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. …
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 1:1-3,14 (NIV)
What a revolutionary statement for John to make to his Jewish and Greek readers: that Jesus wasn’t just a guy sent by God but that He was God Himself. Unlike Matthew and Luke, the Gospel of John doesn’t talk about the virgin birth or about Jesus’ lineage. Instead, he goes all the way back to before Creation to show that Jesus existed even then.
I’ve read this Gospel numerous times, but I still don’t think I can fully appreciate this idea. Before humans ever set foot on earth and certainly long before the Fall, Jesus already existed. Because God knew we would need Him.
If you asked me whether I knew this already, I would’ve of course said yes. But have I really stopped to think about the implications of it? Have I really considered how amazing this Jesus person really is, that He was there before the planets, before the stars, before Genesis 1:1, knowing all along that His sole purpose was to be born in order to die, and yet He came willingly, full of love and full of grace for us? For me. For you. For the soldiers who drove the nails into His hands and feet and hung Him on a cross.
So often I paint a picture of Jesus in my head, define Him in human terms, pay more attention to what He said than to who He is and why He ever lived in the first place. I nod my head in agreement as I read along, filing away His words in my head, rarely stopping to think about who it is that spoke them. Pretty arrogant, huh?
I need to rethink this Jesus guy. It’s one thing to say He was born in a manger to a young virgin mother. But those three words that introduce the Gospel of John literally change everything.