Summary: John does not begin his Gospel as the other Gospel accounts do. John transports us to eternity past – before creation, before man – before the existence of time.
When God Became A Man
John 1:1-5, 10-14
John chapter one may not seem like a great Christmas text—but it is the truth behind the story of the angels and shepherds and the Wise Men and the journey to Bethlehem. Without this verse, the rest of the story has no meaning. Our text tells us what really happened 2000 years ago—and what it means for us today.
John does not begin his Gospel as the other Gospel accounts do. Matthew traces the genealogy of Jesus. Mark began his story of the life of Jesus with His baptism by John the Baptist. Luke gives the story of Jesus’ birth. But John transports us to eternity past – before creation, before man – before the existence of time.
“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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
First, The Reality of His Kingship. (1:1-9)
•Eternal with God (vv.1-2)
“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.”
John moves back beyond human history to start his account of Jesus. John begins his gospel with the words, “in the beginning.” John’s use of the term “in the beginning” is probably a conscious referral to the very first words in the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Is that beginning of God? No of course not, when you go back to creation He is already there, and that is exactly what John says in verse one — “in the beginning was the Word.” Notice it is not “in the beginning is the Word” – it is “in the beginning was the Word.” “Was” is known as a durative imperfect, meaning “continued action.” In fact the sense of the entire verse is “In the beginning was continuing the Word, and the Word was continuing with God and the Word was continually God.”
The Word was in the beginning. What beginning? Just as far back as you want to go. He was already there when the beginning was. “Well,” somebody says, “There has to be a beginning somewhere.” All right, wherever you begin, He is there to meet you.
According to this verse, Jesus who was the personification of the word of God has simply always existed! He didn't come into being in Bethlehem, but He has been here throughout all the endless ages of eternities past.
The Word was not only there; “the Word was with God.” This phrase literally means that the Word was “face to face” with God. It identifies the most intimate possible relationship of communication and communion and fellowship. In eternity past God was face to face with Jesus Christ. He had an unmatched, unparalleled divine face-to-face fellowship and communion with God in eternity past
First, in the beginning the Word was there, and secondly, in the beginning the Word was with God, and final step, “the Word was God.” The Word literally was God. Jesus Christ is God in a body. He is God and He always was God.
•Creator of the Universe (v. 3)
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
When you consider that this verse tells us that Jesus was the Creator of the universe, His birth as a baby in a stable becomes even more amazing. The Creator humbled Himself and became a creature in His own creation! God became dependent upon a human mother. Jesus, who was the Agent of Creation, stepped out of eternity, laid aside His glory and entered this world as a human baby! Even then not born into royalty but born into the humblest of surroundings.
As we have already stated John’s use of the term “in the beginning” in verse one of our text was probably a conscious referral to Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1:1 we are told “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word that is translated “God” in Genesis 1:1 is the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural word. Later Genesis 1:26 at the creation of man God said, “Let us make man in our image.” All three parts of the Trinity are visible in the creation.
The Apostle Paul explains the relationship of Jesus to creation in four statements found in Colossians 1:15-17. “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation. (16) For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or prin-cipalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”