1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
With singular abruptness John introduces Jesus as the Word. The Bible concerns itself with God’s revelation of Himself to man.
The prologue of John sets forth Jesus as the Word (1:1-18). The prologue is a preview of the entire gospel of John. The deity of Christ is the keynote of this book. We should not look upon Jesus as simply a human being; we need to see Him as God Himself.
Note the repetition of the word “was” three times: “was . . . was . . . was.” The Word existed in the unbegun beginning with the Father. The word “was” here means something constantly going on in the past (imperfect tense). The Word was constantly in eternity past God Himself.
The verb “was” is an absolute state-of-being verb. This indicates that the Word was God. The Word did not merely speak for God; He was God. This shows that the Word was, in His absolute state of being, God. There is no middle ground between God and man or creation.
The tense (imperfect) shows that the Word existed continually in the past in eternity and before creation as God. Time and space did not limit Him. Eternity is not time; it is the opposite of time.
In John 8:58 the Apostle used the same word “was” for preexistence. Before Abraham existed, the Word existed. There was no time when the Word did not exist; He existed for eternity. Arians and Jehovah’s Witnesses are flatly wrong in their assertion that the Word was a created being. There was no time when He was not.
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM [same word as “was” in Jn 1:1].” (Jn 8:58)
The idea of “the Word” is an expression of personality who can communicate or reveal. Just as words convey ideas, so the Word reveals who God is. The significance of the word “Word” would have had an impact on Gentiles as well as Jews. The Word was and is the absolute revelation of God personified as the Son of God.
In verse 14 the Holy Spirit says that this same “Word” “became” flesh (physical). The word “became” here means to become something that He was not before. What He was before was God Almighty; what He became was human
The word “Word” indicates that it is the very nature of God to reveal Himself. God is not indifferent to mankind or aloof. To know God is life itself (17:3). This goes far beyond information; this is to experience eternal life.
It is the very nature of God to reveal Himself.
Christianity, and only Christianity, sets forth God as the Word in communication with mankind—a communication that involved His coming to earth as a human being. Christ came as the revelation of God and His heart.
The “Word” carries the idea that it is the very nature of God to reveal Himself. A man’s word is the means whereby he reveals his thoughts. God is not aloof or indifferent to man. To know God is life itself and life eternal (John 17:3). Since it is the very nature of God to reveal Himself, He is not indifferent to man or aloof from him. Knowledge of God is more than information; it is life itself.
The Christian finds in the Son of God the very life and power that are from God Himself; he discovers everything he needs about God. The Son makes God known as the Word. Only through God is God known.
Our regard of Jesus is central to our spirituality. We cannot simply admire Him as the best of men; we must worship Him as God. If we build our view of Christianity on the humanity of Christ, we will fall miserably short of what God expects of us.
The heretical cult of the Arians maintained that there was a period when the Son did not exist. But the Word reached back indefinitely beyond the beginning of the universe.