1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Genesis 1:1 begins with these same three words: “In the beginning.” John begins his Gospel by going back to the beginning and says, In the beginning, “the Word”. While Genesis uses the word God or Elohiym (eloheem) which is used in the plural form in Genesis 1:1 to signify that there is more than one God and that this God(s) is made up of three persons, one of which is, as John states it, “the Word.”
Why would John call one member of the Godhead “the Word?” Could it be that by describing God as “the Word” it was describing the function of this God as a proclaimer of the Word of God? It certainly could but let’s dig into this a little deeper.
The Greek word used to describe “the Word” is “logos” from which we get our word logo. What is a logo, It is a symbol that represents the identity behind it. We know when we see those two golden arches placed together to form the letter “M” it is the logo that represents the burger franchise McDonalds. When we see the logo 3M we know that it is the symbol of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing which sells their products all over the world. Companies invest heavily into creating a trademark or logo that people can instantly recognize for the company or entity that stands behind the logo.
Thus “the Word” became the visible entity of that which He represents and that is the God Head made up of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. But more importantly, “the Word” came to give us a view into the character of the Father.
From the first accusation by Lucifer, God the Father has been portrayed as a tyrant, dictator and arbitrator of His own will upon others. So, “the Word” the logo of the Father came to show us the Father and the Father’s true character.
This is why John goes to such great length in the first five verses to give us the validity of “the Word” by stating that He was with God and “the Word” was God.
The Greek phrase lacks the definite article but is nevertheless definite in meaning. If the definite article were used in the Greek it would tend to imply some particular point of time, or “beginning.” Without the definite article, and the context of verses 1-3, the phrase denotes the most remote time conceivable, before the creation of “all things” Before any and every other “beginning,” that is eternity past.
Psalm 33:6 states, “By the Word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” According to David the LORD by the word of His mouth created all things. This is echoed by Paul who states that “from the very beginning all things were created by Jesus Christ.” Then Paul continues this thought in Colossians 1:15-17 where he states: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Paul makes it clear in Colossians that all things were created, but not only created, they consist or are sustained in life by “the Word” which Ephesians makes clear is Christ Jesus.
Hebrews reinforces this by stating, “God who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all thing through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1, 2).
John continues by stating in verse four, in Him (the Word) was life, and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.
“The Word” (Christ Jesus) is not only our creator but He came to shed light upon the world by revealing the true character of God. As we will see as this study continues, He did this by spoken word, actions and the miracles He performed along with His interaction with the people that met with Him by divine appointment such as Nicodemus, the woman at the well and others. Yet many failed to see the light for they were lovers of darkness.
God always announces His intentions, and with the coming of Jesus as the messiah this was no exception, so we will see in our next post how it is that God proclaimed the coming of “the Word,” the “Light of the world” so that all could better understand God the Father and his true character.