Jesus: the Eternal Word

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ” – John 1:1-5 

 Creation

Genesis 1:1 starts with the moment of creation and moves forward to the creation of humanity. John 1:1 starts with creation and contemplates eternity past.  

The Greek word logos was used to speak of the principle of the universe, even the creative energy that generated the universe. The term logos may also have some connection with the Old Testament presentation of wisdom as a personification or attribute of God (see Proverbs 8). 

In both the Jewish conception and the Greek, the Logos was associated with the idea of beginnings—the world began through the origination and instrumentality of the Word (see Genesis 1:3). 

 The Song of God

John may have had these ideas in mind, but more likely he used this word in a new way to identify the Son of God as divine. He is the image of the invisible God (see Colossians 1:15), the express image of God’s substance (see Hebrews 1:3). In the Godhead, the Son functions as the Revealer of God and is God in reality. 

The fact the Word was with God suggests a face-to-face relationship. In the ancient world, it was important that persons of equal station be on the same level, or face-to-face, when sitting across from one another. Thus, the word with indicates a personal relationship, but also implies equal status. The Word, Jesus Christ Himself, is an active Person in communication with the Father (see 1 John 1:2). 

The Word Was God

Moreover, the word was God. The word order in Greek shows that the Word was “God,” not “a god.” This is a straightforward declaration of Christ’s deity, since John uses Word to refer to Jesus. The Word was of the very quality of God, while still retaining His personal distinction from the Father. 

In verse 3, we see all things were made through Him. God the Father created the world through God the Son (see Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). All creation was made through Him. Thus, He is the Creator God.  

The Light of the World

Christ entered this dark world to give it spiritual light (see Isaiah 9:2). The word translated as comprehend can mean (1) to take hold of; (2) to overpower; or (3) to understand. Therefore, verse 5 may mean that darkness did not positively take hold or understand the light, or that darkness did not negatively overcome the light. Both statements are true. Humans did not appropriate or understand the light, nor did they overtake or overpower it. Although Satan and his forces resist the light, they cannot thwart its power.   

In short, Jesus is life and light; those who accept Him are “sons of life” (John 12:35, 36). As the creation of light was the beginning of the original creation (see Genesis 1:3), so when believers receive the light, they can become part of the new creation (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-6). 

 

Question to ponder … 

  • Do you remember when you first recognized the connection between Genesis 1 and John 1? What was your reaction? 
  • What were some of your key takeaways as you read these insights from the NKJV Study Bible? 

 

 

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Content in this article adapted from the NKJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition.

Perfect for in-depth study or personal devotion, this study Bible is filled with features that enhance your knowledge as well as devotion to God. The Bible contains over 15,000 verse-by-verse study notes, articles, extensive cross-references, and features contributed by top evangelical scholars. These study tools, combined with the accuracy and beauty of the New King James Version, make it a perfect choice to help you understand and deeply engage with Scripture.

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