John 1:2-5 Commentary

John 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God. 

John reiterates here, showing the importance of the doctrine of the Deity of Christ.  John already told us that the Word was “with God”, “in the beginning”, but it seems that John is ensuring that we understand without equivocation what he was expressing in the first verse.  The same – that is, the Logos, Christ, was in the beginning. 

And to this he adds:

John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Christ was and is the generative and constant sustaining power of God.  The writer of Hebrews concurs when he says that Christ upholds “all things by the word of his power”

Now let us not miss the significance of this truth!  Most people assume that God, as creator, just built the world like a carpenter might build a boat or an engineer might build a machine, and then set the machine in motion, and just let it go along its merry way, to drift wheresoever it may wonder.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  God is the active agent in all events.  The sun does not rise unless he “upholds it with the power of his word”.  The moon does not shine, the wind does not blow, the rain does not fall, a man does not take a breath nor blink an eye, but what God has ordered it, ordained it, predestined it, and caused it through the word of His power.

And the great truth that John reveals to us here is that Christ is the “generator”, having the divine generative powers of the Godhead.  Man flatters himself with the thought that he (man) has the ability to generate – to cause, to author, to design, to control – both his own destiny and the destiny of the world.  Yet the scripture tells us that God alone has these abilities.  Oh, don’t get me wrong – a human being might exercise certain creative abilities in designing and crafting a multitude of material inventions, but we must remember that nothing of the material world exists outside of God’s decree, purpose, and will.

Not only that, but mankind’s creative abilities cease at the material level, for, as we next discover:

 John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Here we have a definition of “life” – in this case, it is “the light of men.”  We shall see later that there is a light that “lighteth every man that cometh into the world”.  It is easy for us to see that this life cannot be the “eternal” life, which is gotten by believing in Christ, because it is obvious that not all of mankind believes in Him.  But what “light” does “every man” posses?  We can understand this “light” to be an attribute of man that renders him different from the beasts – an attribute that reflects that we are made in the God’s image.  That attribute is the possession of a rational mind and a moral conscience.  Every man, excepting only for the severely mentally handicapped, has the ability to think rationally and behave morally.  However, the problem arises in the fallen nature, where man’s darkened heart, in some cases, has warped rationality and morality into a monstrously deformed remnant of its former self.  This is why John tells us:

John 1:5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The word “comprehended” here means “perceived”.  Therefore, due to man’s spiritual darkening through sin, he can no longer perceive the light. (“their foolish hearts were darkened” Rom 1:21)

Some people presume that because all of mankind received this “light”, that man is naturally born into a state of righteousness before God.  Such was the error of the great heretick Pelagius.   But we shall discovered in short order that just the opposite is true – man is born under his father Adam’s condemnation and must be “born again” to see the kingdom of God.  We shall discuss this phenomenon with some more detail when we comment on verse 9. 

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: