Recently I’ve been trying to write talks for passages in the 4th Gospel in the New Testament which is the book of John, so today I’ll be looking at John Chapter 1:1-18 which I’ll have a link to in the description.
I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life where feel like I really miss the picture or I’m left totally in the dark about something, and then, when I finally find out about it, it almost feels like it’s a bit too late. More often than not it’s my fault for not paying attention in a conversation, or sticking way too many things on my calendar that I end up being triple booked, but somehow it seems to work out eventually, well, most of the time.
Anyway, back into John, looking at the first 3 verses, what strikes me is ‘What does John actually mean when he talks about this Word?’ Does it actually mean a word?
Well, in the original Greek, it’s translated from the word λόγος (logos) literally meaning a word or something that has been spoken and it comes from the word λέγω (lego) which means ‘to say or call’ – Yes, I thought it was pretty cool too aha
Anyway, it wasn’t until Heraclitus in the late 6th century BC who was the first to use this word logos to mean something more towards the idea of unity.
In this passage John is using it primarily to mean Jesus – the son of God part of a trinity and is given the formal description as ‘the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead’ – A bit wordy, but you get the point.
Jesus is the Word, part of the trinity, meaning that in God there exists three distinct beings, the Father, the Son (Jesus) which we are referring to as the Word, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these beings exist as separate parts to the 1 God which makes up the trinity where each are fully God themselves.
In light of this, v1 tells us that in the Beginning was Jesus, and that all things were made through him and by him – this reminds me a bit of the verse in Hebrews Chapter 1, verse 3 where it says, The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. These passages I think really start to demonstrate how Jesus is Eternal, he has always been, and how as God, he is so powerful! So Jesus is Eternal.
Going on into v4 we see that in Jesus the Word was ‘life’, fun fact, in Greek, ζωή (zoe) means life, in Jesus this life, the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and that life was the light of all mankind. His life shines in the darkness and is not overcome by death, here I kinda get the feeling that this could be a bit of a foretelling of how he eventually overcomes death but that’s spoilers for what we’ll cover soon.
Then it suddenly changes and we start to hear about this guy, John the Baptist, he came to bear witness about the light – In the hope that we all might believe through him! – It next goes on to clarify that John is not Jesus the Word.
Anyway, Jesus, the True light is coming and he gives this life to everyone. I quite like that in the Message translation of this passage – which is great for understands what a passage is talking about in modern day English – it uses the term Life-light here where Jesus came to give this life-light to everyone. So Jesus, is the light.
Next, he has come into the world, and even though it was made through him, we didn’t accept him. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”
We didn’t receive him. He became flesh by being born as Jesus and made his dwelling among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. So Jesus is in the World.
And finally, Jesus gives Grace. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. From his Fullness in the Greek, πλήρωμα (pleroma) meaning completion, abundance almost complete satisfaction. And from this we have received more grace than we could ever ask for.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
We are all so unworthy to be accepted by God, to be loved by him, we have all mucked up in so many different ways, it’s literally impossible to count how many times we’ve done wrong. We don’t deserve any of this, and yet somehow, God gives us this Word, Jesus who goes through incredible suffering and agony, even death, for us, all of us, sinners, so that we might have a relationship with him. But you’ll have to join me in a few weeks to hear more on that!
I think, just the important thing I want you to remember today is that, though we don’t always get it right the first time, or feel like we’ve been in the dark about something for so long. Some incredible things we can learn from this passage is that:
- Jesus is Eternal – He’s been here from the beginning as God and he is so so powerful
- Jesus is the light and he gives life to everyone
- Jesus is in the world – He was born on earth as a baby and experienced the same troubles and sufferings that we have, and more!
- Jesus gives Grace – Though we are undeserving of his forgiveness, if we receive and believe in him then we can know him for ourselves and become Children of God and that’s just the beginning, the choice is up to you!