What a powerful verse!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This verse is power-packed with theological implications that open the door to understanding Jesus even more. This verse should never be rushed through. I believe that when we encounter John 1:1, we should stop and reflect on its meanings in our life and our theology. (Obviously we should do this with every verse). My goal with this post is to show some of the themes displayed within these 17 words found within the first chapter of John, and try to hash out what they mean for our everyday life.
- John 1:1 affirms the divinity of Christ. This passage explicitly affirms that Jesus Christ has always been fully God. John begins with “In the beginning was the Word…” This “Word” is Jesus Christ, who became man and dwelt among us. This doctrine has been disputed for hundreds of years (See Athanasius and Arius’s ancient debate, resulting in the Council of Nicene), but the Scriptures are quite clear. The Word (Jesus Christ) was in the beginning, and was God, and never gave up his divine nature. This is more than ancient debate settled long ago. The divinity of Christ is relevant to believers today. If we do not accept that Christ is completely God, then we must believe that he was created at some point, and at some point, subject to change, as are all created beings. If Christ is not God, then he would be imperfect, and his sacrifice on the cross would not be good once and for all. If we accept that Christ is completely God, then we hold fast to Scripture, and understand that his sacrifice on the cross is good once and for all, remembering that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- John 1:1 affirms the Trinity. Throughout Scripture, many verses and passages display the doctrine of the Trinity, including this one. For the Trinity to be true, we must believe that the Godhead is made up of three distinct but equal beings, which at the same time are all the same. This Godhead is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are all God, but they are also distinct, and I believe this is shown in John 1:1. “…the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So Jesus was God, but he was also with God. They are distinct, but one. The Holy Spirit was also involved from beginning of time. Today, we should be thankful for the Trinity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all work in different ways, and carry out different functions.
- John 1:1 points us to the future. If Christ was in eternity past, he must be in eternity future. If Christ is God, and is perfect, then he will be forever. We must believe in a Christ that was in the beginning if we want to believe in a Christ that will be forever in the future.
17 words! John 1:1 only has 17 words, but contains so much theological insight! Let’s slow down, and really try to understand what has been written in the Scriptures!