1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:1-5 NIV)
This week we will look at the Apostle John’s prologue to his gospel (John 1:1-18). John’s language is simple, but the truths he shares are incredibly profound.
When we survey the four gospels, we see three of the four begin with Jesus’ life or ministry. Mark begins with Jesus’ ministry; Luke begins with John the Baptist’s story; Matthew begins with Jesus’ genealogy back to Abraham. John, however, traces Jesus’ history from before creation to eternity past.
John borrows Moses’ first three words of Genesis (“In the beginning…”) as a reminder of Jesus’ existence at Creation as well as Jesus’ participation in Creation.
John uses “Word” (Greek, “logos”) to identify Jesus as Messiah. Remember that in Genesis Moses recorded that God spoke the world into being. Jesus was that Word, the very one who gave the verbal command to create everything from nothing.
John clearly identifies Jesus as Diety and ties Him directly to God from before Creation. John says that to remind us that Jesus was not a created being – He is the Author of Creation, not part of God’s Creation.
In verse 3 John tells us of Jesus’ full participation in Creation. Paul, in concert with John’s thoughts, reminds us that Jesus created everything and also sustains everything we know to be life and existence:
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
(Colossians 1:16-17 NIV, Paul speaking of Jesus)
In verse 4, John tells us that Jesus is the author and sustainer of life as well as the Light in our darkness. Looking at eternity future, God gave John another profound vision of this Light:
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
(Revelation 21:23 NIV)
In the revelation of the new heaven and new earth given to John, John reminds us that there will be n o s-u-n because the S-O-N will provide the light from His glory and will illuminate everything.
Lastly, John equates Jesus as Light and as the overcomer of darkness in verse 5. Just as darkness is nothing (simply the lack of light)and light overcomes darkness, so Jesus is the Overcomer of sin and darkness in this life and the life to come. John reminds us through this simple word picture that Jesus is the Overcomer of sin and death and offers us the same.
May we meditate on these simple words and profound truths today, considering the Word in His Word to us as our life, our Light, and our everything. As God used words to communicate with us, may we be His words to others through our being and doing.