“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of people. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1-5, 12, 14) While two of the four gospels begin with the story of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem this is how the apostle John chooses to start his account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
John’s use of “Word” or “Logos” was full of meaning for the people of his day. For Jews it was associated with the personification of God’s revelation. For Greeks it had to do with a mediating principle between God and the world. “In the beginning was the Word” brings to mind Genesis 1 where God spoke and things were created. God’s word brought the universe into orderly existence.
The apostle makes it clear that “the Word” was from the beginning and not only co-existed with the Father but was divine. This eternal divine being was distinct from the Father yet of the same essence. The Word was the creator of all. He was life and light. When we read that the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us, or literally “tabernacled among us” in the Greek, we confirm that the Word is Jesus. The Incarnation, or Christ coming in the flesh as fully God and fully human, shows a supreme act of humility and love. The good news is that if we receive him and believe in his name we are adopted as his daughters and sons.
Some of us might have recited our beliefs using the Nicene Creed. A portion of it reflects John 1 as we say we believe “in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.”