Come & See: The Word
Come and see. Let us reason together. Lay aside all opinions you may have. This is not an argument. This is an invitation to meet the biblical Jesus. Let us open the Bible and discover what God has said regarding his beloved Son.
Our text today is found in the gospel of John. nAs it is written.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:1-5 ESV).
Before we take a closer look at our text, I want to take a step back in order to orient us to the broader context of the four gospels. Where are we in the Bible? The gospel of John is one of four gospel accounts that portray Jesus’s life and ministry. Each of these gospel accounts vary from their different perspectives but not their testimony. It may help to consider four different character witnesses on trial. Each of their testimonies will vary depending on their respective vantage point, but not so regarding the main plot.
The gospel of John is one of four accounts of Jesus's life and ministry. Rather than considering there are four different gospel accounts. It’s helpful to consider each of them to be part of same testimony of Christ Jesus, commonly referred to as the four-fold gospel. Each of these gospel accounts reveal specific truth regarding the life and ministry of Jesus. To illustrate this point further, I want to highlight the beginning of each gospel.
The gospel of Matthew introduces Jesus as the being born in lineage of Abraham through David. This point connects Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises God made to these two men. Son of Abraham. Son of David.
"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).
The gospel of Mark introduces Jesus as being born from Nazareth. Oftentimes, people are identified by the location of their birth. This points connects Jesus to an actual place and group of people, the Nazarenes from Galilee.
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan" (Mark 1:9).
The gospel of Luke introduces Jesus by way of an extended genealogy that traces its way back to the first man, the man Adam. This point demonstrates that while Jesus is a man born from Adam, he is also the Son of God.
"...The son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God" (Luke 3:37-38).
We have already heard how the gospel of John begins, showing Jesus's connection to The Word.
While each of these introductions are different, they do not contradict one another. They work together to reveal the life and ministry of Christ Jesus. Each of these statements are true; Jesus is the son of Abraham, the son of David, Jesus the Nazarene, the son of Adam, the son of God, and the Word.
These introductions traits reveal a broad picture of who Jesus is, thereby providing a proper context for his life and ministry.
It’s John’s gospel that we focus our attention. John’s gospel demonstrates Jesus is The Word, from the beginning of beginnings, before the beginning, Jesus was. However, Jesus is not speciqfiaslly named yet. All we have thus far is the Word was from the beginning, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It's almost as if the author of this gospel account is teasing his readers to long for more information.
Who is The Word?
John’s gospel account is also unique in the way it expresses of divine truth. The passages are simple, clear, and straightforward. So clear in fact that most children can understand what John is saying. However, at the same time, these passages are rich, complex, and deep. So complex in fact that even the most mature and wise people will be left longing for more information.
Who is The Word?
Let us to turn our attention to something found in verse 4 of our text. This is of great importance to each of us. Verse 4 has a phrase that says, “The life of men.” Notice how this distinguishing characteristic of Jesus is not just for the nation of Israel but all men.
This verse highlights the inclusive nature of Jesus's life and ministry. This inclusion is important for a variety of reasons, but I will touch briefly on one of them. The Bible speaks of a real difference between Jews and Gentiles.
"They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises" (Romans 9:4).
God says to the Jews first, the promises are yours. The gospel of John reveals the promises are now open to all men, both Jew and Gentile. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
It is revealed in the Bible the gospel message was first delivered to Jews but has now been made available to all people. Again, from the Apostle Paul, "This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (Ephesians 3:6).
Since verse 4 of our text reveals that Jesus is the life of men, we can know and be certain Jesus came into the world to save sinners, both Jewish and Gentile alike. In light of this, the gospel message is open to all people. This means Jesus’s life and ministry is eternally relevant to all people for the gospel is available to all male and female, Jew and Gentile.
The next thing I want to do is take another step back so as to provide another layer of context to the overall purpose of the gospel of John. One could say that each gospel account portrays the life and ministry of Jesus. However, near the end of the gospel of John, it is revealed there is a specific purpose and intention of this book.
"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 29:31)
With this verse in mind, we can understand the passages in the gospel of John are here for the purpose of belief or faith. Faith in Jesus as the Christ. Faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Faith that will lead to life in Jesus’s name.
Come and see who the Biblical Jesus is, so that you will believe he is the Christ, the Son of God. Come and see who the biblical Jesus is, so that you may have life in his name.
With these points in mind, let’s take a closer look at our five verses today.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:1-5).
1. The word is God.
2. The word was with God.
3. In the beginning was the Word.
These three statements. These three truths declare something that is profoundly different than what has been commonly taught and accepted since the 1870’s. The common belief being spread throughout the public school system is the world is random, chaotic, and meaningless. This belief is otherwise known as Darwin’s theory of evolution.
These opening lines directly contradict Darwin’s theory of evolution. The word being used here for the word, is the Greek word Logos. Logos can be defined as divine reason. It can be understood like this. In the beginning was the Divine Reason, and the Divine Reason was with God, and the Divine Reason was God.
Contrary to popular belief, the world is not a random series of chaotic and meaningless events. Rather, the world is full of divine reason that has been ordered and continues to be ordered by the divine creator, God.
Understanding these truths is not the same as believing them to be true. For believing them to be true will influence the way in which you view the world. Believing that Divine Reason orders all of creation will lead to rejecting the notion the world is meaningless.
The gospel of John reveals that Divine Reason has been woven in the fabric of all creation. Natural Selection, a guiding principle in Darwin's Theory of Evolution, reveals life is meaningless.
According to Logan Aguilar's book titled, Genes, Genomes, Genetics, and Chromosomes, "Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity — it is mindless and mechanistic. It has no goals; it’s not striving to produce 'progress' or a balanced ecosystem."
Lines have been drawn and there are clear distinctions between the two. It's possible to understand each point, but its not possible to believe both to be true because they are opposed to one another. This is one of those points where decisions have to be made.
Believing what the Bible say, regardless of what is being taught in the public school system, means a person possesses a biblical worldview. That is, a person's belief about the Bible influences their entire life.
Let's go back to our text and take a closer look Verses 2 and 3.
"He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:2-3).
Earlier I brought up the original Greek text for The Word is Logos. Verses 2 and 3 expound upon what Logos has done. To be clear. Logos can be defined as Divine Reason and from what has been revealed this far, Logos is God.
Now, it is revealed that Divine Reason was in the beginning with God. All things were made through divine reason, and without divine reason was not anything made that was made.
These statements are simple, clear, and straightforward. Ate the same time, they are rich, complex, and filled deep with divine mysteries. We have again another contradiction to Darwin's Theory of evolution.
Verses 2 and 3 reveals that all humans, all animals, all plants, and all of the cosmos was made by God’s divine reason. As a result of this, all the world is filled with God’s glory which is certainly not meaningless chaos.
I will challenge you with question.
When you look at the world, do you see divine reason or meaningless chaos?
The answer to this question is important because it reveals your underlying belief regarding creation. Not whether or not you understand what the Bible says or if you understand Natural Selection, but whether or not you believe what the Bible says. That all things were made through God and that all things that God made was by Divine Reason.
Verse 5 of our text and the last verse of this post.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).
This is another example of how the gospel of John reads, simple and complex at the same time. Light shinning in the darkness is easy enough to understand. All of us have been outside at night and seen what happens when headlights are turned on. Light shines in darkness.
This verses connects with something revealed in the opening pages of the Bible. At the beginning of God's creation, "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:2-3).
There was a time when there was darkness, without light. But God, spoke light into existence and now there is light. There is light shinning in the darkness. Don’t miss this simple truth. Light is not darkness and darkness is not light. Yet, darkness and light coexist with one another. Light has the power to overcome, expose, or shine in the darkness. But the darkness does not have the power to overcome the light.
The darkness has not overcome the light. This is one of those key verses to grab hold of and not let go. With Jesus being the light of all men, no darkness can overtake him. There was a time when the world was filled with darkness, but God graciously spoke light into existence.
There was also a time when a spiritual darkness was covering the world, but God graciously sent Jesus into the world to be the light of all men.
Light is not darkness and darkness is not light. We must not confuse light with darkness nor call darkness light.
Take a look around at the world. Look at what’s happening in Ukraine. Everything that is happening now or will happen will ever be enough to overcome Jesus. Jesus sits on his throne of glory, having already defeated sin, death, and the devil.
For those who believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, they possess life in Jesus's name.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).