Can you help me understand the first three verses in John 1?

Hi Clare,
Thank you for your time.
My question is regarding John 1

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Can you help simplify what this 3 verses means?

In the beginning ( Nothing exist except God?)
Word ( Bible? Jesus?)

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. ( ??? )

Thank you

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Dear AmKay,

Thank you for your question. What a great scripture to be meditating upon as we celebrate Christmas and reflect upon the incarnation!

The opening to John’s gospel stands out from the others because it introduces us to Jesus, not as a child or as a man at the beginning of his earthly ministry, but as the Lord existing before creation as God. It is a huge claim to the divinity of Christ. One bible commentator puts it like this:

“John is especially conscious of the ‘big picture’; Jesus’s life and mission represent the critical central moment of all existence and all history, so he begins his account by setting Jesus against the widest possible horizon; he relates him to God and his eternal purposes, and to the entire life of the universe.” Bruce Milne, The Message of John

Therefore, when John 1:1 refers to the “Word”, we understand this as Jesus himself, not physical texts of scripture or the bible. John echoes the Genesis account of God creating the world with his spoken word, making clear that before our beginning, Jesus was (John 1:2). There are also links with contemporary Greek philosophy because the Greek word that John uses is “logos”. “Logos” was understood to mean and be the overall divine reasoning, designing and shaping of the universe. This is shown in verse 3, “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” The theme of Jesus as the one who enables creation to exist is also illustrated in Colossians 1:15 – 17.

However, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John goes one step further than what Greek philosophy can tell us. He shows us that Jesus is not just the one who has enabled the universe to exist as a timeless, eternal creative outsider, but he has stepped into human history in order to save us (John 1:10 – 14). Again, this is one of the unique claims of Christianity, that the God of the universe loves us so much that he would condescend to save us.


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