Summary of passage: The Word (Jesus Christ) was in existence from the beginning with God and is God. All things are made through him and he contains life. He shines to unbelievers who do not understand him.
3) 1) “In the beginning was the Word”. The Word is Jesus. This means he has always existed.
2) “the Word was with God”. Jesus is always with the Father (God).
3) “the Word was God”. This means Jesus and God are one and the same, referring to the Triune God where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One entity.
4) Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Jesus has always existed so Jesus was there in the beginning and he created the heavens and the earth since he and God are one and the same.
Colossians 1:15-17: Jesus is the image of God and was first in creation. Jesus created all things and all things are created for him. He is above all things and he holds all things together.
Hebrews 1:2-3: The universe was created through Christ. Jesus is the world’s light and the sustainer of this world (creation). Jesus and God are equally responsible for this world, for Creation, and for its ongoing perpetuity. They are in ultimate control of everything.
5) We are told even thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities were created by Jesus and for Jesus. All things on heaven and earth. God is in control of us and our flourishing upon this earth and in heaven. God is responsible for our life and therefore is at the center of a fulfilling life and should be the center of my fulfillment in life.
6) Part personal question. My answer: Light is God/Jesus. Darkness is Satan/devil. Figuratively, light is also believers and darkness is unbelievers and evildoers. Too many examples to list. Light is all the good people do for others. The aiding in disasters and in daily life. Missionary work. Even just bringing a meal to a sick neighbor. That is light. Darkness unfortunately is everywhere. Terrorism. War. Senseless deaths and violence humans wreck upon each other. Very, very sad.
Conclusions: I’m SO excited to begin the study of John. After Revelation last year, I’m looking forward to something more clear-cut, easy to understand, and Jesus’s words to us. My kids struggled last year due to the nature of Revelation so I’m praying they love this study and look forward to BSF every week.
Good lesson on the Word and light and darkness, which is frequently used by John in this book. If we understand nothing else in this study, understand the first line: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same and have been since before time existed. Life is in the belief in Jesus. Period.
End Notes: John deliberately opens his book with a parallel to Genesis 1:1. There, God speaks creation into existence. Here, God through John speaks salvation into existence by announcing Jesus’ presence in the world. Everything is spoken. Jesus speaks the Word of God and is the Word of God.
In Greek, word is logos. Jews referred to God himself as “word of God.” The ancient Greeks used the word logos as meaning turning chaos into order. John uses the concept of word to speak to everyone: the word is God–always has and always will be. He lays out from the first sentence the Trinity so all can understand.
The Word created all things, meaning the Word himself is an uncreated being. In the Word is the source of all life–physical and spiritual. The Word is the life of all men. Without Jesus we are dead and in darkness. Most of us have a natural fear of darkness because of this fact.
The Greeks also used logos to mean the unspoken word as well that lingers in the mind–reason.
Life is Christ’s gift and is central to this Gospel for Christ is life (John 14:6).
Light is also Christ (John 8:12), who illuminates all spiritually–prominent in the Book of John as well. Psalm 36:9 holds the connection to the Old Testament: “in your light we see light.” We see Jesus.
In verse 5, understand can also be overcome. Essentially, darkness cannot overcome light. The devil cannot defeat God. The Greek word is difficult to translate here, meaning laying hold onto something to make its own. In Genesis 1:2, the earth was dark until God called into light. Until God decided to banish darkness with his light and gift us all with life.
Fun Fact: The Greek word “life” is used 36 times by John while no other New Testament book uses it more than 17 times.