1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. JOHN 1: 1-5
Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. 3 πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν 4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· 5 καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
What a glorious opening to the Gospel of John. The accumulative theological impact in who, what and why Jesus came into our lives is expressed through John’s opening verse, inspired by God. When anyone reads this, the first reaction is to immediately look at Genesis 1:1 – In the Beginning, God…..
It stirs our souls and faith into a whirlpool of inspired reverence to our Lord. He has been with us throughout eternity, and it is Him, Jesus Christ, and the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, which has always been steadfast in our journey throughout history and more personally in our life’s today.
Like any good book, the opening sentence is always the most difficult to write, as it exemplifies what is to follow in the book. Like “It Was the Best of Times. It was the Worst of Times,” ‘Tale of Two Cities,’ by Charles Dickens, or ‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.’ By Vladimir Nabakov in ‘Lolita’ or ‘In the Beginning, God…,’ Holy Bible by God. These openings are set forth as the means of enticement and lure to our subconscious to seek more.
Like all these great opening lines, John 1: 1-5 sets the foundation and, in one fell swoop, also answers the question. It answers critical questions, Who is Jesus? Why Jesus? What is Jesus?
To answer the first question, Who is Jesus, is in John 1:1 – Jesus is our God. The narrative clearly outlines that it has been, and always been Jesus together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, which is the one true God through whom we are to seek a new beginning.
Why Jesus? We would not exist if not for Him. Jesus is part of the Trinity, and through Him, all things came to be. The Holy Spirit’s presence is answered in Genesis 1:2 – “…And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. “ The unified presence of the Trinity, our God is and shall always be for eternity. Through God, Himself, all things came to be and His masterpiece, which was us, was his greatest creation, Gen 1:26 – ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” We were created in his image and likeness, with the objective qualities to discern, choose and select everything according to our desires. Subsequently, we have failed by choosing our selfish desires to walk away from our Creator.
Finally, What is Jesus? Jesus is the accumulative personification of our Creator. God has stepped into our presence to testify to our broken ways and offer us salvation, not by our works by the power of the Holy Spirit. The divine love, which was the essence of the glory and magnification of our God, is the incomparable display of the power and glory of God. He came and took it upon Himself to pay the ultimate price for our sins in full. He set the example and the path to follow.
God knows we are weak and sends the helper. The word helper itself outlines God’s awareness of our inability to do what is right. It is the helper that guides and provides the ability to walk and do what is right in the eyes of God.
D A Carson phrases it well in his commentary on the Book of John. He writes
“ In the beginning immediately reminds any reader of the Old Testament of the opening verse of the Bible: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis begins with creation; John refers to creation (vv. 3–4), but soon turns to what Paul calls ‘new creation’ (Jn. 3; cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). Both in Genesis and here, the context shows that the beginning is absolute: the beginning of all things, the beginning of the universe. The Greek word behind ‘beginning’ archē, often bears the meaning ‘origin’, and there may be echoes of that here, for the Word who already was ‘in the beginning is soon shown to be God’s agent of creation (vv. 3–4), what we might call the ‘originator’ of all things. Granted that the Word enjoyed this role, it was inevitable that he already was at the origin of everything.
Since Mark begins his Gospel with the same word, ‘The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, it is also possible that John is making an allusion to his colleague’s work, saying in effect, ‘Mark has told you about the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry; I want to show you that the starting point of the gospel can be traced farther back than that, before the beginning of the entire universe.’ “
The true nature of the expression of the love of God is displayed through the Gospel of John, which he carries to his epistles.
As Christians today, we must take to heart and understand the true meaning of that love displayed by Jesus Christ and how we are called together with the Holy Spirit to become graced within the power of the divine agape love found only from God. It is something that secular thinking cannot comprehend except to provide a subjective explanation to its divine power of God’s love. Those who have found it have been able to walk upright and steadfast, facing everything the world has to throw against it.
Remember what Jesus said.
19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you. JOHN 15:19
Remember what Jesus told the Woman of Samaria, and that promise rings loud and clear to all who believe.
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
JOHN 4: 13-14
And in John 6: 35
35 Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.