John 1:1-18 (ESV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
John (the apostle) opens his account of the gospel by making no illusions of who he thinks Jesus is, and who he wants his readers to think Jesus is. He is not writing a mystery where he wants to do the big reveal at the end. He wants to make his point and purpose for writing abundantly clear. Jesus is God, and He is the full representation of God.
John starts his gospel with a little poem where he calls Jesus “the Word.” In his opening line, he echoes that of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God…” He claims that the Word was “with” God and the Word “was” God. Though the poem is beautiful and English does a great job describing this, the Greek (the New Testament was originally written in Greek) leaves no question that John is saying Jesus is God, the same God that Israel worships as Creator, the same God that Israel worships as the One God. Just as God is Creator, so is Jesus. Just as God is eternal, so is Jesus. Just as God is worthy of worship, so is Jesus.
John would go on to lay out the plan and purpose of Jesus, that He came to the world to be the light and rescue the world. He was rejected, but the hope He brought for those who would believe was life and restoration of relationship with the triune God.
- What is one thing that stands out to you in today’s reading?
- Why do you think John emphasized Jesus being the same as God?
- Why do you think it is important that Jesus be both God and savior?
- What does it mean to you personally that God would become one of His creatures to rescue and redeem them?
- Does knowing that God would go through that much to rescue you (God’s intentions for you) change how you think God views you?
- Pray that God’s heart toward you would be evident in this writing.
- Pray that your worship would increase as you study and understand more of who Jesus is and how He represents God to us.
- Read Genesis 1-2:3 and watch for similarities. See how John tied Jesus to Genesis 1.