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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. – John 1:1-3
The life of the Lord Jesus Christ did not begin in Bethlehem, Israel. He came into the world from a preexistent state to fulfill a specific mission, which is to save His people from their sins. We are introduced to this great truth in the prologue of the Gospel of John, and it is the foundation of the whole Gospel.
Note that at least six things that are made clear to us from the Apostle John’s prologue:
- Our Lord’s Eternity of Being
- Our Lord’s Distinct Personality
- Our Lord’s True Deity
- Our Lord’s Glory in Creation
- Our Lord’s Life-giving Power
- Our Lord’s Incarnation
“In the beginning was the Word…” teaches us that Jesus existed before his arrival in Bethlehem; in fact, Jesus existed before His conception in Mary’s womb. John begins his Gospel intentionally using the identical words we find opening the entire Bible! The way in which “In the beginning” is put at the head of John’s Gospel can obviously be construed as a conscious adoption of the very first words of the first book of Holy Scripture [i]. There is a beginning of creation, but long before creation began we read the Son was present. The Apostle John takes us back far beyond the beginning of time. When time began its course, Jesus already was. When God created the heaven and earth, Jesus was. Never was there “a time” when Jesus was not. Our concept of time does not apply to Jesus Christ.
John stated that Jesus Christ is a distinct Person from the God the Father: “…Word was with God…” This phrase is remarkable. Here we find the idea that while the Son is distinct from the Father, there is an intimate fellowship between Them. The preposition “with” emphasizes a personal relationship existing between two persons. An identical construction of words is found in Mark 6:3; 9:19; 14:49; Luke 9:41; and 1 John 1:2 where the idea is conveyed that the persons are not in simple coexistence, that is to say a physical proximity, as if the two happen to be in the same group or company; rather the thought being expressed is that the Father and the Son were in perfect communion with each other.
The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is clearly affirmed by the declaration “…and the Word was God…” The predicate (God) stands first in the construction of the Greek text. It can literally be translated “…and God was the Word… [ii]” Demonic cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses have intentionally mistranslated this verse in order to bend the Holy Scriptures in agreement with their vile presupposition that Jesus is not Almighty God. So clear is the Greek in regard to Christ’s eternal deity that to attempt to translate the words in some other way would be an alteration of God’s Word, akin to the deception of Satan to Eve in the garden of Eden where the evil one misrepresented God’s revelation in order to mislead the people of God. Satan’s strategy has not changed since the beginning of time. And why should Satan change his technique? – it seems to work over and over again; man still falls for it.
When John says, “…He was in the beginning with God…” the Apostle is stating that the Son of God is eternal. If God had a beginning (so-called), then Jesus did as well.
When John tells us that “ … apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being …” Note that the use of the word “world” is purposely avoided in order to get across the idea that the vast range of created things (matter, energy, spirits, people, galaxies, atoms, etc.) came about as a result of Jesus Christ causing them to be. Creation is called into existence by Jesus and then sustained by Him: “…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power… [iii]” and “…by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together… [iv]” In the final book of the Bible, The Apocalypse, we read “…”Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created… [v]”. “…But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman …[vi]” for the purpose of “…sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin …[vii]” In Him, we move and exist. Without Jesus Christ we cease to live, and we remain unredeemed sinners. Only the Creator can redeem His creation.
The great truth of the Incarnation is summarized in verse fourteen: “…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we [the disciples] beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…”
NOTES AND CITATIONS:
[i] Ἐν ἀρχῇ = בְּרֵאשִׁית
[ii] … καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος…
[iii] Hebrews 1:1-3
[iv] Colossians 1:16-17
[v] Revelation 4:11
[vi] Galatians 4:4
[vii] Romans 8:3