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John 1

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

3 min read

The Word Became Flesh

Right away, we can already see the difference between how John begins his account. And because this first part of John is so rich, I’m breaking it down verse-by-verse.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1

John takes us back to creation with the phrase in the beginning. Sound familiar? That’s because this is how Genesis 1:1 starts as well. But instead of creation, we get an account of what existed before creation. The Word, which was (or existed), was with God, and was God.

He was in the beginning with God.John 1:2

Just to make sure readers read that correctly, John emphasizes beginning again. John also associates the Word with He.

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.John 1:3

Now, we’re being taken behind the curtain of the beginning. We should start substituting He with the Word. All things were made through the Word.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.John 1:4

The Word is life, and the Word was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:5

The Word shines so bright that darkness stands no chance.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.John 1:6-8

The man sent from God refers to John the baptist, who was prophesied to pave the way for Jesus. By now, it should be obvious that the Word and the light refer to Jesus.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:9-13

These verses provide a high-level summary of the entire account of the Gospel. The true light, Jesus, came into the world (descended onto earth) and was rejected by his own people (the Israelites).

And now we get the good news: to all who receive Jesus and believe, they have the right to become children of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.John 1:14-18

Then we get details. Jesus became a human and lived amongst humans. He revealed His glory as the only Son of God. Moses gave us the law, and Christ gave us grace. Jesus makes God known to us.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

The Pharisees sent priests to inquire John about his identity. John testified:

I am not the Christ.John 1:20

I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaish said.John 1:23

Behold, the Lamb of God

The very next day, John saw Jesus coming towards him, and exclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

John then bore witness:

I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.John 1:32-34

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

For the remainder of chapter 1, Jesus calls Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael.


Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!