Summary: God has been revealing Himself to us in a number of ways. The clearest revelation we will ever have is found in the person of Jesus, the Christ.
Sometimes as we try to learn about a particular subject, we may experience a realization that “the more we know, the less we understand about the subject.” Actually, we do understand more as we learn more, but we also realize that there is so much more to know than we had ever imagined about that subject. When we were young and first learning about God and Jesus and religious things, it seemed fairly simple and we had probably formed some images about these things. If we were to ask a five-year-old to draw a picture of God, he or she would come up with a sketch in very little time. If you were to ask us as adults who have learned about God and who have studied the Bible for a long time, we would find that it is practically impossible to do draw or create a “picture” of God.
We find ourselves in a physical world and we experience and try to understand physical things and yet we come to a realization that, at the same time, there is a spiritual world in existence and we are part of that world. Understanding the spiritual world is very difficult, but it is very important since our time in the physical world is limited and finite, but our existence in the spiritual world is eternal. If we think about mankind’s situation before “the fall” when Adam and Eve sinned, they experienced fellowship with God on a regular basis and they had a spiritual awareness as part of who they were. When they sinned, that part of them died and all the succeeding generations have struggled to know and understand God. We find throughout the first four thousand years of Biblical history and the accounts of God dealing with mankind, that those dealings or interactions were part of a plan for God to reestablish the broken relationship and to reveal Himself and the essence of His being to mankind. This revelation culminated in the coming of the Messiah Who was and is God Revealed.
The first eighteen verses of John’s gospel are used to introduce words and topics that will be more fully developed throughout the course of the unfolding of John’s account of the life of Jesus from the view that He is Deity. According to Walvoord and Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary) the key terms include “life” (v. 4), “light” (v. 4), “darkness” (v. 5), “witness” (v. 7), “true” (v. 9), “world” (v. 9), “Son” (v. 14), “Father” (v. 14), “glory” (v. 14), “truth” (v. 14). Two other key theological terms are “the Word” (v. 1) and “grace” (v. 14), but these important words are used in John only in this theological introduction. “Word” (Logos) does occur elsewhere in the Gospel but not as a Christological title.
Recognize the Word – 1:1-5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 (NASB95)