December 31, 2021 – Friday
John 1:1 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John reveals the purpose of his gospel right away, to reveal that Jesus is indeed God. He doesn’t spend a lot to time making his case. Instead, he comes right out and says it in the very first verse of his gospel, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The absolute clarity is amazing
Nonetheless, by looking closely we are able to discover even more. The NIV Cultural Background Study Bible makes the point that while Wisdom was the first of God’s creation “at the very beginning” (Proverbs 8:22-23), but Jesus transcends wisdom, for in the beginning, he already was. The Word was already there at the beginning!
A number of sources made the point that In the beginning is prior to creation and echoes the Bible’s opening verse in Genesis 1:1. And if we look ahead to the very next verse, He was with God in the beginning, we find The Word is distinct from God the Father and enjoys a personal relationship with him, which is also reflected in the first verse that the Word was with God. And we cannot miss what John says at the end of verse 1, the Word was God, as Jesus was God’s own peer and God’s own self. Jesus makes this clear in his own words in John 14:10-11, Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
The NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, makes the interesting observation that In contrast to 1 John 1:1 where John used a similar phrase (“from the beginning”) to refer to the starting point of Jesus’ ministry and gospel preaching, this phrase parallels Genesis 1:1 where the same phrase is used. John used the phrase in an absolute sense to refer to the beginning of the time-space-material universe. It also adds emphasis to the word was, In the beginning was, where The verb highlights the eternal preexistence of the Word, i.e., Jesus Christ. Before the universe began, the Second Person of the Trinity always existed; i.e., He always was..
David Guzik makes the point that In the beginning, John essentially wrote, “When the beginning began, the Word was already there.” The idea is that the Word existed before creation or even time. John makes it clear that the Word is not just the beginning, but it is the beginning of the beginning. He was there in the beginning, before anything was.
Finally, from the Zondervan KJV Commentary, If one were to open the old Greek Bible, the Septuagint, one would find that the opening words of Genesis are the same as John’s opening. As those familiar with the Genesis account of creation will recognize, John featured the agency of the Creator and revealed the preeminent role of the Word, or Logos (Jesus), in the action of creation. And further, In the beginning (v. 1) is not only the Greek translation of the very first word of the Bible in Hebrew but is also the Hebrew title of the book of Genesis (Hebrew, bereshith). The English title “Genesis” (Greek, genesis; “source,” “origin”) comes from the Septuagint, the old Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible
I will stop here and, as with Genesis 1:1, I have the hope that I have motivated you to look at this verse more deeply and that you will meditate on what it says about Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who created out of nothing; and especially to think on His and the Father’s love for us which makes no sense at all when we look at who we are. Perhaps we should do our best to show how grateful we are that He created us, such as we are. And with that I truly wish all of you A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Through Jesus, Your Son, the Word, You created everything and us. You are our Creator and You love us. I am so deeply grateful to know this and love You in return as best as I am able. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek