Graham Shearer spoke on the opening chapter of John’s gospel.
Graham began by asking a question – if someone wanted to know us personally, where would they begin?
Psychologists say that each of us has a story that stretches back centuries and that our personalities are shaped by our early experiences and those of our ancestors.
Similarly, to help us understand Jesus, John takes us back to the beginning.
By referencing the first words of Genesis 1, John shows us that to understand the story of Jesus we need to go back before His birth – into eternity. Jesus existed before creation, before time, before space.
What does John’s account of Jesus have to do with our own stories and our hopes and difficulties?
John himself answers this question later in his gospel:
True life can only be found in the name of Jesus – by understanding who He is, His life and His story.
In this chapter we see Jesus as the Divine Word, the Creative Word, and the Living Word.
1. The Divine Word
John tells us that the Word is Jesus. How can the Word be both with God and be God at the same time? In this statement we understand that God is One. Inside God there is a unity and there is also a distinction.
Many have pondered this reality, however, as humans its full meaning is beyond our comprehension.
So why tell us this mystery that is beyond our ability to grasp? John wants us to know that Jesus’ story exists in eternity. It doesn’t begin in ‘time’
2. The Creative Word
All creation was made through the Word.
Just as artwork reflects the artist, creation reflects God’s goodness and character. Amongst all of creation, humans were made to reflect God in a special way – each of us uniquely created with a mind and a will to know God and to love Him.
If we pursue the things the world offers, we will find only frustration; we need to look to the One who created us.
3. The Living Word
All life finds its source in Jesus. True life can only be found in Him.
Jesus said He came so that we might have life to the full (John 10:10). Often though, our lives are overshadowed by the trials of life.
However, John tells us:
The Word is not distant from our lives but is present with us in the darkness.
The word ‘overcome’ can also be translated as ‘understood.’ Many failed and still fail to recognise Jesus for who He is. They refuse to relinquish their sins and come into the light (John 3:19-20).
This is true darkness – a life lived apart from the source of life itself.
For all mankind the light of our earthly lives will eventually go out, however, at His death and resurrection Jesus went into the heart of darkness and defeated sin and death.
- We can find comfort as we live in our present reality when we realise that at the beginning, truth, knowledge, and love existed.
- At the bottom of reality is the light of perfect truth.
- Our lives have unique dignity, value, and purpose. To understand who we really are we need to go back to the eternal God through whom we were made – this is what all our stories are truly about.
- The true Light is shining – offering life to all who will accept it. This light can never be extinguished. The darkness has not won – the Light has overcome it!