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John 1:1-18

The Gospel According to


The Word Became Flesh

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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 

He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. 

The Gospel of John, written in about 100 AD, was written much later than the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Its author is presumed to be the disciple John, the brother of James. It was written primarily to those who were Christians, which would have included some Greeks. It differs from the other three Gospels. There are several recurring themes, such as light and darkness, water, and life, in the broadest sense. It contains no parables and the miracle stories are seen by John as ‘signs’, whose purpose was to show God’s glory.

John 1:1-18 is known as the ‘prologue’, which introduces the Gospel. The words “in the beginning” take one back to Genesis 1:1. The reference to “Word” (Greek logos) would have been understood by the Greeks as referring to both ‘mind’ and ‘reason’, as well as God’s action. Genesis 1 talks about ‘God said’. In other words, God spoke and something happened. In John 1 this Word represents God coming to Earth in the person of Jesus. And when Jesus came many people did not know or recognize him. 

The climax of this passage is in verse 14. No longer was God some distant being; God became human through Jesus and dwelt among us; or, as Eugene Peterson translates it: (Jesus) “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood”. Jesus came to live among people and identified himself with them.

The remainder of the Gospel demonstrates the full significance of the Word becoming flesh, that is, the incarnation of Jesus. And it shows how this ministry would continue after Jesus’ death and resurrection, when Jesus commissioned the disciples, including contemporary disciples.

Blessings as we thank God for loving us so much that God came among us in the person of Jesus Christ.  Be safe!  Be well!  The Spirit has come!

 To Ponder:

  • What is the significance of Jesus coming to dwell among human beings?
  • How can you be Christ to someone else in today’s world?

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