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John 1:1-18

John 1:1-18

Categories:

I. Logos before the Fourth Gospel

(a) Heraclitus (6th century BC) called logos a basic defining principle related to the ordering of the cosmos (it is the logos that makes the cosmos “cosmos”)

(b) The Stoics used logos to refer to a divine principle that permeates the orderly universe (pantheistic view)

(c) Philo viewed logos as an intermediary between God and the world

(d) Though the writer of the Fourth Gospel leverages the terminology from Greek philosophy, John 1:1-18 needs to be understood in the background of Genesis 1–3

(e) The phrase “the word of the Lord” is not simply an assemblage of sound or informative revelation, but the Word had an existence of its own—A Message, An Act (Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire)

(1) As the basis for the covenant with Abraham (e.g., Genesis 15:1, 4). The formula “the Word of God”

(2) As the foundation for the establishment of Israel’s laws (e.g., Exodus 24:3–4) and the giving of the Ten Commandments (e.g., Deuteronomy 5:5)

(3) As the stated source for the proclamations of the prophets (e.g., 1 Kings 13:20; 18:1; Isaiah 1:10; Hosea 1:1; Joel 1:1)

(4) As the wise means for guidance (e.g., Psalm 17:4)

(5) As the key or way to enlightenment (e.g., Psalm 119:105)

II. According to John 1:1-14, Jesus before the Incarnation

(a) Existed before time (v. 1)

(b) Was/is in close reciprocal communion with God (v. 1)

(c) In His nature, Jesus and God the Father share the same essence (vv.1-2) [the other person in Godhead, who is the Another Paraclete of John 14-16, also shares in the same essence]

(d) Was the instrument and agent in creation (v. 2)

(e) Is the source of life—“Life” Itself (vv. 4)

III. A brief discussion on the verb “dwell” or “tabernacle” shekinah (cf. verse 14)

(a) The writer makes a direct allusion to Exodus 40:34-38 and Ezekiel 37:27

(b) Logos, Jesus, fulfilled the promise of Ezekiel 37:27-28 at His incarnation (John 1:14)

(c) God dwelling among His people is a future reality foreseen by the Seer (Revelation 21:3)

IV. Significance of the Incarnation of the Word Jesus

(a) Jesus became man to be a guide of humanity by being “God’s presence” (cf. Exodus 40:34-40)

(b) Jesus became man to dispel darkness (verse 5)

1. Those who follow Jesus do not walk in darkness (8:12)
2. They are to walk while they have light, lest the darkness “overtake/overcome” them (12:35)

(c) Jesus is the grace and truth (v. 14 &17)

(d) Jesus becomes the visible presence of the Father (v. 14 & 18)

(e) Jesus the channel by which one becomes a child of God (vv.12-13)

V. Take Away

(a) Become God’s children (to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children—“children” not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God verse 12)

(b) Experience God’s grace and truth (verse 17)

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org