THE WORD (v. 1)
The contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist is sharp. Their relationship is set forth in the contrast:
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Was from eternity
John begins by distinguishing his claims regarding who Jesus is. The introduction immediately introduces the major themes that John intends to discuss. Then he spends the rest of the book proving and demonstrating these from the life and teaching of Jesus.
Major doctrines or truths regarding Jesus stated in John 1:1-18:
1. Jesus is eternal and uncreated, existing before the world began (1:1-3).
2. Jesus possesses Deity (absolute authority and rulership over created things – 1:1).
3. Jesus is a separate Being from the Father (1:1, 2, 18).
4. Jesus is the Creator – the active force through Whom all things were made (1:3, 10).
5. Jesus is the source of truth and understanding of God’s will (1:4, 5, 14, 17, 18).
6. Jesus is the source of life by which men have a relationship with God and hope of eternal life (1:4).
7. Jesus became incarnate in the flesh as a man (1:14, 9, 10)
8. Jesus was rejected by men (1:10, 11).
9. Jesus is the One who can give people power to become children ofGod (1:12).
1:1-18 – John’s Introduction
1:1, 2 – John opens with a powerful statement: The Word was in the beginning with God and was God. This announcement proves both that Jesus possesses a divinity and He is a separate and distinct living being from the Father.
The Word was “with God” in that Jesus was present in the beginning with the Father (see v. 3; Compare to 1 John 1:2) – so, He is a separate individual living being from the Father. But He also “was God” in that He Himself possessed Deity.
Some claim Jesus is “a god,” but not God like the Father is God.
- In the major translations, it is written as “the Word was God.” None say “a god.” (See NKJV, KJV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NIV, etc.)
- If Jesus is “god” in a lesser sense than the Father, then there would be two different gods! This use of”god” would violate the passages stating that there is one true God! Jesus is not a false god and holds a valid divinity.
- Scripture uses the word “God,” both with and without an article to define a true God. Matthew 4:3, 4; 5:9; 6:24; 12:28; Luke 1:35,78; 20: 37, 38; John 1:6,12,13,18; Acts 5:29,30; Romans 1:7,17
- It shows that Jesus is eternal and created all things. To call Him “God” in such a context must surely mean He is God in the same exalted sense as the Father.
Other passages affirming Jesus’ Divinity – Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3; Philippians 2:6-8
Jesus is a separate individual from the Father.
- Matthew 3:17 – This is My beloved Son.
- Matthew 16:16, 17 – You are…the Son of the living God…My Father in heaven revealed this
- Matthew 17:5 – This is My beloved Son (spoken by God the Father –
2 Pet. 1:16-18).
- John 3:16 – God gave His only-begotten Son.
- John 5:17 – My Father has been working, and I work.
- Hebrews 1:5 – I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a
- 1 John 1:3 – Have fellowship with the Father and with His Son
- 2 John 3 – Grace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the
Son of the Father
- 2 John 9 – Abide in the teaching and have both the Father and the
1:3 – All things were made through Him and without Him was nothing made that was made.
1:4 – Jesus inherently possesses the power of life, and this life was the light of men.
1:5 – Light shines in the darkness, and darkness cannot overcome it.
1:6-8 – John the Baptist was sent from God. He was not the light but was a witness to the light.
1:9, 10 – The pure light came into the world, which He had created, but the world did not recognize Him.
1:11, 12 – Even His own did not receive Him, but to all who received Him He gave the right to become children of God.
1:13 – Becoming a child of God requires being born, not of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.
1:14 – The Word became flesh and dwelt among men, who beheld His glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
1:15 – John testified that the One who came after him was preferred before him because He was before him.
1:16,17 – We receive of the fullness of Jesus. The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Christ.
1:18 – No one has seen God, but the only begotten Son has declared Him.
1:19-51 – John’s Testimony – People Who Subsequently Follow Jesus
1:19-28 – John’s Answer to Questions about His Work
1:19, 20 – John the Baptist testified to the priests and Levites that he was not the Christ.
1:21 – John also stated that he was neither Elijah nor “the prophet.”
1:22, 23 – John was a voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the paths of One to come later.
1:24-28 – John baptized with water, but there was One among them, whose sandal strap he was not worthy to loosen, who was favored before him.
1:29-34 – Testimony of John the Baptist Regarding Jesus
1:29 – John testified that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
1:30 – John identified Jesus as the One who is preferred before him and was before him.
1:31-34 – John knew Jesus to be the Son of God because he saw the Spirit descend on Him at His baptism.
1:35-51 – Five Men Who Become Disciples of Jesus
1:35-37 – John introduced Jesus to two of his disciples as the Lamb of God. So they followed Him.
1:38, 39 – The two disciples went with Jesus to the place where He was staying and spent the day with Him.
1:40, 41 – Andrew found his brother Simon and told him that they had found the Messiah.
1:42 – Jesus gave Simon the name Cephas (Peter), meaning stone.
1:43, 44 – Jesus called Philip to follow Him. Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
1:45, 46 – Philip then told Nathanael that Jesus was the One predicted by the prophets. But Nathanael did not believe any good thing could come from Nazareth.
1:47 – Jesus praised Nathanael for being a true Israelite, having no deceit.
1:48, 49 – Jesus said he saw Nathanael under the fig tree. So Nathanael confessed Him to be the Son of God.
1:50, 51 – Jesus assured Nathanael that he would see greater proofs, including angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
Note some of the titles or descriptions given to Jesus already in the testimony of John and these early disciples:
- Lamb of God (verses 29,36)
- Son of God (verses 34,49)
- Rabbi (verses 38,49)
- Messiah (v41)
- One that Moses and the prophets predicted (v45)
- King of Israel (v49)
- Son of man (v51)