John 1:1-5 The Gospel of John
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5
The gospel of John together with the other three gospels carry the teachings of Jesus Christ and recorded His interactions with people. In reading this book, we place special emphasis not only in His teachings but Jesus as a person. How He interacted with men in humility and treated them as equals; how He forgave those who hurt and betrayed Him; how He dealt with His enemies with patience and in truth; how He lived and identified with those who were suffering etc. The gospels teach us how to be like Christ in all manner of speech and character. The gospel of John in particular carries an agenda; that is to reveal Jesus as the Son of God so that we may believe and experience eternal life. The author in John 20:31 wrote, “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
1. “In the beginning” means starting point and the beginning of time, it also means the first principle of creation. The Jews understood the Word as the law (Logos in original Greek) that governs how man should live. The Word refers to divine wisdom that brings abundant life to all creation. Hence, “In the beginning was the Word” simply refers to the pre-existence of the Word, the divine wisdom before anything was created.
2. The next phrase, “The Word was with God” depicts the close relationship between God and the Word. God, in His infinite love cannot be divorced from His infinite wisdom. To put it simply, divine wisdom is the expression of godliness in all that He does.
3. “… and the Word was God”. The Word is not just a system of values and principles, the Word or divine wisdom is God Himself. The Word is alive and is manifested as in the person of God. Hence, if God were to act contrary to the Word, He would cease to exist. If any person who dishonours the Word, is tantamount to dishonouring God.
4. “All things came into being through Him, …” The Word existed together with God before anything was created. In other words, the Word was the uncreated. The world and the universe was created through the Word. In other words, the world and the universe bear the design that is derived from divine wisdom. Through the world that He created, we understand the love, the wisdom and the power of God. Jesus used nature in His parables to illustrate the principles of the Word.
5. “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” It is through divine wisdom that life was made manifest. Life comes not from divine love alone, but more specifically, through divine wisdom. Life without divine wisdom, is likened to cancer, human cells growing contrary to divine design destroying the host itself. Through divine wisdom, God created a self sustaining ecology of plants and animals. This divine wisdom is also the principle through which humanity must live. Without divine wisdom, what is supposedly life will descent in utter chaos and hell.
6. “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” For the first time, the author hinted that all was not well; there was darkness in His creation. The very world that God had created could not recognise Him but rejected Him.
To believe in God is to obey His Word.
Because the Word was God, it is not possible to believe in God and not live by His Word. Many churchgoers are taught to believe in God’s promises of blessings and prosperity but did not emphasise the importance of living in His Word. They come to church to pray for blessings but refuse to forsake the life of fleshly pleasures and sin. Light and darkness cannot coexist. It is impossible to come near to Christ without wanting to be transformed by divine wisdom and Light.
Unless man actively inculcates God’s values into his life, there will be no enduring prosperity.
The key to a life of peace, longevity, prosperity is found in God’s Word. As the world was founded on God’s design, the world can only exist within that divine design. The family, the community, and the nation in order to prosper must necessarily live according to the divine design found in the Word. The reason there is poverty, sicknesses and strife in families and individuals is because man don’t live according to divine design. That said, we see families and individuals having a form of prosperity; they have a house, a car and were generally in good health. But because their lives do not manifest divine wisdom, what they live an existence of the lowest form, devoid of heavenly life.
Unless man conforms his heart to the word, he cannot emerge from his darkness of lust, addiction, bitterness and guilt.
The light of God or divine wisdom is not just a way or philosophy of life, it is power itself. The light of God not only shows the way of righteousness, it destroys the power of sin and darkness. In the light of this power, man must submit his heart to God and love Him wholeheartedly. Those who do not submit to God, is likened to one who endeavours to learn martial arts by reading a book, but has no one to coach him or spar with him. He may know the principles of strength and balance, but his muscles and reflexes remain undeveloped. Such has an appearance of wisdom but devoid of love and power to live life.
1. Read and meditate on the word daily. As you read the word, be mindful of two things: Your intellect (what you know) and volition (what you will). Read the bible passage carefully according to the pattern of this devotion: observation, truth (wisdom), and then application (volition). The goal is not to acquire knowledge, but wisdom leading to the change of the heart towards godliness. Therefore, with the mind, we study the Word diligently in its cultural and biblical context and even it’s original language. With a heart of humility and submission, we look to God for divine wisdom to regenerate us.
2. Wisdom is to live each day by the love of God even if there are no solutions. To overcome the challenges of life, we need the love and the security of God. Hence, we need to sense God’s presence for therein lies confidence and security. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Fear dissipates in the presence of God. The Word brings divine wisdom that turns our eyes towards God.
Dear Lord, I thank you for your faithfulness towards me. Your Word is spirit and life. Open my mind and my heart to understand Your truth and to walk in it. Let the work of my hands bear fruit as I put my trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.