Imagine that you have been asked to introduce someone to a group of your coworkers. He has been retained to help your work team build improved work habits to increase efficiency and productivity. The person you’ve been asked to introduce is a true expert in his field, yet you know that some will be skeptical. They’re not sure who this person is, or why he’s here. They don’t feel the need for expert counsel or advice; they know their jobs. In fact, many will feel threatened by his presence as they wonder, “What does he have to do with me?” In introducing this person, you want to immediately establish his credentials; you want your group to realize quickly that this person is one to whom they should listen.
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. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~ John 1:1-5
The opening sentences of John’s Gospel provide such an introduction. My analogy is a bit flawed, for John isn’t just introducing an expert on life; John is introducing the Creator and Savior of the world. In these five sentences John tells us everything we need to know about the credentials of this Jesus of whom he writes. Indeed, these five verses of Scripture present a simultaneously succinct and thorough introduction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Many tend to perceive Jesus as the middle of the story of man. We mark history according to His birth (Before Christ; Anno Domini). Some shy away from the Old Testament and its books of history, poetry, and prophecy incorrectly presuming that it has nothing to do with Christ; after all, He is not formally introduced until the Gospels, right? Some view Jesus as God’s “Plan B” with the Old Testament describing God’s failed “Plan A”. It is this flawed human logic that leads some skeptics to ask why I place my faith and trust in this Jesus. It is this flawed human logic that leads many believers in Christ to the conclusion that God’s Word is subject to amendment at man’s will and whimsy.
John introduces us to Jesus by making these points abundantly clear:
- Jesus is eternal. He didn’t ride in on his heavenly white horse to solve an unforeseen problem; His act of redemption was planned from the beginning of eternity. When does eternity begin? It doesn’t – see what I mean? Jesus has been here all along.
- Jesus is God. That’s the only way He can be eternal, after all. As God, Jesus has all power, authority, and dominion. What He says goes. What He wills happens.
- Jesus created all things. Hence His eternal existence. Jesus is the Author of Creation. Nothing exists that He didn’t will to exist. It’s that simple.
- Jesus is the source of life itself. Science cannot explain the genesis of life. Here, John is introducing Life Himself. As Jesus authored creation, He breathed life into all living things, including man.
- Jesus lights the only way to life as He, life’s source and creator, intended it to be. On his own, man wallows in the dark depths of sin. By grace, Jesus came that we might have life as He intended it to be. His Light pierces the darkness of sin, and sin cannot overcome His Light. Jesus, The Word, is the only source for knowing how to live life on earth as well as what we believers can look forward to for eternity.
I take great comfort in the reality of my Savior. Man’s theories are full of holes. They’re based on supposition and hypothesis. But, ultimately, whether you believe in the True God of the Bible or whether you place your trust in something or someone else, it ultimately boils down to faith, does it not? Either you place your trust in God’s Word or you place your trust in man’s conjecture. Friends, there is much, much more to life and our existence than any man can possibly fathom. Knowledge of that Truth begins right here with these opening verses of John’s Gospel.
As I embark on my Journey through the Gospel of John, I’m looking forward to broadening my relationship with the Savior of the World – my Savior and yours, Jesus Christ. As I journey through this great account of Jesus, I will be sharing my thoughts and insights right here on my blog. I hope you’ll join me.
My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, Thank you for revealing Your Truth through Your Holy Word. As I embark on this study of the Gospel of John I pray that You would open my ears and my heart as you give me the gift of discernment. As I record my thoughts and insights, I pray that they would be helpful to any who might choose to join me in this study. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.