Lesson 2

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:3 All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it.


Today's Lesson

The writer of the Gospel of John continues with his Ode to the Word. Not only is the Word related to God, but to all of creation. He has already written about the immortality and of the divine nature of the Word. He proceeds to speak of the creative and living nature of the Word. And, in this portion, he switches from "the Word" to the masculine pronoun, "him." The Word is a person. John will be quite specific soon about who that person is.


All things were created through the Word. From the beginnings of Jewish scripture, the creative nature of God was the first means of knowing Him. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." We know of God because He chooses to be a creative God. God created the world around us and the people who came before us. God forms us in the womb of our mothers. God sustains the world and holds all things together. And, the power to create is always linked to God's right to judge and His ability to destroy.


John writes that this creative aspect of God is accomplished "through" the Word. When God in Genesis speaks and says, "Let there be Light," He speaks the light into existence. God creates through His Word. God communicates His will and the mere expression of His will creates reality.


Throughout this Gospel and the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth is portrayed as exercising the power of creation over the world. When the nets are cast into the waters and filled with fish, the fish are not summoned from hiding places in the deep. They are created. The bread that feeds the multitude is created bread. The water that is turned to wine is changed through the creative power of God that works through the person of Jesus of Nazareth.


Not only is it important that the creative power of God works through Jesus, but the author is insistent that nothing was created without Him. Nothing in heaven or on earth. He was before all things and all beings. All creation and all created beings were made through Him.


Within Him is the quality that we call "life." Nothing is alive but that it expresses an image of life that resides in the Word of God. This quality flows from His creative capacity. He is the origin of life and that life is "the light of men." It is that life that illuminates men's minds and draws them to God. That life that God possesses is like a light in a dark tunnel. We are drawn to the light and brought to understanding.


"The light shines in the darkness...." God allows the darkness to exist and His light (His life) is revealed in the contrast between that darkness and Himself. God continues to reveal Himself in the world. His light continues to shine. The darkness cannot overcome His light. And, the grave cannot overcome His life. His life is the light of men and will never be overcome by the darkness.


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