The Word Became Flesh: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 14th, 2009

John 1:1–18

Summary:
The divinity, humanity, office, and incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The testimony of John.

 1:1.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 1:2.  He was in the beginning with God.
 1:3.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
 1:4.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
 1:5.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
 1:6.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
 1:7.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
 1:8.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
 1:9.  That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.
 1:10.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
 1:11.  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
 1:12.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name:
 1:13.  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
 1:14.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

 1:15.  John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, `He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' ''
 1:16.  And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
 1:17.  For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
 1:18.  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Comments:

There are some intersting words used in this opening verse. The "beginning" is a word where we get words like architect, archaeologist, and others. The first, or the beginnings of structure. Another Greek word that also can mean beginning, is one where we get our word "genetics". The beginnings of life. There is a Greek word where we get words like, "prime", "primary", and so on. The first in numerical order. The word here is a good one as it means the beginning of the created, tangible construction that we know and live in. Both the living things and the inanimate objects.

Another word of note is "word", "logo". How was the universe as we know it created, as written in Genesis 1? God "said" let there be light. He spoke, and it was. Words are the things he used to create. Those words were with the one and only God way back then. Those words were God's expression of who he was and what he wanted. They were the channel of activity God used to get things done.

Think about your own words. Your words are there, floating around as thoughts. those words are with you. You speak and your words come out. They express an idea. They communicate. In their own way they take a certain shape as sound waves travel, and carry those words. Even more so, God's ideas became words. Words that took shape and made things happen.

The word at the beginning was God. The word took shape and was the thing that created. It not only made physical shapes and forms to inanimate objects, but also gave life and animated other objects.

What is life? There are minerals and chemicals that exist, but aren't alive. Plants have life, animals have life. Inanimate objects can be made to be shaped into a new form. For example: Metal into jewelry. You can combined materials to make something, like a stone wall. Chemical elements can be combined in ways to make other, new chemicals. None of which is alive.

How did life start? That's the tough question that has scientists baffled. We can recognize the cycle of life. A seed, which contains a mass of DNA and organic material lays dormant. Combine oxygen, water, and fertilizer, and cells come alive and start growing and dividing. It's the same basic steps whether the life is in a plant or animal. The mechanics of life is to maintain that steady stream of food, water and air.

There is more to life than just existing though. There is a mental capacity that animals have that plants don't. Scientists try to figure what exactly it is that makes man a higher being than animals. The obvious answer can be found in Genesis 1. God created us that way. We have been made in his image, something not said of any other animal. We are given  the breath of life directly from him.

Still, people try to define the difference between humans and regular animals. Is it our intellect? Our use of tools? Our ability of language? Animals have been documented to have a certain amount of smarts. An animal can be trained, and learn to react in a particular way. Animals even have differing personalities. Animals are also known to use tools. Usually tools that may readily be handy and found in nature. The largest area of difference is in language. Sure, animals can bark, meow, moo, or make some other sound. In doing so, they can communicate a level of basic emotion, but nothing elaborate.
scientists have discovered that language areas of the brain are what controls things like our ability to think and plan. We think about something and using our specialized vocal chords, also not appearing in other animals, we form words and share ideas with others. We can plan and think of something we want to do in the future, putting ideas into words, maybe even writing them down. We can think of a new tool, or a new way to make a tool to improve a certain area of life. Our language is behind our ability to create things. Works of art, houses, machines, and more. Animals might use a tool, or build a nest, but they don't plan ways to make a better building blok or tool to make that nest.

In all of that discussion, there's that word language. Words used to express ideas. We humans have that. God has that. It is what makes us in his image.

1:4. In him was life, and life was the light of men.

There is a special level of life that was put into men by the creator. That life is a shining light that elevates us. It makes us special over other forms of life.

Light as we know it, is a created thing. Here though, it mentions a light that shines through the darkness. Dark isn't the opposite of light, but only it's absence. These verses carry heavy spiritual meaning and symbology. This light is a spiritual light. It overcomes spiritual darkness.

Going back a step. If this is a spiritual light, and it has been given to men, it describes our spiritual nature. A spiritual light and life.

Who is this light? Hold on to that thought.

The passage takes a transition for a moment and talks about John. He was a man, a witness, he would tell about the light, but he wasn't the light. The true light was coming though, and soon.

The true light enlightens everyone. The light of life. This passage states that it was coming into the world. The light made the world. So, the light is also the word. God, the word, the light of life that was given to men, came to the world, but the world didn't recognize him. Who else can this be but Jesus. Not even his very own people, who he had set apart and made covenants with recognized him.

Some people did recognize Jesus for who he was, and it is those people who he now gives the right to be children of God. The purpose of Jesus was to give people a real person to experience, and relate to to know what God really wants for us.

In the past, God preserved his words through physical bloodlines. You couldn't be one of his people unless you were born into the family. Now the old laws were fulfiled. The doors to the kingdom were being thrown open. To be included in his kingdom was no longer limited to being physically born, but spiritually born.

Word. It started with a concept, floating around inside God. He spoke it and the word created. The word took a physical form in Jesus and entered into the world. Witnesses saw him. They wrote about him. They knew him, and so can anybody who reads the accounts of those witnesses. Having an inheritance no longer is limited to who your parents are, or where you are born. If you can accept this spiritual truth, then you can also be included. Saved, set apart for a higher purpose that he has in store for us.

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