Focal Passage: John 1:1-18
John’s gospel begins with the theological heart of the
Christmas message: “And the Word became flesh” (v.18). With these startling
words, the incarnation is reality.
The beginning point for this amazing discussion echoes the
words and the content of Genesis 1:1 as translated in the Septuagint, the Greek
scriptures of the Old Testament.
It states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the
In John 1:1-3 we discover that not only was the Word, the
logos, with God but that the Word was the direct agent of all creation.
“All things came into being through Him” is the positive
The negative statement affirms the same truth: “And apart
from Him nothing came into being that has now come into being.”
Existence itself is due to the work of Jesus Christ the
This work of Christ is revealed in two metaphors that will
reoccur throughout John’s gospel: life and light.
These metaphors highlight the primal words of God, “Let
there be light” (Gen. 1:3-19) and underscore its relationship to all that came
into being (Gen. 1:20-31).
Life and light go together as creation unfolds.
Through it all, the Creative Word of God acts as the direct
agent giving life and light even in the midst of the “darkness.”
The “darkness” holds no power over the Word of God, the
incarnate Christ. He is Light and the darkness is dispelled.
In God there is no darkness (1 John 1:5) and so too in
Christ there is no darkness (1 John 1:7). The darkness is sin and those who
refuse to acknowledge and deal with their own sin only achieve self-deception
(1 John 1:8-10).
The light of the Incarnate Word represents moral integrity
It is a light that can “enlighten” every person. It has the
capacity to give the person a new heart, a new mind, a new perspective, and a
The focal passage, however, points out the rejection of this
The phrases of rejection are found in the statements “the
world did not know Him” (v. 10) and “His own did not receive Him” (v. 11).
By “receiving” the Incarnate Word and “believing” on Him,
receivers/believers are empowered to “become (the) children of God” (v. 12-13).
Hence the only-begotten Son of God becomes the agent through
which others become the adopted children of God.
The witness given of this Light is none other than John the
Baptist who testifies of the Light and declares that one mightier than he will
come, one who existed, in fact, prior to John himself: “for He existed before
me” (v. 15).