Whereas Matthew, Mark, and Luke begin their account of the life of Jesus when He was on earth, John begins his account of the life of Jesus before there was an earth. In John's prologue he calls Jesus “the Logos” (the Word), and reveals Jesus to be eternal and divine.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only [Son], who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' ") 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only [Son], who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Eternity ● Divinity ● Trinity
John begins his gospel with one of the most profound sentences ever written. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Here’s how some other translators have put it.
- In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. New Living Translation
- The Word already was, way back before anything began to be. The Word and God were together. The Word was God. Worldwide English
- In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. New International Reader's Version
- In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God and the Logic was God. Gordon Clark
In the beginning was the Word,
John starts his first line with the very first words of the Bible, “In the beginning...” (Genesis 1:1). He alludes to the creation account in Genesis 1:1 to show that “the Word” preexisted the world. The Word was not created but was the creator.
The word translated “Word” comes from the Greek word “logos.” Even though it just has five letters, it is a huge word. The Greek philosophers saw the logos as the ultimate reason and power which puts sense into the world, making the world orderly instead of chaotic. Jewish rabbis often spoke of God Himself as "the word of God."
John made creative use of double meaning in the word "Logos" to communicate to both Jews, and Greeks. “For centuries you've been talking, thinking, and writing about the Word (the logos). Now I will tell you who He is.” John meets both Jews and Greeks where they are at, and explains Jesus in terms they already understood.
Word was with God, and the Word was God.
With this brilliant statement, John 1:1 sets forth one of the most basic foundations of our faith - the Trinity. We can follow John's logic:
1. There is a Being known as the Word.
2. This Being is God, because He is eternal (In the beginning), and He is plainly called God (the Word was God).
3. At the same time, this Being does not encompass all that God is (the Word was with God).
4. So, God (a.k.a. the Father) and the Word (a.k.a. the Son) are equally God, yet distinct in their Person. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Father. Yet they are equally God, with God the Holy Spirit making one God in three Persons.
Other Scriptures Mentioning
Jesus’ Eternal and Divine Nature
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
In this prophecy the prophet Micah is promising a coming deliverer to Israel. But what is significant about this specific "Christmas prophecy" is the prophet's description of that coming Deliverer--He is One Who is "from of old, from everlasting." The claim is that this One to be born is One Whose existence will not have begun at his birth! Unlike any other man or woman, this One is One Who lived before his birth! In fact, He has lived from eternity! Clearly, Micah was speaking of God Himself, for only He has existed from eternity. What is so significant, then, is that Micah is speaking of incarnation--that God would become man! God would be born!
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the
truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At
this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away
from the temple grounds.