Summary: The first two verses of the Gospel of John reveal Jesus Christ’s deity and that He is co-eternal, co-equal, and co-creator.
Who Is the Word
If you have ever gone to see a play, many times they will start with an overture. This is where they introduce different musical themes that will be throughout the show. They are just snippets of the full musical score that you will be looking more in depth at later on.
The Prologue to John is much like that. John is laying out for us the major themes that he is going to develop in the rest of his Gospel. So let us not rush too quickly through this amazing overture of the Gospel of John
We see in John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth," that the Word is Jesus Christ. John used the term â€œWordâ€ or â€œLogosâ€ in the Greek for many reasons. First, Jesus is the Word of God. He is the physical representation of what God was saying to us.
Jesus also proclaimed what His Father had to say. Remember one of the offices of Christ is prophet. So when you read the prologue of John and see the Word, you know it is speaking of Jesus Christ.
John understood that Jesus Christ was the cornerstone of the faith. And the attack that would be launched by Satan would be to distort who Christ is and what He has done for us. The first major point John wants to establish is Jesus Christ is fully God; He is one with God. John is giving showing us a glimpse into what the Trinity looks like. The second major point John wants to establish is that Jesus Christ is also fully man.
This morning we are going to focus on the first major point, Christâ€™s deity. And to understand Christâ€™s deity we must look to the Trinity. We cannot comprehend the Trinity, but we can apprehend some aspects. We look to the whole council of the Scriptures to get pictures of the Trinity.
This is the explanation found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. â€œIn the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, not proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.â€ (Chapter II,3)
We are going to see that the first verse of the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus Christ is of one substance, power, and eternity with God.
"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 nothing was made that was made." (John 1:1-3, NKJV)
Co-Eternality of the Word
"In the beginning was the Word.â€ Does this scripture remind you of any other scripture? â€œIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1, NKJV) John did this on purpose so that we would see the correlations of whom God is and who the Word is. Just by phrasing his first line this way, he was saying that the Word is God.
But before we get to far ahead, we are looking at the Wordâ€™s co-eternality. Look closely at the wording of this verse. At the beginning of time, was the Word. The Word existed before time existed, before any created thing existed. One of the attacks on Christ is that He was a created being by the Father. John is stating that before even time was created, the Word existed. We even see that the Word created time as well as everything in creation.
The question that some have is what was before God existed. Remember that the idea of time is a created thing and the Godhead is infinite. We as so stuck in the time space continuum that we cannot even comprehend a time before there was time. So the Word is co-eternal with the other to Persons of the Trinity. But that is not enough to be co-eternal. John is next going to state that the Word is co-equal.
Co-Equality of the Word
â€œand the Word was with Godâ€ The Greek word for with, â€œprosâ€, means more than proximity. It is a close personal face to face relationship. It tells us that the Word is not only with God the Father, but equal in power and might.
Even though Christ is co-equal with the Father, He chooses to submit the Fatherâ€™s will. This is an example to us, even though we might be equals, husband and wife, boss and worker, child and parent, God has established an order of submission. This verse also helps us not to fall into Modalism or Oneness. This is the belief that God has different modes. Instead of three Persons in one Godhead, they believe one person with three modes or faces. This personal relationship of the Word and the Father as well as other places in the scriptures shows the three persons in one.