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)
The writer of the Genesis account records “And God said, Let there be . .” It is no coincidence that John saw that the Word (notice the logical connection to “said”) was the agent in creation. By the Word, the worlds were created. “And God said!” and spoke (by the Word) the worlds into existence. The mind of man cannot comprehend the magnitude and the majesty of the creation and the Creator. The pre-incarnate Christ is and ever has been identical with God. We see this truth in the statement that the Word was “with” God and the Word was God. The Greek word translated as “with” in the English is “pro” which has a number of possible interpretations such as “unto” or “towards” (as in being favorably disposed to) or “before” (not in time but as in the presence of). The idea is that “the Word” is an essential part of the essence of Who God is and is, therefore, God Himself. We could state it this way: God the Son is no less God and than God the Father is God.
Creation itself could not exist apart from the Word of God since it was by that essence of Himself that creation came into being. In saying that God spoke the world into existence could be the same as saying that “by the Word” creation came into existence. Since “the Word” is the Agent of Creation, then it logically follows that God’s purpose is that all of creation will come under the Lordship of Jesus Who is the Living Word of God. Consequently, we can view all of history, what is happening now and what will happen in the future as God acting to unite all things in Him, both in heaven and in earth, so that every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father.