John 1

Jesus is the Word of God

John’s Gospel starts at the very beginning - before space/time, before energy and matter, before God Created the Heavens and the earth. 

Jesus is the Word of God. A person’s word is who they are - if they lie, they are a liar, if they tell the truth you know them by their word. In a perfectly honest person, their words and actions are identical. With God it goes even beyond that. God’s word is more than a sound in the air, more than just an expression of meaning. When God speaks, his Word creates things : “God said, ‘Let there be light.’ and there was light.”

God’s Word is living and active, and when God says,”I will dwell with my people.” Boom. There he is, Jesus, God in the Flesh, conceived in a virgin’s womb, growing, living, speaking, healing, shining in the darkness, like the light he created in the beginning.

John, the Baptist (a different person than John, the Gospel writer), is not the Messiah

This Gospel weaves the ministry of John the Baptist into Jesus’ ministry, as an MC introduces the main attraction at an event. John’s insistence that he is not that important really highlights how spectacular Jesus is, because John’s ministry was big news. But John merely says about himself, “I’m no one, just a voice in the wilderness saying that the Lord is coming.

Jesus is a big deal

He is the light in the darkness, he is the maker of the whole world, He can make us children of God through faith in him.He is the visible glory of God, full of grace and truth. He is greater than Moses, he is the only one who truly knows The Father, and therefore the only one who can truly make him known. He is the Lamb of God - that term is filled with meaning that will become more clear as his self-sacrifice takes place. He is filled with the Spirit of God.

A note about the Trinity

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three persons, One God. It’s hard, perhaps impossible to understand. Every description falls short. The doctrine of the Trinity does not explain the mystery, it simply describes what scripture teaches.  Jesus is fully God. The Father is fully God, The Holy Spirit is fully God. There is only one God. They are not like different masks or roles that God puts on, or we would have to ask, what does God look like behind the mask? They are not separable, as though there were three gods, nor can they be collapsed into one person. Jesus, the Son, as a human being needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as we all do. He needs to pray to the Father, and submit to him as we all do. We might think then that Jesus is second string, lower than the Father and the Holy Spirit, but we’d be wrong. 

I think of it this way - you never can meet one person of the Trinity without meeting all three. You meet Jesus, doing the will of the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit - one God. You receive, as a believer, the Holy Spirit, who reveals the Father and the Son.  We only can know the Father through his Word, Jesus, spoken by him, a Word which we can only receive when the Spirit works in us. They are inseparable, three persons, the fullness of God. 

 Don’t be surprised if this is confusing. In Physics light can be a particle and a wave at the same time. In psychology a person can be described as Id, Ego and Superego- yet be one person. You are Body, mind, and soul, yet you are one. The world is filled with strange things which we struggle to understand. Wouldn’t it be odd if the maker of this universe was simpler than the creation?


Jesus’ first disciples


We get a bit more information about the calling of the first disciples: Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist at first, until John points them to Jesus. Who was the second disciple of the Baptist who went to Jesus with Andrew? Could it have been John, the Gospel writer? In John’s Gospel, he rarely refers to himself by name. In humility, he leaves himself almost out of the story, but we see that to John the most important thing was that he was loved by God, most commonly referring to himself, when he absolutely has to, as “a disciple that Jesus loved,”