Summary: This message examines how Jesus existed before he was in Mary’s womb.
Traditionally, people have always enjoyed celebrating birthdays. Even as a nation we celebrate the birthdays of individuals who throughout history have made an impact on the United States. In January we will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on His birthday. In February we will honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on their respective birthdays. In fact each year on the fourth of July we celebrate our nation’s birthday. Although each of these birthdays is significant, none are more significant than the one we celebrate on December twenty-fifth. On this day businesses shut their doors, people travel miles to gather with family, in fact people all over the world remember the birth of Jesus. Consider the countless number of songs that have been written over the years to remember Jesus’ birth. (Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) Each one of these songs offer praise to that little baby born in a manger in that tiny village of Bethlehem many years ago. Christmas is all about a birthday celebration. Wait a minute! Is it accurate to say that Jesus’ existence began like ours, in the womb of His mother? Did life begin for Him when He took His first breath of that damp musty stable air? Was the day of His birth truly the beginning of the Son of God? The truth is, that unlike us Jesus existed long before His birth, in fact long before there was air to breath and long before the earth even existed. In our text John provides some convincing proof that Jesus existed long before He was born.
I. Jesus the Son of God in the very beginning.
A. As John writes of the beginning, he is paralleling the words of the creation account.
1. John’s opening words echo Genesis 1:1, but whereas Genesis refers to God’s activity at the beginning of creation, here we learn of a being who existed before creation took place.
2. John calls the Son of God, who was with God His Father in the beginning, the Word. John does not identify this person immediately, but described His nature and purpose before revealing His name.
3. As the Word the Son of God fully conveys and communicates God. So we start before the beginning outside of time and space in eternity.
4. If we want to understand who Jesus is, John says, we must begin with the relationship shared between the Father and the Son “before the world began”. This relationship is the central revelation of this Gospel and the key to understanding all that Jesus says and does.
B. Understanding why John chose to use the term “Word” to describe Jesus.
1. Theologians and philosophers, both Jews and Greeks used the term in a variety of ways.
2. In the Hebrew language “the word” (dabar) is described as an agent of creation, the source of God’s message to His people through the prophets and God’s Law, His standard of Holiness.
3. The Greeks used “the word” (logos) in two ways. It could mean a person’s thoughts or reason or it might refer to a person’s speech, their expression of thought.
4. In both the Jewish and Greek conceptions, logos conveyed the idea of beginnings thus the world began through the word.
5. John’s description here shows clearly that He is speaking of Jesus as a human being that he personally knew and loved, who was at the same time the creator of the universe, the ultimate revelation of God, and also the living picture of God’s holiness.
6. Jesus as the logos reveals God’s mind to us.
II. Jesus the Son of God at the creation.
A. The New Testament portrays the Son of God as the agent of creation.
1. The word "made" (egeneto) has the meaning "became" or “came into being” rather than "constructed." The action refers to an event rather than a process. The visible universe with all its complexity owes its origin to the creative mind and power of God.
2. The description is stated both positively (all things) and negatively (“nothing without him”). This creating definitely makes the Word deity, because who or what else can make a universe except God?
3. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16—NIV)
4. The Greek verb egeneto is in the second person aorist form, which implies a “completed act.” Creation is finished. It is not a process still going on, even though God is certainly at work in His creation. Creation is not a process; it is a finished product.
B. Without a doubt John is teaching here the priority of Christ over creation.