John 1:1-18- The Word of God Incarnate
Explanation- “In the beginning…” Certainly this is a sort of harbinger beckoning the reader back to the opening statement of Genesis chapter one. This Word, which we know to be the pre-incarnate Christ, was with God the Father when all of creation took its’ place. As Genesis opens us up to the origin of the created order, so John fills us in on the mystery of the ages, namely the reality of Christ’s existence and preeminence over creation. This Word, who was expressed in shadows and types in the Old Testament, has now been put on full display in the incarnation. He came to His own and they received Him not. He was the Creator and Sustainer of the world and yet His creation knew Him not. The glory of Christ, which the whole universe cannot contain, was clothed in flesh and dwelt among us.
John the Baptist was the first to proclaim the coming of this Light. He himself was not the light, but he was the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke, he was, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’…” John spoke of the Light and sought to lead men to the Light, but sadly many did not heed. To those who did believe and trusted in His name, He adopted them as sons and made them children of God.
It is in Christ that God has chosen to reveal Himself to men. The astonishing reality that the Disciples of Christ came to see was the literal glory of Christ. His glory was revealed to these men of humble descent not only in the miracles He performed, but surely John would have in mind the glory displayed at Jesus’ baptism, on the Mount of Transfiguration, and in the miracle of the resurrection. Christ chose to reveal His true nature to these men and thus they cannot help but proclaim it to the world!
Application- As we examine this passage we are confronted with the reality of God as He is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. This Christ is the same God who parted the Red Sea and rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. He was in the beginning with God and created all things that we see. In light of this truth, how then shall we live? As we have seen in the Old Testament’s revelation of the character of God, He is holy, righteous, and just. These factors do not change when we look at Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; His ways have not changed. He calls men to repentance and faith in His name. We are to set aside the works of flesh and the idea that there is something that we can do to please God in our own efforts. Thus, we must cling to the righteousness of Christ and trust that it is He who makes us children of God.