I have so many thoughts about this passage, but I’m going to attempt to distill what the Lord has shown me down into something blog-sized. I apologize for changing this post from 18 verses to 5 verses, but 18 verses would have been way too long for 1 post, especially this post because there’s just so much in the first 5 verses for us to learn from.
The first thing that I notice here is the importance of “the Word” in verse 1. John gives us 3 statements that establish the basis for identifying “the Word.”
- In the beginning was the Word (the Word existed prior to the beginning of creation)
- The Word was with God (as the second person of the trinity, the Word is separate from the Father and the Holy Spirit)
- The Word was God (the Word is 100% God)
Verses 2 and 3 continue by identifying “the Word” as being in the beginning with God and making it clear that ALL things were created through “the Word” and that NOTHING was created without “the Word.” This is a key point to understand, since there are people who would like to make the case that Jesus was created in the beginning and that He had no existence before the moment of creation. If EVERYTHING was created through Him, then there is no way that He could have been a created being. The wording here is clear that Jesus existed prior to the moment of creation. The Scriptures are also clear that only God is eternal and so John clearly shows us that Jesus is God.
Verses 4 and 5 give us a glimpse of the power of Jesus. I kept going back to the beginning of verse 4, “In Him was life.” I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head these past few days; I just couldn’t discern its full meaning. Did it mean that He is the giver of eternal life? Yes, the context supports that fairly clearly as it continues by telling us that “the life was the light of men.” Mankind is all in darkness with no way to save ourselves, since we are all condemned through Adam. Only Jesus, the Last Adam, could bring life and light to fallen, sinful humanity. But my spirit was still not satisfied with that. There was still something else the Lord wanted to show me here. It wasn’t until I read the creation account in Genesis that the Holy Spirit showed me what I needed to see.
Genesis 2:7 tells us “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Whenever I would visualize that scene in my head, it was always God, as some amorphous, vaporous, faceless being, “magically” giving life to the dust of the ground from a distance. The image that the phrase “In Him was life” conjures in my head brings a totally different perspective to the creation of man. It is a very personal image of Jesus, lovingly and carefully forming the dust into a man and then personally breathing the breath of life into Adam. I can only imagine Adam’s first moment as a living soul, gazing into the face of his Creator.
Jesus created everything. Everything was created through Jesus, including mankind. “In HIM was life…”
Life belongs to Him and to Him alone. Only God has always existed. How personal and beautiful is it for us to think that the eternal God shares HIS
LIFE with us!
First by giving us the gift of life, then by shedding His blood to redeem sinful humanity through faith in Jesus, and finally by resurrecting us to eternal life.
This is why verse 5 can boldly state that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it! If Jesus was just a man, then we have no hope. His light would have been extinguished on the cross and we would each stand guilty before God for our sins and for the condemnation that we inherited from Adam. But Jesus was not just a man, He is 100% God and 100% man. He is the eternal, uncreated God, clothed in humanity. He did for us what we could NEVER do for ourselves, because He loved us and He chose to bring Himself glory through the redemption of fallen men and women.
Praise the Living Word!!!