John 1 v 1 -14
Science can observe and measure to an extent the universe as it now is and postulate theories as to the mechanics of how it got going. But most people would agree that something does not come from nothing. An ordered system with consistent physical laws suggests a source. But science has no tools for finding or measuring that source.
John ch 1 goes beyond science to give us the theology, the truth behind or above what we can see and measure. And rather beautifully it is given not in technical university jargon some might struggle to understand, but in the simple language of a fisherman from Galilee. John’s writing is so plain that a child can read it, yet so rich in substance and deep in meaning it has exercised the world’s greatest minds for centuries. He offers a selection of material about Jesus, of whom he was a close eyewitness, so that his readers might come to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour of the world, and have eternal life.
John begins by calling Jesus ‘the Word’. This was vital in Old Testament thinking. God spoke creation into being and made promises to Abraham. He revealed His Law and Commandments (the 10 ‘Words’) to Moses. ‘The Word of the Lord’ came to prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and was recorded in the written scripture.
‘Word’ was also significant in wider Greek thought. The ‘logos’ was believed to be a divine principle of knowledge, order and reason that permeated everything.
Before there was anything else, says John, there was the Word, more than a principle, a person. He was active with God in creation for He is and has always been in nature God Himself. Jesus, in Whom Christians trust, in Whose name we are invited to pray, is the eternal Son of God, Creator of the universe and all it contains, the true Source of light and life, the Giver of grace, the Revealer of truth.
And yet ‘The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.’ For a time, the eternal God the Son chose to live as a human being, restricted by the laws of time and space he had created. He is no stranger to our world. The marvel is not the epic splendour of God, but that God the Son willingly humbled Himself to become ‘incarnate’, one of us, making our place His home, so that we might one day share His.
John asserts that in Jesus we find not only the divine Source of all things. Because of His humility in taking on flesh and suffering the cross of Calvary for our sins He has brought to sinners like us an astounding possibility.
Believing in Jesus we are given power to become ‘God’s children.’ The only begotten Son became human that we might become brothers and sisters in the family of God. Reborn, enabled to start over by the Holy Spirit. Sharers of eternal life and all it promises.