In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3).
Each of the Gospel accounts has its beginning. Matthew finds its beginning at the birth of Jesus Christ, Mark at the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry and the proclamation of the Kingdom, and Luke at the beginning of Christ’s forerunner, John the Baptist. For John, however, his beginning is the Beginning. Through John and its language we are taken back to the creation account of Genesis 1 and given a glance not only of the beginning of all things created but also of the purpose for their creation.
The apostle John’s account of the creation given in this text is not so much a building upon the text of Genesis 1 as it is an exposition of it. In the Genesis account we are told, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.” Now the phrase, “In the beginning,” is purposely ambiguous, and its words are used elsewhere in the book of Genesis to describe Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn son. Thus the text can be alternately rendered (which has been argued by Jewish scholarship, ironically), “Through the Firstborn, God created the heavens and the earth.” So, from the very first phrase of the entire Bible we are given what the apostle John intimates in the beginning of his Gospel, namely, the creative work of Jesus Christ.
So as to clarify what can be presumed from Genesis, the apostle writes, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God; he was in the beginning with God.” In other words, we are given a recapitulation of what is evidenced in the Genesis account, namely that God exists, though One, in three Personages—the Firstborn through whom everything is made, the Father who guides and directs all things in accordance with his will, and the Spirit who broods lovingly as a mother hen over the created things until they should achieve the purpose for which they were created. From the Beginning it has been so, and we are given the explicit revelation of these things in the person of Jesus Christ.
We are further told, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Now this statement is not merely an accreditation of how of the world was created, but the purpose behind its creation. The apostle Paul writes elsewhere, “All things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:13), conveying not only the Son’s creative activity but also his role as the Firstborn of all Creation (cf. Col 1:15). All things were created for the inheritance of his Son—the Firstborn, the Preeminent One of all things.
Thus in John it is shown that, in the incarnation Jesus Christ, the creation has reached its “fullness of time” (cf. Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10) and has achieved the purpose for which it has been made, namely for the glory and enjoyment of the Son to the praise of God. Join me in adoration of him who laid the foundation of the world for the sake of redeeming a people for himself to the praise of the glory of his grace. Amen.
Categories: Through John