John 1:1-14

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The Gospel Of John Chapter 1:1-14

I. Outline: I. The Word And God: 1:1-2 II. The Word And Creation: 1:3 III. The Word And Life: 1:4-5 IV. The Witness For The Word: 1:6-9 V. The Word Rejected: 1:10-11 VI. The Word Accepted: 1:12-13 VII. The Word Became Flesh: 1:14

II. Introductory Comments: III. Commentary: John 1:1 ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ ‘In the beginning’-The absolute, origin of all things (Genesis 1:1). John agrees with Moses, there was a beginning. This expression may even be intended to go past Genesis 1:1 (the beginning of the universe), and extent back to the remotest time that man can fathom. Let your mind take you back to the earliest possible point in time and then ask the question, ‘Where was Jesus’? John will reply, ‘He was already there.’

‘was’-‘When all things began, the Word already was’ (NEB). Woods notes, ‘The verb “was”….is durative imperfect, not punctiliar aorist…..that which appears in our text not only shows that he was there when the beginning began, thus antedating all creation, but also that he has always existed.’ (pp. 21-22) ‘There never was a time when the Word was not. There never was a thing which did not depend on Him for its very existence….”the Word continually was”.’ (Morris p. 73) Other Scriptures make the same point, that Jesus is eternal (John 8:58; 17:5; Micah 5:2). Clearly, John is affirming that Jesus is not a created being. The verse doesn’t say, ‘In the beginning, the Word began.’


‘the Word’-Jesus is the ‘Word’ under consideration in this section (1:14). Point to Note: Why does God call Jesus ‘the Word’? 1. The expression comes from the Greek word ‘Logos’, which signifies both the outward form by which the inward thoughts are expressed and the inward thought (or reason) as well. 2. For centuries the Greeks had referred to the power which made the world, the power which keeps order in the world, the power by which men come into contact with God, as the ‘Logos’. What God might be saying is, ‘The power that you have attributed to some vague ‘reason’ or intelligence in the universe, actually belongs to My Son! People haven’t changed! To this day people attribute to and praise some vague force called ‘nature’, what actually should be credited to God! And yet, there are probably many other reasons why God chose this title for Jesus. 3. Just as our words permit us to communicate to others, God speaks through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2). 4. Jesus is the Word of God par-excellence. Unlike the prophets, Jesus didn’t merely deliver a message from God, HE WAS THE MESSAGE (John 14:9). 5. He is the final Word of God to mankind. He is the crowning and sealing of God’s revelation to man. He has carried the final and the most authoritative message that God will ever speak to us (Matthew 28:18; 17:5). 6. He has revealed more about God than all previous messages (John 1:18; 14:9; Hebrews 1:3; John 12:45). 7. Those familiar with the Old Testament would remember that the Creation started when God spoke. Eight times in Genesis chapter one we find the expression, ‘And God said’. Jesus, is that Word of God through which all things were made. Jesus, was the power which brought all things into existence (Psalm 33:6; John 1:3; Colosssians 1:16-17). 8. People often talk about a ‘life-force’ or a ‘creative force’. And even those who don’t believe in a personal God, often talk about a higher intelligence or a great cosmic mind. Right off the bat, God is setting the record straight. The creative force that brought about this universe IS A PERSON! The mind or reason that holds this universe together, IS A PERSON! And that person died for your sins! Hence, the only person who is truly living in harmony with the creation, is the Christian.

‘and the Word was with God’-‘The same Greek word (pros, ‘with’) is used in 1 John 2:1….”we have an Advocate (face to face, intimately, etc.,) with the Father.”’ (Butler p. 20)

‘with’-‘denotes motion towards, or direction, and not that of being merely as “being beside”, or near, but as a living union and communion.’ (Vincent p. 34) ‘presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other’. (Robertson p. 4) Points to Note: 1.

‘If the Word was thus in the beginning; what relation did He hold to God? Was He identical or opposed?’ (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 684) 2. Jesus, the Word has been with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in a face to face relationship, a very close relationship, from eternity. Jesus mentions this relationship in John 17:5 ‘with the glory which I had with


Thee before the world was.’ See also John 1:18 ‘..who is in the bosom of the Father’; Philippians 2:6 ‘equality with God’. 3. The word “with” also reveals that Jesus is not the Father, but is a separate personality. ‘Not “in” God, but “with God”. ‘It is as if the Logos and the Father were facing each other…Although the Logos will be called the Son, John wants us to understand that by no means is He dependent upon the Father for His eternity, nature or substance. Here we have two equal personalities.’ 1 4. Barclay notes, ‘that always there has been the closest and the most intimate connection between the Word and God. Let us put that in another and a simpler way---there is no one who can tell us what God is like, what God’s will is for us, what God’s love and heart and mind are, as Jesus can.’ (p. 16) 5. Some have the mistaken idea that Jesus came to change God from a God of hate into a God of love. This verse is saying that the God who governs this universe has always been like Jesus in His nature and temperament. In looking at Jesus, we are not merely seeing God in the first century, we are seeing God from eternity and unto eternity. What Jesus taught and practiced is the way that God has always been and will always be! (Hebrews 13:8) 6. Therefore, how could anyone claim that the truthfulness and relevancy of His teachings recorded in the New Testament have been rendered obsolete by the mere passing of time? 7. ‘The Logos, then, is not an attribute inhering in God, or a power emanating from him, but a person in the presence of God and turned in loving, inseparable communion toward God, and God turned equally toward him.’ (Lenski pp. 32-33)

‘and the Word was God’-One of the same nature and essence as the Father or the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3-8). In the Old Testament the Messiah is labeled as Deity (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2). Points to Note: 1. The order in the Greek is ‘God was the Word.’ 2. This is simply a logical statement which follows the rest of what has been said. If the Word is eternal, if the Word is coequal with God, then the Word must be of the same nature! 3. This statement also infers that there is more to ‘God’ than the Word. Or, God is composed of more than one person. Seeing that the Word is with God, and God, therefore more than one personality is found in the term ‘God’. 4. The Old Testament had taught the same truth (Genesis 1:26-27). 5. John is making is clear that the Word wasn’t simply a secondary ‘god’ or someone merely tagging along with God. 6. When Deut. 6:4 proclaimed that the Lord is One, it meant that God is a united God. Jesus taught the same truth (John 10:30). The word ‘one’ in Deut. 6:4 doesn’t inherently mean ‘one person’, compare with Genesis 2:24. 7. Various false theories immediately crumble under the weight from the passage: (a) The Jehovah Witnesses, who corrupted this text in their mistranslation and claim, ‘the Word was “a” god. (b) The Oneness Pentecostals and other groups who claim that only one person is in the Godhead, and that one person had appeared as the Father, as the Son and as the Holy Spirit. © The Unitarian position (which also includes other groups) who maintain that Jesus was not God but man, a holy and perfect man, but only a man. 1

‘Was Christ God?’, Spiros Zodhiates, p. 71 3

John 1:2 ‘He was in the beginning with God’ ‘He’-the Word. The Word is a person. Again, the Word is not merely an attribute of God. In like manner, we must reject the idea that the Holy Spirit is simply God’s power. ‘This fully divine Word, existing from all eternity as a distinct Person, was enjoying loving fellowship with the Father.’ (Hendriksen p. 71)

His Relation To The Creation John 1:3 ‘All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.’ ‘All things’-This tells us what the Word was doing in the beginning. Jesus isn’t the result of the Creation (a created being), rather, He is the cause of the Creation (the Creator). 1. Everything that exists, owes its existence to Jesus (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3). 2. We should note that the Father and the Holy Spirit were also active in the Creation (1 Corinthians 8:6). It is probably correct to say that Jesus was the active agent in Creation, that is, the Father and the Spirit created all things “through” or “by” Him.

‘came into being by Him’-all created things have a beginning. Matter is not eternal. At the same time, matter isn’t inherently evil either. When John wrote, the Church was facing the error known as Gnosticism. They ‘saw matter as inherently evil. Therefore the good God could have had nothing to do with it. But it was held that there were various “emanations” of spirit beings from Him, until eventually there appeared one powerful enough to create and foolish enough not to see that this world be a mistake. John strongly repudiates all such ideas. The world is due to God Himself acting through His Word. The universe is not eternal, nor it is due to some foolish inferior being. This world is God’s world.’ (Morris p. 81)

‘and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being’-‘Literally, not even one thing..has been made except by Him. Not one tiny portion of the atom, smallest of the world’s building blocks.’ (Woods p. 24) ‘In other words, he leaves nothing to man to claim as his own creation. All man does with his great achievements and explorations is to discover things already existing. There may be stars and systems in this universe of ours of which we are not aware. These are all included in the “all things”.’ (Zodhiates p. 124) Hence, whatever we might find here or in the stars, owes its origin to Jesus. Let this verse serve as a warning to those who try to pit Jesus against science. True science and true biblical interpretation will always harmonize, because God is the author of the universe just as well as being the author of the Bible. Therefore, when Jesus talks about the origin of the universe, let all take notice, the scientist par-excellence is speaking! (Mark 10:6) Point to Note: 4

In view of the above statements, we must reject the contention made by the Jehovah Witnesses, that Jesus is a created being. 1. The word ‘was’ in 1:1 stresses His timeless existence. The only thing that Jesus ever ‘became’ is ‘flesh’ (1:14). But in reference to His true nature, He has simply always been. 2. He is God (1:1), and God is eternal. 3. He created all things, which naturally excludes Himself from being part of the creation. 4. The Jehovah Witnesses actually believe what the Gnostics taught, that Jesus is simply ‘a god’, a created emanation from God.

The Source Of Life John 1:4 ‘In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.’ ‘In Him was life’-‘Life’-‘the very principle or essence of life’ (Butler p. 22) ‘In Him’Which means there never was a time that Jesus didn’t have life. ‘Life’ has always been in Him, like the Father, Jesus is a self-existence Being, depending upon no one for His existence (Acts 17:25). It doesn’t say “with Him” was life, as if life were something selfcreated, co-existent and co-eternal with Christ, something that could exist independently of Him. Be impressed that ‘life’ doesn’t exist independent of God, ‘life’ is the result of God’s existence and not the cause of it. 1. From the above verses it is obvious that Jesus is the source of all physical life. 2. But Jesus is also the source of all spiritual and eternal life (John 5:40; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:11).

‘the life was the light of men’-1. Jesus is not satisfied with being alive, happy and blessed in Himself. He wants to share ‘life’ with others. 2. Notice the word ‘was’. Jesus has always been life and light to men. During the days of Noah He sought to give people ‘life’ (1 Peter 3:19-20). He did the same thing through the Hebrew prophets (1 Peter 1:10-12). His sacrifice for sin, gives life to all who were faithful in past ages (Hebrews 9:15), and those who will be faithful in the present and the future. 3. The ‘life’ under consideration in the above passage seems to be spiritual life (John 10:10; 11:25).

‘the light’-and not simply ‘one of the lights’ that man could follow or come to for salvation. ‘The light’, the definite article is used, and this gives exclusiveness to Jesus as the one and only light (John 14:6; 8:24, 12). This verse also teaches that without Jesus, one will remain in darkness. If we are looking for enlightenment, then Jesus is our only hope. Enlightenment isn’t something merely intellectual, it is also inherently spiritual and moral. The person who remains in their sins, can never live in the light. Spiritual life brings ‘light’ to men.

Conflict John 1:5 ‘And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.’


‘And the light shines in the darkness’-‘the light’-i.e. Jesus. ‘shines’-present tense, this light never ceases to shine. No man can blame God for the mess in which this world finds itself! ‘The light keeps on giving light’ (Robertson p. 7). ‘in the darkness’obviously, referring to moral and spiritual darkness. The darkness that is caused when men and women persist in their sins (John 3:19; Acts 26:18). From the beginning God has been ‘shining’, His existence is clearly seen through what has been made (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20). And His revelation continues to convict men of their sins (Psalm 19:7ff; Hebrews 4:12-13). The very essence of light, is to shine, just like the very essence of God is to shine. No matter how hard man tries, he cannot shake himself from God’s existence or God’s truths. Jesus called Himself the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46, 36).

‘and the darkness did not comprehend it .’-‘comprehend’-‘grasped or seized or overwhelming’ (Vincent p. 41) ‘The Greek interpreters understood the clause to mean that the darkness did not conquer the light.’ (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 685) ‘The marginal rendering “overcome”, is preferable; for the word means to capture, overwhelm, overpower, achieve, rather than to understand, or grasp in a figurative sense. The continual resistance of the light to darkness and the inability of darkness to triumph in spite of the utmost that hatred and unbelief can do is the chief theme of John.’ (Tenney p. 67) Points To Note: 1. Darkness can understand what God is saying (Matthew 21:45). In fact, people in darkness often reject the light, for the precise reason that they understand that God is commanding them to change (John 3:19-21). 2. There are only two camps, darkness or light. 3. If one doesn’t come to Christ, they will be overcome by the darkness (John 12:35), following Jesus is the only way to out of darkness (8:12; 12:46). 3. The Christian needs to realize that preaching the truth will naturally stir up resentment and opposition. 4. The ‘light’ met an almost immediate opposition. So much for the idea that, generally speaking most people want to do the right thing, man is inherently good or that very few people will reject what they know to be the truth. 5. But the darkness can’t destroy or overcome the light. Good news for the Christian! Regardless of the resources and forces which are opposed to the truth, the truth will continue to spread (Philippians 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:9). 6. Many attempts are recorded in history when individuals or a society tried to extinguish the gospel message—and all such attempts have failed. ‘The light does not eliminate the darkness, because God lets man make his own choices, but at the same time the darkness can not destroy the light, hence every generation will have access to salvation in Christ.’

The Witness To The Light John 1:6 ‘There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.’


‘There came a man’-Notice the contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist. Jesus ‘was’, John ‘came’. Jesus was God, John was a man. God is making sure that the readers understand that John was not the ‘light’. Carefully note, that the biblical writers do not deify, even the greatest human heroes of the bible (Acts 10:26). This may have been necessary, because John had quite a following, even after Jesus started His public ministry (Matthew 9:14).

‘sent from God’-as a forerunner (John 3:28; Matthew 3:1-3). His mission was not human. ‘While the Evangelist is concerned that John should not be accorded the place that belongs to Jesus he is also concerned that John’s true greatness should be seen.’ (Morris p. 89)

‘whose name was John’-Morris notes, ‘It is curious at first sight that there should be this mention of John the Baptist in the Prologue…It may be that the answer is to be found in the prominence accorded the Baptist by some of his followers… it seems that some of his followers did not accept this assessment of their leader (Luke 3:15; Acts 19:3).’ (pp. 87-88)

John 1:7 ‘He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.’ ‘for a witness’-(John 1:29-34; 5:33). John’s mission was to point the people to Jesus. Someone noted that John died somewhere in his thirties and that ‘It is not how much we say for Christ, but what we say, that counts. Rather than ask, “Lord give us long years to serve Thee well”, let us pray, “Lord help us to pack the years or months we have with useful service for Thee.” We should feel no disappointment over a short life, if the days of that life were used well for God.’

‘that all might believe through him’-‘all’-God desires that all would believe (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16). There is no Calvinism here. Obviously, no man or woman can claim that God never intended for them to believe or that God never gave them an opportunity to believe. ‘might’-the language of choice. ‘believe’-man has a role to play in his own salvation. ‘through him’-faith is the product of an honest heart hearing the Word of God, or God’s testimony (Romans 10:17). ‘The first disciples won by Jesus were of John’s training (John 1:35-42).’ (Butler p. 26)

John 1:8 ‘He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.’ ‘He was not the light’-(John 5:35). It seems that there were some who had elevated John to a level in their thinking that was unscriptural. Just like there are many today, who have unscripturally elevated Mary or other deceased Christians. Carefully note, Jesus was not simply another prophet or spokesman for God. He is the true light.


The Word And The World John 1:9 ‘There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.’ ‘There was’-‘was’-there had always been. ‘the true light’-‘true’-opposed to that which is imperfect. The real and ideal, genuine, true in contrast to what is secondary. The original light. ‘real, perfect, substantial.’ (Vincent p. 44) ‘This is the original light of which all others are feeble copies; the real.’ (Tenney p. 67) John was one who reflected the light, whereas, Jesus is the true source.

‘coming into the world’-While Jesus has been seeking to bring men to God since the beginning (1 Peter 1:10-12), this ‘coming into the world’ may refer to when He entered into His public ministry and started to actively teach the will of God to those in darkness.

‘enlightens every man’Points To Note: 1.

‘this verse is sometimes called the “Quaker’s text”, from the fact that these people cite it in support of their view that every human being is given an inner light of sufficient clarity and intensity so that no written word or message is needed.’ (Woods pp. 27-28) 2. Let it be noted that other passages define how Jesus enlightens those in darkness (Acts 26:18; John 12:46-48). It is the Word of God which brings light to every man (Psalm 119:105). If every man is given an “inner light” at birth, then Jesus’ mission to this earth was a waste of time. 2. The verse also infers that every man can be enlightened, if they will listen and accept the truth. 3. One can be enlightened NOW! Let us therefore hear no more excuses, which run like, ‘Well, we will just have to wait until Jesus comes to find out who is right and who is wrong, what is truth and what isn’t truth.’

John 1:10 ‘He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.’ ‘He was in the world’-‘There is some disagreement among commentators as to when the Light was in the world…In the Greek text, “was” is in the imperfect tense (continuous existence in past time).’ (Butler p. 27) There is a sense in which Jesus had always been in the world, i.e. He has sustained the universe from its inception (Colossians 1:17). Jesus was active in the Old Testament (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 3:19-20). Thus, Jesus has never divorced Himself from this Creation. The world has not been left to chance or fate.


‘the world was made through Him’-‘was made’-to come into existence, begin to be. ‘through Him’-‘owed its being to Him’ (NEB). (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Heb. 1:2).

‘and the world’-at this point God shifts from using the term ‘world’ of the planet, to ‘world’ meaning the inhabitants.

‘did not know Him’-Similar in thought to Romans 1:20. Though He was the creator and preserver of this world, its inhabitants did not know or acknowledge Him. Morris notes that the characteristic attitude of the world to God, has been that of indifference. Lenski notes, ‘No effort is made to explain the tragic result. The fact is that no real explanation is possible; for the rejection of its Creator by the world is an unreasonable act, and no reasonable explanation can be offered.’ (p. 55) As in ancient times , the ‘world through its wisdom knew not God’ (1 Corinthians 1:21). Man still attempts to attribute the Creation of the universe to something other than Jesus Christ, whether that is false gods or the theory of Evolution.

John 1:11 ‘He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.’ ‘He came to His own’-‘He came’-a definite historical event. His incarnation, including His public ministry. ‘His own’-‘one’s own people, one’s fellow countrymen’ (Thayer p. 297) The expression would include the nation of Israel, which had been the people of God in past ages (Romans 3:1-2; 2:17-29; Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; Isaiah 1:2-3). Jesus didn’t come to a heathen or pagan nation, but rather to a nation which had been ‘prepared’ to receive Him. He came to the people who should have recognized Him. In fact, He came to the people who professed they would receive the Messiah. This expression would also include, those in His own home town (Luke 4:16; Matthew 13:5458).

‘and those who were His own did not receive Him’-‘His own people did not accept Him’ (Arndt p. 619). ‘Christ was accepted by the Samaritans (chapter 4), was sought by the Greek Gentiles (12:20), but was spurned by the official representatives of His own people.’ (Tenney p. 69) The parable of the Wicked Husbandmen demonstrates this same truth (Matthew 21:33-46). ‘But they didn’t want a meek, unmilitaristic and uncorruptible Messiah. The Jewish leaders wanted a Messiah that would help them in their graft—the Jewish people wanted a King that would put bread on their tables, and plenty of it….Here is the real tragedy: A people that had so long been nursed, disciplined and prepared to present the Messiah to the world for salvation (Gal. 3:24), scorned and finally shamefully crucified the Incarnate Word.’ (Butler p. 27)

John 1:12 ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,’


‘But as many as received Him’-‘As many as’-Salvation is open to all. This expression is the same as ‘whosoever’ (John 3:16). John doesn’t want to leave us with the impression that everyone rejected the Word. Individuals did receive Him. Carefully note that salvation wasn’t unconditional. ‘The Jew was very slow to learn that in the new dispensation there are no special privileges based upon physical relationships…Did the Jews boast about their hereditary rights….? (Matthew 3:7-9)

‘received’-‘to receive in order to obey’ (Thayer p. 370), ‘receive someone in the sense of recognizing His authority.’ (Arndt p. 464) It means to accept, to embrace (John 5:43; 13:20). Carefully note that receiving Jesus, means much more than just accepting that He lived or that He was a religious teacher. He made it clear that we can only receive Him, if we believe and accept the fact that He is the Son of God (John 8:24).

‘to them He gave the right’-‘the right’-the authority, permission, legitimate right, privilege, authorization, warrant.

‘to become children of God’-one cannot force their way into God’s family and neither can one become a child of God apart from trust in Jesus (14:6). Also note that everyone isn’t a child of God.

‘even to those who believe in His name’-Which means that one hasn’t accepted or received Jesus, until they place their trust in Him. Points To Note: 1.

It is clear that one isn’t saved at the point of faith or mere mental acceptance. People who ‘receive’ Jesus, which is equated with ‘believe in His name’ are give the right or permission to become child of God. Faith gives you the right to proceed in the process. Woods notes, ‘the believer thus has the privilege to proceed with his obedience which includes repentance, confession and baptism…..(Acts 2:38; Romans 10:10; 1 Peter 3:21).’ (p. 30) 2. Even in this Gospel, we find people who did believe, but didn’t end up saved (John 12:42-43). 3. Unbelief stops one dead in their tracks (Mark 16:16). 4. True faith will lead to obedience (Matthew 10:32-33; James 2:14-26; Hebrews 5:8-9). 5. ‘Believe in’-is in the present tense, indicating present and continuous activity of faith.

‘His name’-‘the sum of all characteristic qualities which attach to the bearer of the name’ (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 688) Is the same as having confidence that the person who bears his name, does so rightfully. Hence, the ‘name’ of Christ stands for all that Jesus claimed to be. ‘The name…. expressed the whole person….means to trust the person…It is to believe in Him as He is. It is to believe that God is the God we see revealed in the Word and to put our trust in that God.’ (Morris p. 99) Vincent notes, ‘Faith in, trust in the person, not just faith about, or mere acceptance of a statement concerning.’ (p. 49)

John 1:13 ‘who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ 10

‘who’-‘John has told us in verse 12 how one becomes (or is given the right to become) a child of God. In verse 13, John also wants to give us a very clear idea of the means by which we cannot become children of God.’ (Zodhiates p. 246)

‘born not of blood’-‘owe one’s descent to the physical nature’ (Arndt p. 22) The word ‘blood’ is plural, literally the verse reads ‘not of bloods’. ‘John here uses the plural “bloods”, he may perhaps wish to indicate that all family histories and pedigrees were here of no account, no matter how many illustrious ancestors a man could reckon, no matter what ‘bloods’ united to produce him.’ (Gr. Ex. N.T. pp. 688-689) Points To Note: 1.

This is the mistake that the Jewish people made. They thought that their ancestry was an automatic ticket into the kingdom of God (Matthew 3:7-9; John 8:31-44). 2. To this day people put a lot of stock in their blood-line or family history. To God, such means nothing. 3. Let us be impressed that one isn’t born a Christian! As someone noted, God has no grandchildren.

‘nor of the will of the flesh’-the physical urge to procreate. ‘nor of the will of man’-‘The new birth is not brought about by “Descent”, “Desire” or by “Human Power”.’ (Vincent p. 50) ‘No man can be saved through the desire, or effort, or power of any other human individual, no matter how noble the intentions or how great the price that is paid (Micah 6:6-7).

The Word Became Flesh John 1:14 ‘And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ ‘And the Word became flesh’-‘became’-He had already existed from eternity (1:1) prior to this event. ‘flesh’-‘in the totality of all that is essential to manhood’ (Vine p. 107), ‘human nature as a whole’ (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 689). Points To Note: 1.

By this use of the word ‘flesh’ it is clear that human nature isn’t inherently sinful. Jesus became ‘flesh’, yet He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). 2. The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Himself felt what His body felt (John 11:33,35; 13:21; 19:26-27; Hebrews 2:14,17; 4:15; 5:7). 3. But let it be carefully noted that in


becoming flesh, Jesus didn’t cease to be God. The only way that Jesus could have perfectly revealed the Father, while in the flesh, was that He was still 100% Divine, even after the incarnation (John 1:18; 14:9; 5:23). 4. God cannot cease to be God. To maintain that Jesus was only a man while upon the earth, is to maintain that God could place Himself in a situation in which He could lie or could commit any other sin (Titus 1:2; James 1:12-13).

‘dwelt’-‘to fix one’s tabernacle’ (Thayer p. 578) ‘to pitch a tent, to tabernacle’ (Vine p. 345). As God had dwelled in the tabernacle and temple during Old Testament times (2 Samuel 6:5-6; Exodus 40:35). God is now dwelling in a human body. And finally, God, without any barrier (like a human body) will dwell among the righteous forever (Revelation 21:3).

‘among us’-John as well as the other apostles were eyewitnesses (1 John 1:1-3). ‘and we beheld’-‘to view attentively, contemplate, the sense of wondering regard…It signifies an more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for to see.’ (Vine p. 115) (John 1:32; 1 John 1:1). Jesus wasn’t an illusion, He was real! Such statements are probably aimed at the Gnostics who denied that God could have anything to do with flesh or the material creation (1 John 4:1-3). Let us be impressed, that after a hard life of service to Jesus, John is still just as amazed concerning His personal association with Jesus. In old age, John is still filled with wonder and amazement concerning what had happened during his lifetime. ‘God had visited this world and we were privileged to spend time with Him…in fact, I even was allowed to touch Him!’ ‘The verb contains the root of the word “theater” and connotes more than a casual glance. It involves a careful scrutiny of what is before one….The incarnate Logos was studied under all possible conditions, favorable and unfavorable. All the information that human investigation could produce was made available by His willingness to be questioned and observed.’ (Tenney p. 71)

‘His glory’-‘magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity’ (Thayer p. 156) ‘Majesty of God’ (Arndt p. 203). ‘of the nature and acts of God in self-manifestation, i.e. what He essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself in these respects…it was exhibited in the character and acts of Christ.’ (Vine p. 153) Points To Note: 1. When God had dwelled in the tabernacle or temple, His glory filled those structures (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:11). 2. Now God becomes flesh, and yet His glory (His glorious attributes and nature is still seen). The miracles performed by Jesus manifested His power (John 2:11; 11:4,40). His glory was seen in the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29-32). It was also seen in His perfect life and character (1 Peter 2:22). 3. Those who took the time to really look at Jesus, always saw something that was more than human (John 7:46; Matthew 16:16; John 3:2).


‘glory as of’-‘”As of” does not mean “as if it were the glory of”. It defines the character of the glory. So Knox “glory as belongs to the Father’s only-begotten Son.”’ (Tasker p. 48) ‘We saw glory such as would be possessed by no one else but, the Only Son of the Father.’

‘the only begotten’-‘Single of its kind, only’ (Thayer p. 417) ‘Unique (in kind), of something that is the only example of its category (Arndt p. 527). Refers to His being of the same nature, race and family as the Father. God of very God. Jesus was clothed with and possessed the exact same glory as the Father. The quality of the glory of the Son was the same as of the glory of the Father. (John 14:7-9) Points To Note: 1. Please note that the word ‘begotten’ doesn’t mean that Jesus had a beginning or that the Father created Him (John 1:1). 2. It denotes one who is completely unique (Luke 7:12; 8:42; Hebrews 11:17). 3. No one else can be a Son of God, as He is. 4. Lenski notes, ‘What John saw of the glory of the Only-begotten corresponded with all that he could possibly conceive as belonging to this being. He also had the Old Testament to lift his expectations exceedingly high. The glory he actually beheld never fell short of the rightful expectation thus formed, in fact, exceeded it in every way.’ (p. 78) 5. In addition, the statement ‘only begotten’ doesn’t refer to the Virgin Birth, because what was ‘begotten’ at that time, wasn’t Jesus (the Word), but only the flesh of which He had partaken.

‘from the Father’-literally, from beside the Father. ‘full of’-‘complete, lacking in nothing’ (Thayer p. 517). Which means that Jesus wasn’t a ‘second-rate’ copy of the Father. ‘There was no half measure, no fraction, but perfect completeness in every thought, word, and action.’ (Lenski p. 82) While men can now and then perform acts of grace and truth, only one Who is God could be full of such qualities.

‘grace’-‘goodwill, lovingkindness, favor’ (Thayer p. 666) (Matthew 9:36; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 10:21. Healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, eating with the publicans and sinners, forgiving His enemies, and dying for self-centered people…all are manifestations of His grace.

‘truth’-Out of Jesus flowed absolute certainty, clarity and His life was a perfect and consistent example (Matthew 7:28-29; John 4:21). Points To Note: 1. John says something that many on the supposed ‘cutting-edge’ would argue is an abomination. He combines grace with truth. ‘Grace taken by itself may have given men an unbalanced picture. Not only is God the God of grace. He is that, but He is also the God who demands of men “truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6). Men must “do” the truth (3:21).’ (Morris p. 107) 2. Truth and grace go hand in hand. One cannot have 13

access to grace, without believing the truth (John 8:31-32). If as Jesus said, the ‘truth will make you free’, when any doctrine which attempts to separate ‘grace’ from ‘truth’ is a false doctrine. 3. The text infers that grace and truth are not available to the person who refuses to come to Jesus (John 14:6). 4. And that all truth has come through Jesus (John 16:13). 5. Truth simply stands for the Word of God (John 17:17). This verse could also be rendered, through Jesus has come all grace, mercy and all spiritual truth or right doctrine, all the true teachings necessary life a live which is pleasing to God (2 Peter 1:3).


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