The Book of John
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
These are the opening verses in the wonderful book of John. They are some of the most significant verses that give evidence to the true deity of Jesus as God incarnate. The 'Word' in the above verse is referring to Jesus; Who always was. Since God is the creator of everything, and we see in verse 3 that "all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made", this is where God's truth is revealed to us that Jesus is in fact truly God.
Verses 4 and 5 speak about Jesus being "Life, and the Life was the Light of men." and that this light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. Jesus is referred to as the Life and light of men several times through the new Testament. When we receive the Life from the grace of God by accepting Jesus as who He truly is, we receive the revelation of God's truth -the Light. Yet when the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it as it says in verse 5, this is referring to how the spiritually dead are not receptive to God or His word. They can not and do not want to understand it.
John’s Witness: The True Light
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
In these verses John the Baptist is the messenger that bears witness to the 'Light'- that is to the coming of Jesus. John's witness was to pave the way for the gift giving of God's grace through the promised Messiah Jesus Christ. Again, in verse 11, scripture speaks about some that did not accept Jesus ("His own did not receive Him"). But as many as did accept Jesus were given the right to become 'children of God'. This concurs with a later text verse in chapter 3 verse 16 where salvation is promised to all who repent and come to believing and accepting or receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
"And the Word became flesh". Here we have more confirmation that the 'Word' (Jesus) that was in the beginning as given in verse 1, became flesh. A man Born of a Virgin woman.
Verses 15 and 16 continue with John's witness to the coming of the promised one. "For the law was given through Moses, but the grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." This is one of the first statements pertaining to the comparison of the Law of the old covenant vs. the new covenant through the promise of salvation from Jesus Christ. The law does not save us. It was given to the people of the time as scripture tells us for the 'transgressions' of men. Now with the New covenant, the new promise that all who believe in Jesus Christ are saved, through faith in Him. Given to us by the grace of our creator;
But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Gal. 3:10
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Eph. 2:8
Finally in this section of scripture, verse 18 speaks about how no one has seen God. No one can see God and live (Exodus 33:20)
So because Jesus, the Word became flesh, we see a visible declared example of God.
A Voice in the Wilderness
John is now question by the religious leaders as to his identity. They wanted to know who is this that professes the coming of this 'Savior'.
John points out his identity as given in a Old Testament prophecy in the book of Isaiah;
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God." Is. 40:3
Notice in verse 23 of this first chapter of John, the same words are affirmed;
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said:
“I am ‘ The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “ Make straight the way of the LORD,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
In verse 26, John points out that Jesus is "one among you who you do not know". This is a very strong point of contention even today amongst Orthodox Jewish beliefs- that Jesus is not the Messiah.
Lastly, this section of Scripture reveals that as significant as John was as a follower of Christ, here he points out his insignificance to that of Jesus. There is a lesson we can all learn form John in these verses. We all should realize our own positions in life. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in who we 'think' we are, but it is of more importance to realize that Jesus should be our focus.
The Lamb of God
The context of a 'Lamb' in the following verses was familiar wording to the people at that time as sacrifices of a lamb to God was customary. However John points out that Jesus as the 'sacrificial lamb' to be the importance of His coming. These verses are some of the many that are simple and clear understanding of God's word- Jesus is the sacrifice. It is His blood that would be shed for all of our sins.
Next we read about how even though it is believed John and Jesus were related, John did not know the true identity and purpose of Jesus as the Messiah. There is also a very important point to be made here and that is although it points out the significance of being baptized by water, it is the baptizing by the Holy Spirit that occurs when one truly comes to faith that really matters.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” 32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The remaining verses in Chapter 1 of the book of John reveals the relationship of Jesus and His disciples;
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”