May the Holy Spirit, who inspired these words, inspire us through them
as we read them!
Verse 1. In the beginning was the Word.
The divine Logos, whom we know as the Christ of God. "In the beginning
was the Word." The first words of this gospel remind us of the first words
of the Old Testament: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth." Even then "the Word" was; he existed before all time, even from
1. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
I know not how the Deity of Christ can be more plainly declared than
in his eternal duration. He is from the beginning. In his glory he was
"with God." In his nature he "was God."
2. The same was in the beginning with God.
As we have been singing—
"Ere sin was born, or Satan fell;"
ere there was a creation that could fall, "the same was in the
beginning with God."
3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing
made that was made.
He that hung upon the cross was the Maker of all worlds. He that came
as an infant, for our sake, was the Infinite. How low he stooped! How high
he must have been that he could stoop so low!
4. In his was life;
4, 5. And the light was the light of men. And the light shineth in
darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
It never has done so; it never will. You may sometimes call the darkness,
the ignorance of men, or the sin of men. If you like, you may call it the
wisdom of men, and the righteousness of men, for that is only another form
of the same darkness. "The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness
comprehended it not."
6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
How very different is the style of this verse from the one that precedes
it! How grand, how sublime, are the Evangelist's words when he speaks of
Jesus! How truly human he becomes, how he dips his pen in ordinary ink,
when he writes: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." Yet
that was a noble testimony to the herald of Christ. John the Baptist was
"a man sent from God."
7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that
all men through him might believe.
Dear friends, if you and I know our real destiny, and are the servants
of God, we are sent that men might, through us, believe in Jesus. John
was a special witness; but we ought all to be witnesses to complete the
chain of testimony. Every Christian man should reckon that he is sent from
God to bear witness to the great Light, that, through him, men might believe.
8, 9. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that
Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into
There was no light from John except what he reflected from his Lord.
All the light comes from Jesus. Every man who comes into the world with
any light borrows his light from Christ. There is no other light; there
can be no other. He is the "Light of the World."
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world
knew him not.
This is a sad verse. He was a stranger in his own house. He was unknown
amidst his own handiwork. Men whom he had made, made nothing of him. "The
world knew him not;" did not recognize him.
11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
That favoured circle, the Jewish nation, where revelation had been given,
even there, there was no place for him. He must be despised and rejected
even by his own nation.
12, 13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born,
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but
To receive Christ, a man must be born of God. It is the simplest thing
in all the world, one would think, to open the door of the heart, and let
him in; but no man lets Christ into his heart till first God has made him
to be born again, born from above.
14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld
his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace
They who saw Christ on earth were highly privileged; but it is a spiritual
sight of him alone that is to be desired, and we can have that even now.
How full of grace, how full of truth, he is to all those who are privileged
to behold him!