John the beloved disciple most likely wrote his gospel around the time of 85 A.D. to help supplement the other three gospels. He presented 90% of unique information and used seven signs to show the trustworthiness of the work of Jesus.
John started his gospel with the most fascinating description of God ever seen in the Bible. The cross may be the center of his gospel but it’s the introduction that gives the foundation of its importance- God the Son took on flesh and entered His own creation to reveal the grace of God!
John 1:1-5, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- JOHN 1:1: This verse establishes that the Word was uncreated, was in a relationship with God the Father before time began and is fully divine and equal to the Father in His nature.
- In the Beginning was the Word: John purposefully linked the Word’s involvement with all creation in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Before the heavens and the earth were created there was only the triune God existing in three equal, yet distinct persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26 & Matthew 28:19).
- The Word was with God: The Greek word “pros/with” literally means, “in the presence of, towards or before.” John clarifies in John 1:18 that the Word (God the Son) has always been at God the Father’s side. This proof of relationship between the separate persons of the Father and Son dismantles the Oneness Pentecostal heresy which denies the Trinity by claiming that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the same person just manifesting in different ways. (See Sabellianism).
- The Word was God: The Greek word for God (“theos”) does not have an article before it thus according to grammatical rules it functions as a predicate nominative and modifies the Word. Simply said, “theos/God” in this part of the verse does not refer to the person of the Father mentioned in John 1:1b but rather describes the nature of the Word. The NET version translates this section precisely as, “and the Word was fully God.” This means that the Word is equal in nature to the Father but distinct as a person. The Jehovah Witnesses falsely insert the letter “a” before God in their translation (“and the Word was a god”) and teach that Jesus is a lesser created “god.” However, this false belief is wrong because it teaches polytheism (that there is more than one God, Isaiah 43:10) and neglects the context of John 1:3 which states that the Word created all things and without Him nothing was made that has been made. Therefore, the Word is not in the category of made things because He made all made things. (See Arianism).
- Helpful Interpretation: In the beginning was God the Son (known as the Word), and God the Son was in close relationship with God the Father, and God the Son was fully divine like God the Father.
- Insightful Charts: Showing the differences between Sabellianism, Arianism and the Trinity.
- JOHN 1:2: This verse reiterates John 1:1 to reinforce the Word’s preexistence, distinctiveness, and deity (Expositor’s Commentary).
- JOHN 1:3: The Word created everything that has been created. Paul reinforced this doctrine in Colossians 1:15-20.
- Note that his term “first born over all creation” in v. 15 means, “first born from among the dead” as clarified in v. 18.
- All created things (whether in heaven or on earth) come from Jesus, therefore, He cannot be a “created thing.”
- JOHN 1:4: According to John 1:4 Jesus was the very one who formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into Adam the breath of life.
- Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
- Consider now the following explanation of the creation of mankind in Genesis 1:26-28 in light of John 1:1-5, “God [the Father] said, ‘Let us [the Trinity] make mankind in our image [three separate persons sharing one nature, complex unity], in our likeness [with freewill and authority]… so God [the Son] created mankind in his own image, in the image of God [the Trinity] he [Jesus] created them; male and female [“two persons”] he created them. God [the Son] blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful [“third person”] and increase in number.”
- JOHN 1:5: The life Jesus gave mankind resulted in the light of “human conscience.” This light of self-awareness, God’s existence and morality cannot be extinguished because of sin as it is based on man being made in the image of God. Paul reinforced this idea in Romans 1:18-21;28-32;2:14-16. Paul taught that when men reject God’s light they become dark, but their darkened heart does not fully overcome the light of Christ in their conscience because it will be a witness against them on Judgement Day proving that they did know the evil they were doing but instead ignored God’s conviction by choosing to live in darkness. However, whenever sinners are convicted by the Holy Spirit in their conscience and chose to receive the light of God’s Word they can become children of the light (John 1:9-13 & 1 Thessalonians 5:5).
- Jesus is both our God and Savior.
- Jesus is the only way to the Father.
- Jesus was not created but rather He created everything.
- Jesus created mankind in His own image and gave us His life.
- Jesus gave mankind a inner conscience to know good from evil.
- Jesus died for all the sins mankind freely chose to commit.
- Jesus will transform our inner nature and bring us into relationship with the Father if we believe in Him.
Before your beginning Jesus was there, “In the beginning;” before your spiritual death, Jesus was your Life; before you had problems, Jesus was your solution; before you were living in darkness, Jesus was your Light; and before you knew you needed a Savior, Jesus was your sacrifice.