John 1:1-18: The Word
Read: John 1:1-18
Often times, this passage is called the “prologue” to the book of John, and in many ways it is. This passage is poetic and communicates some basic theology about who Jesus is in relationship to man, the world, and this witness of John the Baptist.
- The Word present at the beginning (John 1:1)
- The Word was present with God (John 1:1-2)
- The Word was God (John 1:1)
- The Word was present at Creation (John 1:3)
- All that was created was created through the Word (John 1:3, John 1:9)
- By implication, man…
- Life was in him and life is light to man (John 1:4)
- John the Baptist was a witness to this light. (John 1:6-9)
- The Light and Word came into the World (John 1:9-11, John 1:14)
- The Word and Light are the Son of God who is Jesus, full of grace and truth (John 1:14-18)
- Those that believe become children of God (John 1:12-13)
The word translated “word” in the original Greek is “λογος”. This word in is a rather ambiguous term as it encompasses many things: a literal word, a thought, wisdom, a decree, an axiom, or a doctrine among many other things. In Greek thought Logos was thought of as being pure reason – the ideal or the essence of that which is. In Hebrew thought, the analog to “Logos” communicated the “Word of God” in the acts of creation (Genesis 1:3, Psalm 33:6) and as a manifestation of the mind of God.
What is clear, however, is that John is establishing that the Word is God and the Word is Jesus. He establishes that the Word was God by asserting this directly in attributing things to the Word that only God can do namely create all that was created (Genesis 1:1) and bring life to men (Genesis 2:7). John establishes that the Word was Jesus saying that the Word became flesh, the word was the Son of God – a title attributed to Jesus, and attributing the grace and truth to both the Son of God and Jesus. There can be no doubt here that Jesus is God as it is firmly established here and elsewhere in Scripture. (John 10:30-38, John 20:26-28, Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:6-8, Titus 2:13, 1 John 5:20)
John the Baptist came before Jesus as a witness to Jesus, and John knew this. John the Apostle wrote that John himself was not the light, but came as a witness to the Light so that those who here his message might believe and become sons and daughters of God. John was among the first witnesses to Jesus and saw a number of people repent. Matthew 3:3 establishes John as the witness from Isaiah 40:3 as the one calling out in the wilderness to make a way for the Lord. John did just this.
This prologue sets the stage for the rest of the gospel that picks up with John the Baptist. The Apostles John’s purpose in writing is to so the reader might believe and receive eternal life from Jesus. John testified to the truth about Jesus and the command to Christians today is no different. Jesus before leaving the earth told his disciples that they would be his witnesses to the ends of the Earth (Acts 1:8) the question is this: Do you know God such that you can bare witness to him and lead others to eternal life?
Lord, help be to know who you are so I can tell others about you!