Today in our pursuit to know Go more deeply and follow Christ more closely, we will being reading the Gospel of John. John is quite poetic and expressive and sometimes his words can be difficult to grasp. So let’s did deep an discover the simplicity of truth in this gospel.
John begins with these graceful and meaningful sentences. Verses 1-5 read,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The Word, John is speaking of is Jesus. What does it mean that Jesus is the Word? The Word, the word logos is Greek and is the rational principle that governs the universe. Greeks (Gentiles) that John wrote to would understand the word in its philosophical use about reaching a conclusion using reasoning. Jewish readers would understand the word as it was used in scripture to mean the principle of divine reason and creative order. Logos was God’s purpose spoken into action or being. In the Old Testament Logos is often the embodiment of God’s will carried out. So John is saying that Jesus was God’s will personified, exemplified, and accomplished.
Psalm 33:6 reads,
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.”
Psalm 107:20 says,
“He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.”
John begins with “In the beginning.” His gospel opening immediately brings to mind Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
But now we learn that before God created anything The Word already was. Consider that, Jesus was not created. He already was.
The Word was with God. Jesus was with or by God’s side. As God created the Heavens and the Earth, Jesus was with Him completely in mind, heart, purpose, and work. Not only was Jesus with God, but He was God. They are one and the same completely one and yet side by side. It is a difficult concept to grasp that Jesus and The Father are two persons of the same God. There is the Father, who is God. There is Jesus, who is God. And although not mentioned in this verse, there is the Holy Spirit, who is God. They’re all completely God, not 1/3 of God, but God, and they are all separate persons of God.
Verse 3 says,
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Now not only do we read that Jesus was with God and was God but He was active in the creation. It was through Him that everything was made. And nothing was made without Him. God spoke creation into being. “And God said, “Let there be… And there was” God’s will was implemented by His word, the Word, Jesus.
Verse 4 reads,
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
In Jesus, life was manifested. Life itself, breath came to being because of Jesus. And of course, Jesus is life itself. It is because of The Word, God’s will incarnate, that life exists, and man breathes.
Furthermore, Jesus was even from the beginning the light of men. He is our light as the Giver of Life. He is our light as the manifestation of God’s desire. Jesus is the perfect image of God. He is how we can know God. He is the revelation of God to us. Colossians 1:15-18 reads,
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Do you see how these verses echo this passage in John? Jesus is the image of the invisible God. So to know God, we must know Jesus. He is the only way. He is the light. The light reveals God to us. The light shows us who God is and demonstrates His will. [And I so want to go off on a tangent right now. But rather than go all the way there, I will keep it short and remind you that you and I are also called to be lights. Because we have the righteousness of Christ and are sealed by the Spirit, we too can reveal God to the world.]
Verse 5 reads,
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Jesus’ light shines in the darkness. It is a beacon to God. Imagine the stormy dark sea. A ship on that ocean can only find its way by the stars. But when the clouds cover the stars and the darkness hides everything, the only way the ship can orient itself and find its way is the bright and guiding light of the lighthouse. Jesus does that! He shines as an example of who God is, and who we can be. He calls people to the truth.
“…and darkness has not overcome it.” Not once did Jesus ever do anything that was not exactly God’s will and purpose. He has always been unerringly and perfectly God. He never sinned, He never veered a single iota or millimeter out of God’s will. He is God. He is perfect and it is because of that, that He can be our light and offer us salvation. He will never be overcome by darkness.