A Bible study through John 1-6
As we kick off our study in the first six chapters of John, I am reminded of a line from Sound of Music: “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” There are four Gospels that recount the life and story of Jesus and His time on earth. Each one starts at a different place. Matthew starts with Abraham. Mark jumps right in with John the Baptist. And Luke, the historian, starts when God’s silence was first broken in the temple with Zachariah.
However, John starts his gospel completely different. Instead of starting the story with a person, event, or time in history, he goes back even further. John starts his book at the very beginning.
“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 was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Before time began, Jesus existed. From eternity past, John tells us that Jesus was with God and was God. The incarnation is not the beginning of Jesus’ story. Christmas was not the start of His existence. On the contrary, Jesus was with God when the world was created, when time began, when the heavens were breathed out by their Creator. And Jesus was not only with God at that time, but was actively involved in the creation of all that we see. John, and later Paul, in the book of Colossians tells us that all things were made through Jesus and nothing was made without Him.
Furthermore, John uses the name “the Word” to identify the Messiah. This Greek word logos literally means something said. In the context that John uses this word it is the divine expression of God, the revelation of the invisible communicating the nature and heart of the Creator. Therefore, Jesus is not only eternally existent, but He’s also the revelation of who God is. He is the Word: God revealed, God incarnate, God made known.
Therefore, as we seek to study the life of the Son of God, it is vital that we recognize and acknowledge the fact that the gospels are not the beginning of Jesus’ story. Rather, they tell the story of Jesus’ time on planet earth and how the timeless God came near to us. So as we prepare our hearts for the truths, revelations, and insights God wants to impart to us through this study of John 1-6, let us get a proper perspective and always remember that Jesus was with God in the beginning before time began, but willingly stepped into the confines of His creation to rescue and redeem a lost and broken people. He stepped into the darkness to bring light and life to men. May we, therefore, step out of the darkness and embrace the life and light He came to bring.