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"The Word was God"
John 1:1-18 - Bible Study

The Word was God

(John 1:1-18)
Verses 1-3: "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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John taught that Jesus was the Word; therefore, the Word was God.

  • Jesus preexisted with God
  • Jesus was with God
  • Jesus is God.
  • What Jesus taught, and what He did, are tied inseparably to who He is.

Jesus is the embodiment of God's Scriptural revelation. "The Word," was the most accurate term with which to describe Jesus.

Although Jesus lived as a man, He never ceased to be the eternal God. Jesus was the Word, and the Word was God. The Word became a human being, revealing the ultimate, and living picture of God.

God is the Creator of all things, apart From Him, there would be nothing.

Verses 4-5: "In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Life was a term often used in the Gospel of John, occurring thirty-six times; eleven in conjunction with the word eternal." 

Although Jewish leaders taught that the reward for obeying God's Word was eternal life, John declared that this life had always been available through God's Word, (the same Word He identifies with Jesus).

The Jewish teachers called many things light, but this term was most commonly applied to God's Law. John emphasizes that darkness has not overcome the light. 

According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the forces of light and darkness were engaged in mortal combat, but light was predestined to triumph.

When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we will not fall blindly into sin, because He lights the path ahead of us.

Verses 6-8: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light."

The word "witness" is prominent throughout the Gospel of John. It was and still is used to identify and prove the Truth. "John the Baptist" was the witness sent by God to testify that Jesus was this Light, (the Messiah, Christ, and the Son of God).

The function of a herald was to go ahead of a king to announce his coming. John the Baptist went ahead of Jesus to proclaim and to prepare the way for Jesus our King.

Verse 9-10: "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him."

Just as God had given the law to the world and only Israel had accepted it, so it was in John's day. The world failed to recognize that God's Word was among them.

"That He was "coming into the world," again speaks of Christ's preexistence.

Verses 11: "He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him."

Jesus had created the world, but they did not recognize Him. The very people God had chosen to prepare the rest of the world for the coming of the Messiah had instead rejected Him.

Verses 12-13: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

All who receive and believe in Jesus are reborn spiritually, receive new and everlasting life from God, and become one of His children.

The privilege of being a child of God is the highest privilege afforded by life on earth, but it is impossible to earn, it is by the grace of God only.

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Neither the Greek philosophers nor Jewish teachers could conceive of the Word becoming flesh. They never even considered that the Word was God, or that God could become human.

As the Gospel unfolds, Jesus' glory is revealed in His signs and miracles, and especially in the cross, which is considered to be the greatest act of love known to man.

The "only Son from the Father," means Jesus is God's only and unique Son. Before the arrival of Christ, man could only know God in part. Afterward, man could know God fully through Christ. 

Through Jesus, God became visible and tangible. Jesus, being both God and man, is the perfect expression of God in human form.

The original phrase, "we have seen his glory," means more than a casual glance. It suggests that He was studied under all possible conditions, both favorable and unfavorable. 

John found that it was the moral and spiritual splendor of Jesus' unique life, that revealed the nature of the invisible Father.

"Full of Grace and truth," is a phrase often used in the Old Testament. The description of Jehovah in Exodus 34:6 marks Him as the author of perfect Redemption and Revelation.

Verses 15-16: "John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'") And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

Here, John the Baptist pointed away from himself and toward the Christ.

John the Baptist was approximately 6 months older than Jesus. His statement that Jesus was "before him," again referrers to the pre-existence and eternity of Jesus.

"Grace upon Grace:" Although grace and truth were clearly present in the law, the ultimate expression would come through the realization that "the Word was God," (Jesus). All blessings come from God.

Verses 17-18: "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known."

The law was given through Moses; Christ came to fulfill the law. The nature and will of God are now revealed in Jesus.

No one had ever seen God; even Moses could see only part of God's glory (Ex 33:20). In verse 18 John referred to Jesus as "the only GOD," an unequivocal affirmation of the deity of Christ.

John's revelation that the "Word was God," was much like the star that announced his birth, blazing forth the truth to all generations. His very life is the Light of all humankind.

This concludes our study of "The Word was God."

Click for Our Next study:

"John the Baptist Testifies for Jesus"

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