Scripture: John 1:1–18
John and the Other Three Gospels
The Gospel of John says nothing about when or where Jesus Christ was born, doesn’t mention his baptism or wilderness temptation. He says nothing about his transfiguration, the Last Supper, how he sweated blood the night he was arrested, his Sanhedrin trial, or his cry, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”
John doesn’t record a single one of Jesus’s parables; rather, John depicts the Word made flesh, who in his very life functioned like his parables. When he feeds a hungry crowd from a lad’s lunch bag, he says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again” (John 6:35). When he raises Lazarus from the dead, he says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die” (John 11:25–26). He said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12). He said, “I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures” (John 10:9). He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Behind all this was his insistence, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). And that’s the reason John’s story begins not in Bethlehem but in the eternal past.
Jesus Christ the Eternal Word
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God”John 1:1
Because the Greek term for “word” is λόγος/logos, some commentators want to put a philosophical twist on this. They say John describes Jesus as the embodiment of the rationalistic ideals of Greek thought. But the “Word” that John describes is clearly the “Word” of the Old Testament. The word that was spoken in creation day after day, which made it so. The word that came in many and varied ways through the prophets. Indeed, John continues his identification of the Logos this way: “God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone” (John 1:3–4).
By the Logos God pronounced, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen 1:3). And following that same sovereign Logos, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5). On the other hand, “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.” He even “came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:10–11).
That didn’t stop the Logos from achieving his purpose in becoming human and making his home among us (John 1:14). He came and revealed God to us (John 1:18). He came to give new life as children of God to all who believe him (John 1:12-13).
Questions, Reflections, and Commitments
- Has this path through history using the Jesse Tree helped you to see the Old Testament hopes that Jesus Christ fulfilled?
- Has this path helped you see Jesus Christ, who revealed God to us? Don’t reject Jesus Christ, either by outright rejection or by passive neglect of his claims on your life. During this Christmas season renew you commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.