This is a series that I’m doing on Wednesday evenings at the church I pastor, Faith United Church, Hempstead Texas. We are doing a verse by verse study into the book of John.

John part 1

THE WORD BECAME FLESH

John 1:1-18.

John 1:1-18 TNIV – 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.

INTRO: John 1:1 is probably the strongest passage in the New Testament for declaring the deity of Jesus Christ. And because of this, this is one of those passages that is often attacked by cultists and those who refuse to accept the deity of Jesus Christ. Though it has been attacked down through the years, it’s truth has still remained. It is a truth that we as believers and those who are not believers can hang their hat on, Jesus was and is more than a good teacher or a good person, He is God manifested in the flesh.

Now like I said last time, the Bible gives us four major accounts concerning Jesus Christ. These are what we commonly call the four gospels. Each account presents a different aspect of the life and person of Jesus, when put together they all paint a complete picture of just who He is:

  • Matthew presents Jesus as the rightful King of the Jews that has been promised through the Old Testament Prophets.
  • Mark pictures Jesus as the suffering servant who came and paid the ransom price for our sin.
  • Luke describes Jesus as the perfect teacher who came to heal the hurts of all men.
  • John presents Jesus as the Son of God – the One who left Heaven to become a man.

And this is the gospel that we will be looking at on Wednesday nights verse by verse. Let’s start.

1. Facts concerning the pre-incarnate Christ.

Verses 1-5 TNIV – 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.

Where Matthew starts with a Genealogy stating that Jesus was a son of Abraham, and Luke in his genealogy states that Jesus was a son of Adam, John goes much further, he goes back all the way into the beginning of Creation.

Notice His relationship with the Father (vv. 1-2). He was in the beginning with God the Father.

The Word, was equal with God the Father, meaning being very God Himself. Not a god like the Jehovah witnesses believe, but being equal with God and being Himself God. In the NET Bible it translates says in verse one, the Word was fully God. In the AMP it says, and the Word was God Himself.

There is something that is rather interesting that I have found in my studies concerning this. The Jewish Rabbis had commentaries and in some cases, paraphrases of the Law, or what they call the Torah as well as the complete Old Testament. Many times within these commentaries or paraphrases they would replace words like: God, Angel of the Lord, Lord God, the Lord, etc… with the Hebrew word “Memra.” This word when translated into English means, “Word.”

So in Genesis 1, they would translate it as, “In the beginning The Word Created the Heavens and the earth. In Exodus they would translates the words coming from the burning bush as, “Tell them the Word sent you.” The Angel of the Lord who stayed Abraham’s hand they would translate it as, “Then the Word spoke to Abraham.” To Joshua the captain of the host answered him, “I am the Word who leads the armies of God.” and on and on. The point being the Jews already had this concept of the Word being God even before John had pen this.

The Gentiles (Greeks) also had a belief that it was the Logos who created all things, and held and sustain life. This belief coming from Plato and Aristototle. John uses this word, Logos here. The Logos was with God and was God. He is the fulfillment of not only the O. T. prophecies, but of what all of mankind was looking and hoping for.

Now look at His relationship with the world (vv. 3-5). All of creation was made through Him.

He is the giver and sustainer of life – and this life is the light for all people. And the darkness cannot comprehend or overpower this light, they can’t put it out. Commentators debate this greek wording here, does it mean comprehend or overpower? I like they way the NET translated this. They translate it, Has not mastered it. This wording conveys the meaning of both not comprehending and not overpowering.

2. The witness to the light – John the Baptist.

Verses 6-8 TNIV – 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.

First, John was a man sent from God. He was what was called the forerunner, or the one to came before Christ, preparing the way.

Matthew 1:1-3 TNIV – 1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ “

John was man sent on a very special mission. He was to bear witness or testify concerning the coming of Christ. He was to do this so that through him all might believe.

3. The true light has come.

Verses 9-13 TNIV – 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.

Christ is this true light. As John had a mission, so did Christ as the light. His mission was to give light to everyone in the world.

As we will see much later in this gospel as well as being true today, Jesus was unfortunately rejected by the majority of the world (the Jews while He was on this earth and those living today). The one who created the world, came to the world as the one and only true light, yet His light was rejected by the very ones He created. They refused to recognize Him. Though they had all the evidence, the signs, prophecies, His teachings, they still refused to accept Him as the one and only true light that came down out of Heaven.

But the good news is His messaged was received by some then and is being received by some now. How is it received, by believing in His name. What is the result, He has given us the right to become the children of God. We are children not because we were born that way, or it didn’t come from any person or our parents, but we are children that are born of God when we believe in the one who came – Jesus Christ.

4. Jesus is the Word made flesh.

Verses 14-18 TNIV – 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.

Jesus pitched His tent among us (v. 14). Here we see the Jewish of John showing through. A first century Jew would have picked up on this. Our word, “dwelling,” here actually means, “to tabernacle, to pitch a tent. The word picture is a lot like Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. They would follow the glory cloud of God, and wherever the cloud rested, they would pitch the tabernacle or tent and the cloud would hover over the holy of holies. People could see that cloud. Jesus pitching His tent amongst the people of His day, they saw His glory just like the Jews saw the glory of the Lord over the tabernacle in the wilderness.

John testified concerning the superiority of Christ Jesus (v. 15).

The believers testimony concerning Christ coming in the flesh is what we have received – fullness of grace and truth (vv. 16-17). We did not receive grace and truth through the law.

We received it through Jesus Christ.

Finally, God has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ (v. 18). While there have been different manifestations of God throughout the Old Testament, no one had seen Him in all His glory, not even Moses himself. No one except the one who is Himself God and is in close relationship with God the Father. He alone and seen God the Father in all His glory because He Himself shared in the glory being God Himself. And because of this, He has revealed the character and person of God to the world.

CONCL: Many scholars see these first 18 verses as a poem that John wrote concerning the pre-existance of Christ and His power and authority. No this, we don’t serve a created being, we serve someone who was never created, and who created all there is. He is all powerful and full of grace and truth. Through Jesus, God the Father can and has become known. Only Jesus reveals Him to the world, not religion or the ways of man.

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