New American Standard Bible
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. 5 And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.
In the beginning speaks of eternity. It doesn’t speak of a beginning starting point. But that God has always existed. The purpose of John’s gospel is to show and demonstrate that Jesus is truly God. His purpose is that anyone who would believe his gospel would come to put their faith and hope in Jesus Christ.
We know that Jesus has always been with the Father. He was present with the Father at creation and through Him all things were created and were made (John 1:3, Col 1:16). Not only were all things created through Him but we know that Jesus is in fact God Himself. He is co-equal with the Father. He sits at the right hand of the Father. Before He came to the earth He has always been God. But in coming to the earth He fully became flesh. Satan will always attack the deity of who Christ is. But our faith and our salvation is built upon the truth that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but He is God.
In verse two it sums up the thoughts of verse one. He was with God in the beginning. It again shows us that Jesus is separate from the Father, but He is one with the Father. There is an intimate relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that thought they are three different persons, they are one being. They are unified in existence and they are unified in heart and mind. The concept of the trinity is one that we cannot fully grasp on this side of heaven. No matter how well we try to explain it and use analogies, we will not be able to fully communicate how the trinity exists. It is something we receive by faith and it is something that the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to understand. Again if John’s purpose in writing his gospel is to show that Jesus is indeed God, the only proper way to do it is to show His relationship with God the Father.
All things came into being through Jesus. Creation was not a progressive process. Creation took place as God spoke. Things did not evolve over time. Creation began in the mind and heart of God and then God spoke it into existence. It shows the greatness of the God we serve. This is why Satan attacks the truth of creation trying to remove God from the process and making life seem meaningless. But when we have a right understanding of creation, we have a right understanding of the value of human life.
Everything was created through Jesus. We know from the Genesis account that God spoke all things into existence. We know from John’s gospel that Jesus is known and referred to as the word. Everything that has been created has been done by Jesus, through Him, and for His glory. He is the center of everything.
Nothing that has been created was created apart from Christ. In Colossians 1:16 it states For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Everything that was created, which includes all things was created through Jesus Christ and by Him. If all things were created through and by Him, then He alone is God and is worthy of all praise and worship.
In Jesus is found life. Jesus said that He came to give life and give it abundantly. One of the themes we find in John’s gospel is this relationship between light and darkness. When sin entered the human race, with it came darkness. Our world is filled with darkness and deception because those who are without Christ live in slavery to Satan and the desires of the sinful nature.
But when a person comes to Christ they are set free. They become a brand new creation (2 Cor 5:17). It isn’t until we know Christ personally and begin to walk with Him each day that we truly come to know life. But not only do we truly come to know life, our eyes are open to the truth. The light of who Jesus is fills us. Jesus said that He is the light of the world (John 8:12). When we come into right relationship with Jesus, we are restored to relationship with God the Father. We no longer live in darkness, we live in the light and truth of who Christ is.
The word some translations translate as understood, comprehend, or grasp is better translated overcome. Jesus is the light of the world. When sin entered into humanity, darkness filled the earth. It was into the chaos that God said let there be light. God’s spoken word of let there be light brought order and chaos into the darkness and the void. It is into the darkness of sin and wickedness that Christ stepped onto the scene. Born of Mary and Joseph in a little manger, He would grow up as any human being. He is fully God and fully man. He would live a life without sin and perfectly live according to the will of God the Father. He came to this earth because of His love for us.
No matter how much the darkness tries to overcome the light, it never will. No matter how much Satan tries to thwart the purposes and plans of God, he never will. The enemy is driven by his pride and arrogance. He desires to be God and be greater than God. But every time he has failed. God time and time again uses his arrogance against Him. Even Jesus' death upon the cross wasn’t that His life was taken from Him, but that He willingly gave up His life. There isn’t one moment in time that God is not fully in control and sovereign. John has begun his gospel with one incredible introduction. It sets the tone for the entire account of Jesus Christ through the heart and mind of John the apostle under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
John was the only original disciple who was not martyred. He lived out his days on the earth to old age. John was the elder statesman to the second generation church. His gospel is essential to understanding the deity of who Christ is. If discouragement and doubt try to fill our hearts and minds, we must remember that Jesus is God and that He is our personal Lord and Savior.