the voice of God the Father from Heaven indicating that Jesus was the Chosen One of God.
  14. Rabbi – Teacher. He came to teach us the Truth, and the Good News of His True Salvation. Wherever He went, people followed Him wanting to hear Him preach. That’s why we need to read and listen to His Word every day.
  15. The ChristMessiah means the “Anointed One” in Hebrew. In Greek, it’s Christ.
  16. Son of Joseph – Ever since God told David that his lineage would continue, the existence of the royal bloodline was important to the Israelites. That’s why both Matthew and Luke list Jesus family trees.
  17. Son of God – born of the union of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.
  18. King of Israel – He IS the One they’ve been waiting for. It’s been 500 years since the last prophet of the Old Testament wrote messages from God. Finally, the King was here!
  19. Son of Man – Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. He was not only the Son of God, but a human like us. He came to be like us so He could save us from sin.
  20. Stairway between Heaven and Earth – Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven! Just like the ladder to Heaven that Jacob saw. That was Jesus!

Did you get them all? Did you find others that I may have missed? Has this opened your eyes to who Jesus is?

One thing is knowing WHO Jesus is, another is KNOWING Jesus in your heart as your personal Lord and Savior! That is the crucial step to Salvation!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Good News Productions International from (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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