“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word” (John 1:1)
When I approach Scripture, it is usually with the three W’s in place: who is speaking, what is being said and why is it being said in this way. My framework is that all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim.3:16). It has been given by the Holy Spirit for purposes of doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. Notice that doctrine sets the stage for the following three.
The first “W” bears the author’s name, “According to John”. We know that the author is a chosen disciple of the Lord Jesus, later named as an apostle. He, along with his brother James, were among the first called to be followers of the Christ. They were personally mentored by Jesus.
The second “W” reflects what is being said. Why does John begin this gospel in this way? Mathew and Luke begin with the conception, birth and early years of Jesus. Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus. Yet John begins with a declarative statement that precedes time itself, that prior to creation itself Jesus existed, not in human form but as deity. The apostle Paul will pen it this way, “Jesus Christ, being in the nature/form of God” and equal to God (Phil.2:5-6). “The Word was there in the beginning; the Word was there with God; the Word was God” (Jn.1:1).
The third “W” revolves around the purpose for stating it this way? There are two reasons. The first is that the Bible opens with these words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1). Who is the author of creation? God. Yet it is here, at this very point that John lays out this clear doctrinal statement. The instrument of creation, the One who spoke life into existence, is the eternal Word. “He was there with God and all things came into existence through Him and without Him not one things exists” (Jn.1:2-3). Or again as Paul pens it: “He is the image of the invisible God … By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible … all things were created for Him and by Him” (Col.1:15-16). Jesus, the eternal Word, is the Creator. “In Him all things consist” (Col.1:17).
The second reason is that John’s doctrinal statement lays the foundation for our faith: Creation, the subsequent Fall, Redemption, Restoration, New Creation. Or as he writes in vs. 14, “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten of God, full of grace and truth”. The Creator came into His creation, to redeem His creation from the fall, to offer Himself as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, to bring us into relationship with our heavenly Father and offer us eternal life. John never lost the sense of awe, that “those who would receive Him would be given authority to become children of God, to the ones who believe in His name” (Jn1:12).
Does it matter what you believe about creation? John is clear. Jesus, the eternal Word, spoke creation into existence, that all things exist by His will and for His purposes. Creation exists by His creative activity. You exist by His created activity. “Fearfully and wonderfully made” are you. (Ps. 139:14). May we never lose that same sense of awe, that the One who designed and created us chose to enter into His creation to redeem and restore us for HIs glory and His purposes. The invitation, for each and every one of us, is always there: “to as many as will believe on Him, He will give authority to become children of God”.
Have a blessed week!