IN THE BEGINNING
Suzy, 5, heard for months that her new brother lived in Mommy’s tummy. When Suzy saw the newborn for the first time, she exclaimed, “Oh, he’s real!” Only a personal encounter with that living, breathing baby convinced her of the truth of what she’d been told.
Step into the high, holy world of John 1 to find God’s miraculous plan for humankind, His divine Son. He came as a real, in the flesh person to get up close and personal with us.
Was the Word (1–5)
For the Hebrews, a spoken word carried the speaker’s power and personality. The Word arrived as the eternal God Himself. The Word came from Him and projected His divine nature. As God, then, the eternal Christ always existed. John used the concept of Word to introduce readers to Jesus. The gospel provides an inside glimpse into His divine words and work.
Three actions explain the Word’s purpose. First, He exerted creative power from the beginning. All that exists originates from the Word. Second, the Word gives life. As Lifegiver, He offers eternal life to a lost world through redemption. Third, the Word shines light on a sin-darkened world. He reveals God’s love for all people.
Jesus’ divine status sets Him apart and demands attention. Does He have yours?
Made Known (6–8)
The introduction of John the Baptist narrowed the writer’s focus to a specific time in history. God sent John to point people to the light-giving Word. God planned John’s public ministry to precede that of Jesus for a reason. The Jews knew the promise of a coming Messiah.
John the Baptist shouted forth what he knew about the coming One. God made preparation for Jesus through the preaching and baptism of John. He called people to repent to get them ready to believe in Jesus.
In the Flesh (9–14)
Ready or not, Jesus the Messiah came. Despite God’s preparatory efforts, when Jesus arrived, many treated Him as a stranger. He was no trespasser, however, in the world He created. But the Jews rejected Him even though He was one of them. Ironic, isn’t it? You would think that with their knowledge of the Scriptures and Messiah, they would have recognized Him immediately.
Gladly, some did actively assent to Jesus’ redemptive call. They presented themselves for adoption into God’s family. Jesus gave them a new birth that human beings cannot make happen for themselves. We call that salvation. Only God can do that.
In a highlight of the passage, the divine, eternal Word got a face. He was born as a real, live human being. Jesus pitched His tent smack dab in your world. You can encounter the complete revelation of God from a unique, one-of-a-kind Jesus. He is the Son of God walking and talking among regular people. Have you experienced His gracious, condescending love through redemption?
Other Gospels allow us a peek into the coming of the baby Jesus. John, however, provided a view of Jesus from a unique perspective.
The divine, human Jesus came to reside in your neighborhood. What will you do with Him?
By Darryl Wood
Retired pastor, current hospice chaplain and interim pastor