Apostle John was one of the closest and favorite disciple of Jesus Christ. Gospel according to him reveals the life of Jesus Christ in a very different manner. Before introducing the life of the Savior of the world, he explains the fullness of divinity in Jesus Christ.
1. (Verses 1-3) Jesus as the Eternal word
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Here, John talks about the Eternal word that has no beginning and end. In the beginning, there was only God and nothing else was there. The Word was with God in the beginning means that the word itself is God. If the Word is God, then there is more than one member in the Godhead. The Word was powerful and was in the form of God.
He was in the beginning with God.
When John was talking about the word, he immediately personifies the word as ‘He’. Thus the word is not just a word but it has some image and personality to act as a person. The Eternal Word is Jesus Christ who is in the form of God and equal to God (Philippians 2:6).
And He is before all things, and in Him, all things consist. -Colossians 1:17
Before the formation of the world, He had the glory with the Father (John 17:5) and He is the revelation of the glory of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Thus He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
God created the entire universe with the Word (Psalm 33:6). He was the beginning of all creations (Revelation 3:14). It means that without His involvement, nothing was made. He was part of the decision making in the process of creation of the world. He created everything in heaven and the earth (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Everything was created by Him and for Him.
2. (Verses 4-9) Jesus as the Light that shines in the darkness
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
A person who hears the word of God and believes in Christ will have eternal life (John 5:24). He will not have condemnation and he will receive everlasting life because Jesus gave His life to save the sinners.
Everyone in this world was under the captivity of sin and there was no one to deliver them. They were all under darkness and could not find a way to come out of it. The Son of God is the light of the world that shines in the darkness and all those who believe in Him will be saved and thus receive eternal life (John 9:46).
The light is the knowledge of the glory of God which reveals what is hidden in the darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). When a person accepts the gospel of Christ, his mind which was once blind to the precious treasures in Jesus Christ will be able to see the blessings of believing in Christ.
When he has the light within him, the power of darkness will not be able to overcome him. He will no longer be led by hidden things of shame and won’t walk in craftiness (2 Corinthians 4:2). The sin cannot rule his life as long as he walks in the light of the Word and under the grace of God (Romans 6:14; Psalm 119:105)).
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias, a priest who was sent as the Messenger to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ in this world (Luke 1:59,60; Mark 1:2,3). Before he was born many prophets prophesied about his arrival before the arrival of the Messiah to save His people (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1).
This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and was preaching about the kingdom of God to all people. He came to call people to repent back to God. He witnessed about Jesus Christ to all people as the Savior of the world (Matthew 3:11).
He baptized people with water and told them about the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Messiah (John 1:31). He baptized Jesus Christ and witnessed the voice of the Father talking about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove.
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
As he was boldly talking about sin and call people to repent to God, many people thought that he was the Messiah for whom they were expecting. But he openly declared that he was not Christ but was sent to prepare the way for Him. He also gave witness about Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He said that the one who was coming will baptize people with Holy Spirit and He is the Son of God (John 1:33,34).
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
There will be many lights in the world that promise to lead people to the correct destination. But they cannot fulfill their promise because they are not true lights but which are trying to imitate the characteristics of the true Light.
Many religions and religious leaders in this world call people to follow them so that the people will get endless happiness, peace, and deliverance from sin. But they cannot give what they promised to people. But the true light Jesus Christ who came into the world as a man brightens the lives of all those who come to Him.
Jesus is the way for the salvation of every human being. There is no difference in race, color, language, religion, or country. Everyone who comes to the light and believes in Him will be saved from the slavery of sin and have eternal life (Romans 10:11,12).
3. (Verses 10-15) God who came to earth
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
The Son of God was in the world from the beginning and He created everything in it. But His people were attracted to worldly pleasures and went away from His love and forgot their Creator (Psalm 106:22). They worshipped idols and gave the glory and honor to them. So their descendants didn’t know their Creator. As they closed their hearts to the word of God and rebelled against Him, they don’t understand the works of God.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
God has chosen the people of Israel to be His own people as He promised to Abraham (Deuteronomy 14:2). God promised Abraham to bless all nations in his seed (Genesis 22:18). Thus God sent His Son as a descendant of Abraham. But Jews were not ready to accept Him as their King as He does not have any quality they were expecting in their Messiah. So they killed Him in the cross.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God is not limited to the people of Israel alone. But He is the God of all nations and tribes. Thus, when Jesus was sending His disciples to spread the Gospel, He didn’t send them only to the people of Israel but to the people of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
If anyone from any part of the world receives Him as his personal Savior and believe His death on the Calvary and His powerful resurrection, he will become the child of God. They might not be descendants of Abraham by blood. They might not be the seeds of Abraham by the flesh. But they become part of the blessings of Abraham through their faith in God as Abraham was blessed by having faith in God who called him (Galatians 3:7,29).
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.
The Word which was in the beginning in the form of God and equal to God became a man in the seed of Abraham (Romans 1:3). He born as a son of poor Carpenter and lived among people as an ordinary man to make those who believe in Him rich in everything (2 Corinthians 8:9). The Sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth humbled Himself to death to bring salvation to all nations (Philippians 2:8). This is the grace of the sinless Heavenly Father upon the sinful people of the world. Jesus is the truth who delivers those who believe in Him from the slavery of sin and sickness (John 14:6; 8:32).
When Jesus was transfigured before His disciples on a high mountain, his close disciples including Apostle John saw the glory of God in Jesus Christ and the Father’s voice which spoke to them (Matthew 17:1-5). His disciples were always with Him testifying all the miracles done by Him which revealed the glory of God (2 Peter 1:16).
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.’ ”
John the Baptist had seen the glory of God when the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove who acknowledged the ministry of Christ on the earth (John 1:32-34). He gave all glory and honor to God and humbled himself before God who sent him. John the Baptist was the Elijah who was sent before Christ to turn people from their wickedness (Malachi 4:5,6; Luke 1:17; Matthew 17:10-12).
Jesus born on the earth after John the Baptist was born and also He started His ministry after John the Baptist started his ministry. But He was the Eternal Word that was in the beginning before the formation of the world and John was formed in the womb of his mother. So John the Baptist said ‘He was before him’.
4. (Verses 16-18) Deliverance to the Mankind through Jesus Christ
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
Jesus was completely Holy without any blemish. He possessed the fullness of all divine characters within Him. Jesus suffered in the flesh and become perfect with His obedience. Thus He was appointed as the author of salvation for all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:7-9).
As He shed His sinless blood and died as a sacrifice for the sinful people who were unworthy to be considered by God, we all received the grace of God and salvation (Hebrews 7:26). We don’t become righteous because of our own good deeds, but by the grace of God, we were reconciled with God (2 Timothy 1:9; Colossians 1:19).
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Law that demands the sinner to be punished was given through Moses (Leviticus 24:20). There was no grace or mercy shown to anyone who sinned. But through Jesus Christ grace and truth were offered to humanity. With His own sinless blood, Jesus reconciled mankind with God who is always just (Colossians 1:20,21).
The word of God is the truth and it sanctifies the soul (John 17:17). It warns us to run away from the temptations of the world and leads us to live a holy life. When we know the truth, we will be delivered from the bondage of sin. As sin leads to eternal death, the grace offered to us by Christ leads to Eternal life (Romans 5:20,21).
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
As our God is holy and lives in unreachable light, no one can see Him with our unholy eyes (Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16). But through Christ who is the only begotten Son of God, we received the opportunity to enter into the presence of God (Ephesians 3:12). Father in heaven revealed His glory through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Jesus did everything according to the will of God. He did wonders and miracles which revealed the sovereign power of God upon every creation of the world. Even Nature and demonic spirits obeyed His words (Mark 1:27; Mark 4:41). His works glorified the name of the Father (John 14:13).