Reading the Word
John 1:1-18 (ESV)
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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Understanding and Applying the Word
When we think of the Christmas story, we often think of the accounts recorded in Matthew and Luke. Those are the books that report of the angel speaking to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds who would visit Jesus at the manger. It is in those books that we read about the wise men who brought gifts to the newborn King. Those are the books with the old familiar story that we love so much.
We might not realize it, but the Gospel of John also reports about Jesus’ coming to earth as a man. John does not give us the historical details that we find in the other Gospels, but he gives us a theological understanding of the event. John tells us in his opening verse that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is an intriguing statement, but it gets even better when we continue reading to verse 14 where we read “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..” The word, who was God, became flesh and dwelt among us. This Word is Jesus, the God-man. Jesus was God in the flesh and he has confirmed that God exists and what he is like. This is why John ends today’s passage by saying “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
Jesus has made God known to us. We have no reason to question if God exists or what he is like. Jesus has revealed him to us. This is why it is so important for us to understand who Jesus is and all he said and did. Make 2021 a year to look into these things.
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