In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprendeth it not.
These are the opening words of the Gospel of John, the disciple whom Jesus is said to have been particularly close to. John’s gospel is unique and quite distinct from the writings of the other Evangelists – Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Where Matthew wrote for Jews about Jesus, Mark writes for a Roman audience, and Luke writes like a Greek for Greeks. Matthew endeavours to show the Jews that Jesus is their promised Messiah and he cites from the Old Testament constantly to this end, and speaks of the Kingdom of God or Heaven. Mark is shorter emphasising action, a style suited to the Roman mindset. Luke is systematic and concerned to lay out the all evidence he possesses in writing.
The other 3 Evangelists are more historical, providing a summary of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ [and are therefore called the Synoptic Gospels], while John is far more doctrinal providing powerful imagery to teach believers the meaning of who Jesus is to them.
So he repeats Jesus own words about himself as the Light, the Life, The Way, the Bread of life, the Vine. And from his own intimate knowledge of Jesus he calls him The Word and The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
John provides us with powerful insights into Who Jesus is and what he means to the believer.
Critically in these opening words of his Gospel cited above, John takes us to key, strategic insights about the Christian world view and spirituality.
Jesus is the Word and everything in the world was made via that Word.
It consciously reminds us of the opening words of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament Scriptures and of the entire Bible – the Holy Book of the Christian faith.
There God spoke: “Let there be light”, and there was light.
In his Gospel John clearly identifies Jesus as the Word and he identifies Jesus as instrumental in the act of Creation. He identifies Jesus as both with God, and as being God. He points us to the concept of plurality of persons in the godhead – The Father, and Jesus – the word – the Son.
He points us to the nature of spirituality – the spoken word – and he points us to the almighty creative power of God in both light and life – light to give us understanding, and life to give us existence.
In other words, all that we require as human beings to live is to be found in God and it is to be found in the Word of God which is Jesus Christ – both the Person of Christ, and the Message which he actually was and therefore spoke.
As John goes on later in his gospel to record and explain, the very words – the teaching – of Jesus Christ impart the very life of Christ to us.
To be a Christian is to receive the message, the teaching Jesus brings and to live by it. And in living by it, to know the very presence and power of God both to obey and to go on obeying God our Creator.