We have just come out of a season of celebrating Christ’s birth. For most of us, I’m sure it was a busy time of family, food, and gifts. We reflected on the babe through a church Christmas play, the reading of the Christmas story, or perhaps quietly on our own. I have been thinking about the Word too and what Scripture says about this God/man.
I love the opening of the Gospel of John which reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that was created. Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5) There is so much theological meat in these five verses. John has summarized the vast majority of our Christian faith up in these weighty words.
As the Lord inspired these men of the Bible to write His words, they were seeking to prove the validity of what they were saying. There were so many who did not believe. As Matthew opens with the genealogy of Christ in order to establish Him as the true Messiah, so John opens with what scholars simply label a prologue that declares Christ to be both God and man. John through the Holy Spirit says that Christ has always existed, He has always been with God, and is Himself God (vs. 1-2). He points out twice that Christ has been since the beginning. He has no beginning or end because He is the beginning and the end (Rev. 22:13). Gerald Borchert who wrote The New American Commentary for the first eleven books of John points out that these words echo the opening of Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Again, John is highlighting that Christ has always existed. Verse three ties into this theme from the Old Testament as well. Scripture continues to build the foundation for Christ as God. He was an instrumental part of creation. He created everything. Nothing was created without Him. From Genesis, we know that God created. Therefore, again, the Word is declaring Christ to be God. It immediately reminds me of Genesis 1:26a which says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'” Many become confused by this verse, but if we accept the trinity that Scripture is screaming, it makes perfect sense. God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one and have always existed as one. They, being one God, created it all.
I love what comes next. “Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.” (vs. 4) God, and Christ as God, is the giver of life. Not just creation, however. Also from Genesis, we know that creation was flawed. Sin entered and the relationship with our creator was broken. Christ became a man to restore that relationship; to give life to men through salvation. Just last night, Jason was preaching from 1 Timothy 2:5 which says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” John is also being led to prove Christ as the true Savior and giver of eternal life. Verse five says that Christ shined in this world. His life was a light in a place of sin. It is truth that cuts through darkness. There appears what commentators call a conflict in verse five. Christ came into the darkness, and His light was not received. The second part of the Scripture ends “yet the darkness did not overcome it.” Even though sin, the world, and evil itself were opposed to this God/man who entered His creation as the only true means of salvation, it was not able to overcome the light. Christ was victorious on the cross. He was victorious over death (1 Cor. 15:55). He defeated Hell and the grave through His shed blood and resurrection from the dead. Only He could make a way for men to have life through His light.
I have continued to read John 1:1-18. The words of Scripture are so powerful and moving as they reveal to us the nature of the Word, Jesus Christ. I encourage you to read over these verses and let them speak to your heart and minister to your soul. Scholars and theologians write entire books over just sections of this passage, and there is so much the Lord wants to say to us through His Word; both Christ and Scripture. I hope you are encouraged to draw close to both. May you be blessed on your journey.