With Just One Word {The Gospel of John}

“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 without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of the world” ~John 1:1-4

I’ve been noticing lately how complicated life is. Simple answers just don’t work. It’s like every realm of life is shouting at me like an impetuous two year, “Why? Why? Why?”  I don’t know. Honestly. I don’t know why some things are as they are. I just know that the reality of the situation requires that they be acknowledged as best they can.

It’s one of the reasons that I have been finding so much comfort in the first four verses of John’s Gospel. The first six words, “In the beginning was the Word…” ground all the confusion, complexity, and frustration of reality in the confidence that God is. He always has been. He always will be.

I can relate to the first recipients of John’s Gospel. They too seem to be asking a lot of questions about life. Searching for meaning in the midst of confusing imperial oppression. Where are the promises that come with being His chosen people? How come we’re having such a difficult time of making sense of things? Why?

John says stop with all the whys. Begin with the who? Begin with Jesus. With Jesus who is the second eternal person of the Trinity. He has always been. Remember who He is. To help his reader’s remember rightly, John takes them back to the words of Genesis, “In the beginning…God said.” God spoke and His echo has been heard up until this moment. At His voice, darkness fled. Order entered. Planets got in line. Life sprung up. Green and blue and feathered and scaled and fleshed life painted the canvas of God’s horizons.

It was just a word. The wisdom of God spoke and it changed everything. In an instant. So too, John has the Word entering the confused, tired, and messed up plains of Israel’s people. In an instant the Logic and Love of God interrupts those who thought they were alone, forgotten, abandoned.

I believe John echoes Genesis to grandly announce, “You are not alone! The presence of God is now here and He has brought His creation power.” He’ going to bring light to the darkness in your life. He’s going to find where there’s nothing but death, and speak life to it. He’s going to make sense out of all of this. Why? Because that’s who Jesus is.

Today can’t be just like every other day. Not with Jesus in it. When He is present, He is at work being the wisdom, order, and creative genius of the universe…to even our most confused places. Sometimes I look at a situation and I think it’s just too jacked up for any change to take place. Not Jesus, jacked up places are no match for Him.

If you’re discouraged. Frustrated. Weary. Take heart. John 1:1-4 reminds you that you are not alone–Jesus is here and He can set things straight with just one word.

This post is an excerpt from my current study of John’s Gospel. (More about that here.) I plan to post the next set of Reflection Questions on Friday. It’s never too late to join in!
What insights and encouragement do you get from these verses? These are such rich verses. They communicate so much about who are God is, about His heart for people, and about the confidence in which our hope rests.  I’d love to hear what in these verses ministers most to you.
Here’s the original reflection question:
“In the beginning…” We hear Genesis in the first words of John’s Gospel. Go back and refresh your memory of creation. Read Genesis 1:1-2:3. What similarities do you pick up on? Why do think John chooses to echo the creation story?

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