Text: John 1:1-50, Genesis 1:1-5, Isaiah 55:10-11, Hebrews 1:1-4
Gathered around the living room, we remained seated as the doorbell continued to ring. We didn’t need another casserole or vase of sympathy flowers; we needed words.
Void of compassion, the blank document—an unforeseen obituary—stared back at us, wringing all adjectives of their meaning, one after another. Each suggested description seemed to shrink our beloved boy, the one who held the titles of both my best friend and my younger brother, into someone foreign and unrecognizable. The task of fitting all of his life and all of our love into one small newspaper column was exhausting, so we traded our pencils for pillows and gave up for the night.
A few hours later, unable to sleep, I rolled over to see a small beam of light coming from downstairs, and decided to follow it. I found my sleepy-eyed father furiously scribbling notes on a stack of white index cards. Between the light blue lines were favorite stories, memorable quotes, and beloved quirks. My dad handed me a stack, and as the dark sky faded into morning, our collection of cards finally created the outline of something familiar—someone familiar.
I imagine the Apostle John sitting down to translate the encounters he’d had with Jesus into suitable words. To him, Jesus was not a faraway character, but a trusted friend and beloved Savior. Writing these words, this Gospel account, John probably recalled intimate details about Jesus—the way He smelled, what His favorite foods were, the sound of His laugh. He could clearly call to mind the expressions his friend made when feeling tired or excited or somber. Yet, John undertook the task of assembling words to describe the heaven-sent Son of God to those of us who didn’t know Jesus in the flesh.
John must have had a wealth of stories to choose from when deciding how to open his eyewitness account. But, through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, this dear friend of Jesus begins his narrative with the thing that identified Jesus most:
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
- John 1:1
After years of witnessing Jesus’ parables, miracles, and interactions firsthand, John presents Jesus as the Word—a tangible love letter from God. Jesus did not come to merely deliver a message from God—He Himself is the message.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
- John 1:14
The Apostle John’s words are not only the beginning to another chapter in the Bible; they are the beginning to understanding who Jesus is. He is our promised Savior. He is the one who has been with God from the beginning. He is the Word.