John 1=The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us!
Bible Background: John’s gospel is unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s writings. John is less about what Jesus did and more about who He was/is and what He means. The Gospel of John was likely the last of the 4 gospels to be written around the turn of the 1st century. And John is most likely writing to Jewish Christians who have now ‘split’ from the Jewish religion and find themselves as outsiders. The opening verses of John, which we read every Christmas Eve, are known as The Prologue. These introduce the themes of John’s Gospel, such as: Light & Darkness, Truth, Belief, and the full Identity of Jesus.
Digging Deeper: 1. The first verse of John’s gospel starts the same as the very first verse in the Bible “In the beginning…!” John is trying to tell us that Jesus was there, with God the Creator, before time began. He’s also perhaps trying to show us that God is making a brand new ‘beginning’ by sending the Son into the world!
2. John comes right out and says that Jesus was not just with God, but was God! This makes a strong case for the doctrine of the Trinity-God, being Father, Son, Spirit, 3-persons, co-equal.
3. The “man sent from God, whose name was John” is telling about the role of John the Baptist (not John, the writer.)
4. The writer refers to Jesus as “the true light” and as the “Word made flesh.” As “the Word”, John incorporates the Greek idea of logos which is more than just “word” but also points to “divine wisdom”, as in-Jesus embodies all the love, wisdom, grace, truth, and power of God. “Incarnation” is the fancy word for taking on human flesh/form. Most ancient philosophers would never imagine a god who would stoop to take on human form. But that’s what John claims God has done.
5. The word translated “dwelt among us” is more like “pitched a tent” with us…as in, God has really come to be right next to us! (Matthew’s gospel would use the name Emmanuel to make the point that God is with us!)
What do you love about John’s prologue? What’s the easiest piece of it to grasp? What’s the deepest mystery in it for you? How do we trust that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it?”