Jesus, according to John, has been a part of creation from the very beginning. Where and when? Not just in a manger long ago, but here, today, now! Another verse in this prologue to the Gospel makes a similarly bold statement of Jesus' full divinity, which we'll discuss in due course. John knows he is playing for high stakes. He was with God in the beginning. This primordial Word, which was in the beginning with God, a partner in creation, in relationship with God and who is God, has now become human. This is the gift of Christmas, a new identity, a new opportunity, a new humanity, all through God in Christ. This passage is packed with meaning and metaphor, and perhaps can best be understood less as doctrine and more as poetic testimony to the light, life, and living Word of God. John begins the story of Jesus at the beginning of our time. It refers to … The Prologue to John’s Gospel is John’s birth story of Jesus. CHAPTER 1. For John, God in becoming flesh in Jesus has committed God’s self not only to revealing what God’s grace looks like, but that God wants to know it and feel it as well. Verse 5 has been a topic of ongoing debate for Johannine scholars with regard to pinpointing the moment of the incarnation, either here or in John 1:14, “the Word became flesh.” The fact that the incarnation of God is first presented as light shining in darkness evokes the creation story in Genesis. What does John 1:1,14 mean when it says that Jesus is the Word of God? The themes we have come to know for Christmas preaching are certainly present in how John begins his gospel. This is Christmas preaching. Light; Let's look at John 1:4 again. Once the Word becomes flesh, grace is then incarnated in the rest of the Gospel. Even though many, including many who were close to him, did not recognize in Jesus what God was accomplishing, all those who do recognize and receive him are invited to become God’s own children. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 1 John 4:21). We might therefore take a clue from John not only about what to preach on Christmas day, but also how. John 1:14 is one of the most wonderful and yet unfathomable verses in the Bible! Yet the presence of John here, particularly for our Christmas preaching, suggests that a critical response to Christmas is witness. What does John 1:1 mean? This verse was taken from the "Gospel of John." Goodness, he doesn’t appear even to know the name of Jesus’ mother! That is, what’s happening? He [this Word is a person] was in the beginning with God. Who? However, though those main sections ar… Answer: The term word is used in different ways in the Bible. That struggle is captured in the future perfect of John’s grammatical construction, rendering verse 5: “The light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”. John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The dwelling of God is a deeply intimate, personal claim and assumes God’s commitment to and continuity with God’s people. Question: "What do John 1:1,14 mean when they declare that Jesus is the Word of God?" John has used two words to describe Jesus: Word and light. 45 And b whoever c sees me sees him who sent me. What occurs now is that God’s eternal Word — God’s Reason, Order, and very Being — is coming down to earth to take on human flesh. To be a child of God is a literal claim for the Fourth Gospel. Everything a child needs from a parent, for survival, protection, to be sustained and nurtured, to grow and mature is what God provides. John 1:1 – Was the Word = “the news spread” (eén ho lógos) 3. Christmas is, that is, the day we celebrate our birth as children of God, the keeping of all God’s promises, and the beginning of the restoration of all creation. (22-24) Answering the question of Judas (not Iscariot). A great deal has been written about John's use of logos here, but essentially, in verse 1 John is saying that Jesus in the flesh is the very Expression of God Himself, and that this Jesus IS God himself -- a very bold statement indeed to begin John's Gospel. If it refers to creation, then John’s meaning is that when God said, “Let there be light,” it overcame the darkness. What does John 1:14 mean? God has been reborn into the world, now as God’s creating Word in the flesh. The "Word" here is the Greek term Logos, indicating the entirety of a message, akin to a concept or an idea. The very best person to ask to explain what is meant by a given statement is the author of that statement himself. A preacher could focus on any of the themes outlined below to create a meaningful Christmas sermon. While the NRSV translates the verse, “and lived among us” the verb here is skenoo, “to tent” or “to tabernacle.” Most readers of the Gospel of John will be familiar with the translation “and dwelt among us.” The verb can also be translated, “took up residence” and thus Peterson’s The Message, “moved into the neighborhood.”. This is the gift of Christmas, and it deserves our full attention on this day and, indeed, throughout the year. Or, better, who is affected by this? Why? Verse Thoughts The apostle John lays out some important historical and doctrinal truths in the first section of his gospel - so that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God - so that by believing, we may have life in His name. What is John doing here anyway? Christmas as the light shining in the darkness. Singing Praise to the Word John may not know much about the details of the Christmas story, but he does know about the heart and soul of the Incarnation: that because Jesus, the very embodiment of God’s grace (verse 16) takes on human flesh we are granted the chance to know the unknowable God (verse 18) and recognize ourselves as those children beloved of God. Exploring the Story To get at the significance of John’s poetic witness to the Word, we might be well served by employing some of the questions of journalism, sometimes known as the “five W’s.”. The introduction of John in the next verses, not the Baptist but the Witness, is a rather strange interlude in this cosmic birth story. By giving God, the Son, the title “Word”, the scriptures are conveying the truth that Jesus is the very speech of God—he is the Wisdom and Will of God, and he is the image of … One of these errors is that idea that Jesus was only a mirage, or an illusion. From all appearances, it would seem that John knows next to nothing about angels or shepherds, stars or magi. John is really saying, “Let’s explore the meaning of Christmas.”. John 1:1 is the first verse in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John.In the Douay–Rheims, King James, Revised Standard, New International, and other versions of the Bible, the verse reads: . [⇑ See verse text ⇑] A critical part of the gospel is the fact that Jesus was truly, fully, physically human. John begins like this: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This commentary was adapted from one first published on this site on Jan. 4, 2015. God has been at work in the world through covenant, law, judges, kings, and prophets. John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." The large building blocks John used for the construction of his gospel are fairly easy to identify. That is, given the “high mass” feel of many of our Christmas Eve services, we have an opportunity today to contemplate more quietly the profound mystery of the Incarnation, the doctrine at the heart of Christmas and to which John gives poetic witness. The gospel begins with an eighteen-verse introduction that is usually called the prologue. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome [] it Question: "What does it mean that the Word became flesh (John 1:14)?" 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. We find his purpose clearly stated in John 20:30-31. Christmas is Jesus as a child and is who we are. John 1:18 – The only begotten God = “The Only Begotten Magistrate” (Monogeneés Theós) John 1:1 “At first … En archeé . Commentators explain away John’s presence as a later interpolation that does not belong in such a majestic narration of Jesus’ origins and identity. In the New Testament, there are two Greek words translated "word": rhema and logos.They have slightly different meanings. It can mean to comprehend or grasp mentally, or it can mean to overcome or take hold of something in the sense of mastering it physically. Jesus as a baby cannot devolve into sentimentality but has everything to do with its promise for us. 44 And Jesus cried out and said, z “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but a in him who sent me. This verse does not say, “In the beginning was Jesus.” “The Word” is not synonymous with Jesus, or even “the Messiah.” The word logos in John 1:1 refers to God’s creative self-expression—His reason, purposes and plans, especially as they are brought into action. The first eighteen verses of John's gospel not only introduce Jesus, they counter false spiritual beliefs. Chapters 13-17 focus in on the last few hours of Jesus with his disciples. Furthermore, God has chosen to recreate God’s very self in Jesus. The meaning appears to be to make the commandments one’s own, to take them into one’s inner being.” (Morris) 4. John 2:11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. According to John, that is, Christmas is not really Jesus’ birthday at all; rather, it is ours. Christ is the Logos, the definition, the meaning, the "Word" of God. 46 d I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. Blessed Christmas. John takes the same approach. 1. Perhaps this is why John gives such scant attention to the details of Jesus’ birth. But John was not teaching modalism. This is the first of John's seven names for Jesus: "The Word." 2 He was with God in the beginning() 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made() 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. We see that Jesus is called God in John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 20:28; Col. 2:9; and Heb. While John 1:1-14 is the appointed Gospel lesson for Christmas Day (Proper III), I prefer to preach on the first 18 verses. [⇑ See verse text ⇑] The first verse of John establishes several important facts, and introduces an important term. Jesus is referred to as "The Word," from the Greek word logos. As the angel explained to Mary (Luke 1:35), “… Professor and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair of Biblical Preaching, A resource for the whole church from Luther Seminary, The text from Second Isaiah follows closely on Christmas Eve’s reading from First Isaiah though historically they are situated far apart.1, The Christmas season always seems like a time to sing the good old songs.1, Many religious and ethnic communities have intricate celebrations for the declaration of a new family member’s name.1. How can the unchangeable God take on a human body, subject to change? But perhaps not, for Paul mentions in 1Cor 1:14 of baptizing a man called Gaius.Perhaps John played a major role in discipling the man. Answer: The answer to this question is found by first understanding the reason why John wrote his gospel. Last night’s Old Testament lesson came from First Isaiah (chapters 1-39) that covers roughly the 40-year period of the latter half of the Eighth century. 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