Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)

John hearkens back to Genesis with the opening of his gospel - and with good reason. Not only does he want to make a connection to the book of beginnings - the book in which God makes the promise to provide a redeemer, but John wants to make very clear exactly who Jesus is. He is the Word. He is fully Creator God, coeternal with the Father (had no beginning, but is self-existent). As the Creator, he is not the created. The created can never be the Creator.

In using the name “Word,” John reminds his readers that God spoke everything into existence from nothing. When we started in Genesis, I used a phrase I’ve heard: “If you can’t believe the first four words of the Bible, you are not going to believe the rest.” It all stands on the truth that GOD created EVERYTHING, with a purpose, logic, and order (the Greek word for Word is logos, which means speech, thought, reason). In Genesis we are told eight times that “God said... and it was so.” John’s point here is that Jesus is the Word. He was with God from the very beginning, and, in fact, IS God. When the Word spoke, the world was created. The word for God here is the Hebrew word, elohim. It’s a plural word that the Jews used for the one true God. It speaks to us of the triune nature of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jon Courson, in his Application Commentary: New Testament, speaks about how both the Greeks and the Jews would understand this word, logos:

“John’s use of the Greek word logos is important. The Greeks had developed a philosophy articulated by Plato and others that was built upon the assumption that the logos, the word, was the foundation of everything on earth. The earth, Plato said, was simply a shadow of the reality of the logos that existed somewhere in the heavens. The Jews took the Greek concept of the logos one step further. Whereas Pluto said behind everything there’s a perfect thought (logos), the Jews said that behind the thought there must be a thinker.

“ ‘We don’t see perfection (logos) here on earth, but it must exist somewhere,’ said the Greek.
“ ‘Yes. And if there is a true, perfect thought (logos), there must be a true, perfect thinker,’ added the Hebrew.” (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: New Testament, P. 435)

When I began my search for the truth 36 years ago, this is what I had concluded: all religions cannot be true, because they are contradictory, and God would not be the author of confusion. Therefore, there must be ONE Truth - and that’s what I wanted to know. I needed to know it, because I had a new baby girl, and I knew I would be accountable to God for raising her in the Truth. Had I started by reading the book of John, I probably would have gotten there much quicker than I did!

We will be sticking around these verses, because they are so important, so more about the Word tomorrow! Have a great morning!


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