In the beginning…
Which way is he going to go; Genesis 1 or John 1?
Interesting isn’t it? Does it seem like a coincidence? Well it could be coincidence if not for the fact that John continues on.
Here is Genesis 1:1-5
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Now John 1:1-5
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Odd isn’t it that when you take these two scriptures separately how we understand that they are referring to different things, but as we read them together it becomes apparent that although John is referring to something new he is also referring to something as old as time.
John is announcing the coming of a new creation in the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, but he is making sure that we all see that the Word was never new. God is not scrapping His plan but He is revealing His plan of renewal.
So often when we think of Christmas (the birth of Christ) we think that God is unleashing some great new force; and He is. But this force is not new. It was and we were a part of God’s plan from the beginning of time.
John 1(Verse 1b-2) …and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning
You see John plays with us here in the way that we might think of Abbott and Costello played with “Who’s on First”. When he uses words in the opening of this chapter he uses two words that have significant different meanings to the Hebrews and the Greeks he is speaking to and he uses them in ways that that tell his readers that the there is deeper meaning here.
The word he uses is “logos”. To the Greek ear the word “Logos” represented the great divine force of all knowledge that exists throughout the universe.
To the Hebrew the “Word” was the guide to their whole life and without the word their race would not exist. It was the life giving word of God.
The word “was” in Greek (eiÎmið) isn’t so nice and tidy as it is in English. It is not just saying that it existed before, but it implies that it existed continuously. The Adams Clark Commentary says that it means, “existed the logos”. The term is imperfect and Clark says it should not be translated beyond the imperfection.
It means had, had been, stood + taught + was, were
The important thing for us to note is that John is not saying to us that God created Jesus before time as we know it. He is not saying that Jesus was created at all. “Existed the logos”: Jesus Christ existed continuously.
To quote Sara Groves “And the Word was. And the Word is. And the Word will be…”
Quote from the song:
People are getting fit for Truth
Like they’re buying a new tailored suit
Does it fit across the shoulders
Does it fade when it gets older
We throw ideas that aren’t in style
In the Salvation Army pile
And search for something more to meet our needs
John is saying, “Not this truth. This has always been.”
John1:2 He was with God in the beginning.
You know as we look at people today we see a people who crave there to be something more. Television shows like “Medium” and “Crossing Over” show how much we hunger for the spiritual. “Heroes”, “Spiderman”, and “Hancock” show how much we long for ultimate power. “Twilight”, “Lord of the Rings”, and “The Spirit” we are so intrigued by spiritual things and things that are bigger than us.
As we all bounce around exploring the millions of different ways of thinking and being on this planet; and as the television, the web, and the cell phone make this globe smaller and smaller it becomes scary just how many responses there are to our longing for that something. If you are looking for something spiritual you literally have thousands of different religions to choose from.
Older folks, ask yourself if you would have made the choice for Jesus in if there had been this many choices.
What is the answer?
Well this society and our popular culture tells us that we have no right to even propose that there is any one answer.
What John is telling us is that in there isn’t and never was any other answer. The answer is God; revealed by His Word, the light of the world He has sent into the world, His son Jesus Christ.
This Jesus Christ, this walking talking breathing Word of God was, is, and always will be the answer to the questions.
Who am I?
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Is there some greater meaning to this life I’m living?
Is there a God?
How do I relate to God?
How does he relate to me?
John tells us God not only exists, but that His desire to be in communion and to communicate has eternally been a part of the equation.
Forever God has been in communication through the word
Forever God has existed as one and as the community of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
John 1:4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
God does not sit in Heaven and watch as man tears himself to pieces. God’s word comes to us in the flesh as Jesus Christ. Through this we are made a part of the community that is God.
Here we see the beauty of John’s poetry opening his Gospel. It becomes clear that the Word that John has been speaking of was not simply combinations of letters in a book used to correct or modify behavior among the peasants.
No, Jesus Christ “…the light of men”.
God exists in community and by sending His Word, His Spirit, by walking among us in flesh; experiencing pain, joy, tears, love, and even death He shows us the way to live and our purpose in life. Not through the cold word of men written on pages in a sacred book, but through walking beside us; living in us; and caring for us.
1 John 1:1-3 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
You see the Christian answer to all of this spiritual searching and craving for community is that we have found it.
We need not search or wonder and we never again need to worry for ourselves.
God has revealed Himself to us through His Word.
He has revealed Himself through His walking word “The Way”, Jesus Christ.
John 17:21-23 “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us . . . I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you . . . have loved them even as you have loved me”
Jesus has declared that we are part of a power, a community, and a life that was, is, and will forever be.
As we consider the advent season we are considering the beginning. We think of this advent beginning as starting with the birth of the baby Jesus in a manger in the City of David.
John wants us to see that for millions of us this was the beginning of a new chapter in the story of God’s relationship to man. But this was not the beginning of the Word. This was not the beginning of Jesus Christ. And it certainly was not the advent of God’s plan for you.
You have never been unloved.http://www.ignitermedia.com/products/iv/singles/8/Never-Been-Unloved