In the Beginning was…Who?
Have you ever come across a verse in the Bible that left you pondering, wondering, and even scratching your head? Well, you’re not alone. In the vast tapestry of scripture, there are verses that can stir up quite a bit of confusion and contemplation. One such verse is John chapter 1, verse 1, which reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse, though concise, carries profound significance that has both comforted and bewildered believers throughout history.
A Mysterious Opening
“In the beginning” – these three words take us back to the very start, to the dawn of creation. These words echo the opening of Genesis 1:1, where God’s creative power is emphasized as He brings forth the heavens and the earth. However, John’s gospel takes a unique turn. It says, “In the beginning was the Word.” What exactly is “the Word”? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into a divine mystery.
The Identity of the Word
The “Word” here refers to none other than Jesus Christ. Yes, you heard it right – Jesus, the Word of God incarnate. John, the Apostle, intended to emphasize the profound nature of Jesus’ identity. He was not just a bystander when the universe was spoken into existence; He was the very Word through which creation came to be. He wasn’t merely present – He was actively involved.
A Singular God in a Pluralistic World
Imagine living in a world where countless gods were worshiped, each with their own niches and roles. This was the backdrop against which the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed Himself. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 declares, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” In a world of many gods, the God of Israel stood apart, insisting on undivided devotion.
Untangling the Tangle
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the apparent paradox of John 1:1. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” How can Jesus be both with God and also be God? It’s a mind-boggling concept, one that even the most brilliant minds find challenging to grasp. Some may attempt to rationalize this by likening Jesus’ presence in the beginning to that of an angel or a divine agent. However, the Bible’s intention is clear: Jesus is not just a part of God’s creation; He is God Himself.
Embracing the Mystery
This is where faith comes into play. While our human intellect may struggle to fully comprehend the intricacies of the divine, what we can rely on is the trustworthiness of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 affirms, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” If the Bible says it, we can anchor our beliefs in its words, even if we can’t fathom every nuance.
Applying the Truth
So, how can we apply this profound truth to our lives? Here are a few ways:
- Trust in the Reliability of Scripture: Just as a compass guides a traveler, let the Bible be your guide. When doubts arise, remember that the Word of God stands firm and unwavering.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” — 2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB1995)
- Cultivate a Heart of Faith: While understanding is valuable, faith goes beyond comprehension. Embrace the mystery, knowing that your trust in God’s Word is the foundation of your faith journey.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1 (NASB1995)
- Center Your Focus on Jesus: Amid the complexities, keep your eyes on Jesus, the Word incarnate. He embodies the divine message and brings it to life in your heart.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:2 (NASB1995)
- Share the Gospel: As you grasp the significance of John 1:1, share this truth with others. The message of Jesus as both God and Savior holds life-transforming power.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB1995)
John 1:1 is a window into the awe-inspiring reality of Jesus Christ as both the Word and God Himself. While our human minds may struggle to fully comprehend this divine mystery, our hearts can find solace in the unwavering reliability of Scripture. As you navigate the intricacies of your faith journey, remember that your love for Jesus stems from your exposure to His Word. So, embrace the mystery, hold fast to the truth, and let your faith be anchored in the profound revelation of John 1:1.