The opening of the Gospel of John is a grand invitation to “come and see” who this Jesus, this “Word” and “Light” and “Son of God”, is. The first sentences to leave the apostle’s pen are some of the most poetic and yet absolute statements about Christ in all of scripture:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Three verses, six strong assertions. They are foundational statements–not merely about this man Jesus, but also about the nature of God Himself and the relationship of Jesus to all of Creation.
This isn’t a passage to gloss over. It is rich with grandeur. To simply nod and move on doesn’t seem right. I have to weigh these statements because they are heavy.
Who is this Jesus? Do I believe the things John is saying about Him? Do I also accept the testimony of John the Baptist that “this is the Son of God, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”?
The apostle John says that “His own did not receive Him.” Jesus warns in the Sermon on the Mount that few actually believe and follow Him. And so I have to ask myself these questions and not rush past them. I have to take time to ponder, to let it all sink in.
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, who were born not of blood, nor of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
So the invitation is to come and see–and believe. Come and see–and become a child of God. Come and see–and receive grace upon grace.
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. (John 1:14)
I invite you to join me in meditating on the incarnation over the next few days leading up to Christmas. Let us sit for a while in John chapter one as we prepare to welcome and celebrate the One who has come and is coming again.