Jesus, the Eternal Word
In the beginning was the Word and the Word
was with God and the Word was God.
John begins his gospel by introducing Jesus as the eternal Word. Eternal in that before time began, Christ lived in heaven with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He existed as God because He is God. The Word because, in part, that was an effective and meaningful way to communicate Jesus' deity, humanity, and relationship to the Father with his audience.
The Greek word for "Word" is logos and means word, thought, concept. Logos can be written or spoken. The NLT Study Bible note on John 1:1 says, "In Greek thought, the logos was the rational principle guiding the universe and making life coherent. For the Jewish people, logos was the word of the Lord, an expression of God's wisdom and creative power." Today, believers know the logos as both Jesus and the written Word of God.
John says that all things were created through the Word, and later that the Word became human and made His home among us. Jesus came into the very world He had made to reveal God to us. Jesus could do that because He is God. Paul affirms what John says when he writes in Colossians 1:14-15, "Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."
Jesus also claimed to be God. No, he never said the exact words, "I am God," but in John 14:9, Jesus says, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." And in John 10:30, Jesus declares, "I and the Father are one." In John 8:58, He says, "I tell you the truth...before Abraham was born, I am!" Two of the three times, Jesus was speaking to unbelieving Jews, and they understood Him to be claiming He was God, so they tried to stone Him. Jesus came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him, and even His own people, the Jews, rejected Him (Jn 1:10-11).
Why do people then, and now, find it hard to accept that Jesus is God and that He came into the world to reveal God to us? Why do people reject Jesus as Savior? The answer is found in John 1:4 which says, "In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." Jesus is the light, and we know that light extinguishes the dark. John 3:19-20 tells us people love the darkness more than the light because their deeds are evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids going into it for fear their evil deeds will be exposed. Darkness resists God. In Genesis 1:3, God created light and dispelled the darkness. But when sin entered the world, the darkness returned.
We know there is a lot of evil in the world, and mostly it is done in secret except where it is allowed to prevail in public. Whenever evil is exposed, and the light shines on sin, the one who gets caught is not happy. That person wanted his deeds to stay in the dark. Those who live in the darkness are slaves to the darkness. Only the ones who come into the light will be free. And until one comes into the light, they will not be able to see or understand what can only be seen in the light.
Jesus gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. In the beginning, everything was dark. When God created the world, He said "Let there be light," and light appeared. He gave life to His creatures, and they lived in the light. Then sin entered in, and the darkness returned. Now the logos offers people a chance at living in the light again and having new life through spiritual rebirth (salvation). Light and life go together, as do dark and death. Those who live in spiritual light are spiritually alive, and those who live in spiritual darkness are spiritually dead.
Darkness and light can not physically exist together. When you go into a dark room and turn on the light, the darkness disappears. And when you turn the light out, the darkness returns. Spiritual darkness is kind of like that. A person who is living in spiritual darkness can't see what they can't see! That's why believers pray that God would open the spiritual eyes of unbelievers. It's like we are asking God to turn on the light.
Jesus is the eternal logos who came to bring life and light to all who believe. He gives them the right to become children of God. Jesus is full of unfailing love and faithfulness; grace and truth. He is the answer for all who are living in darkness.