I can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema, mainly because it is 2020 and I haven’t been out out yet! Don Carson describes John 1 as like a cinema foyer with teasers of what is to come.
The first three words “In the beginning” echo Gen 1. This time instead of “God”, it is “was the Word”. John is pulling no punches here. He is announcing that Jesus is God. In v14 it will become clear that the Word is Jesus, but in v1 we can see the Word is God! That’s made clear as the verse goes on, unless you are using the Jehovah Witness translation, which makes up its own translation rules and makes the word a god. Quite why the want to avoid Jesus being God and create a multi-theistic confusion instead, I don’t know!
Jesus is eternally pre-existent, identified with God and is God.
As this is a cinema foyer, this first poster of Jesus the Word who is God is elaborated as we come to the “I am” statements
He is the creator and sustainer of all things. Light and life came from Jesus. These will be developed through the Gospel. The blind man who had been groping for the light will see the light physically and spiritually in ch 9.
In v14 we are told the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Greek word for dwelt is literally “tabernacled”. In the Old Testament, the presence of God on earth dwelt in the Tabernacle and then the Temple. Now God has come in the flesh, the very presence of God is in human flesh.
In v17 we finally find out who this Word is – Jesus!
These first 18 verses have painted the broad brush strokes of the Gospel
- The pre-existence of Christ and identity of the Word
- Jesus is fully God and fully man
- Creation and new creation
- the exclusivity of Jesus – darkness and light , new life…
Isn’t Jesus amazing!