John 1:1, 14
by Sean Finnegan
John 1:1, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The first and most important thing to realize is that “the word” is God’s word and not Jesus. The word does not become Jesus until John 1.14. The word of God is never in any one of the 42 books of the Bible preceding this verse referred to as a person distinct from the Father. The word is God’s utterance, his plan, his creative power, or his message given to the prophets. John 1.1 begins with the same words as Genesis 1.1. In the Genesis account God speaks and creation happens; in John it says the word was in the beginning with God (see also Psalm 33.6, 9).
God’s word was with him. This expression may sound strange to us, but it is found in other verses as well where something is “with” them but it is really “within” them (Job 10.13; 23.13- 14; Proverbs 8.22, 30). In fact, the word “with” in John 1.1 is the word pros, which most often translated “to” or “toward.” So the word was toward God or with God or within God—it was close to his heart.
The last part of John 1.1 reads, “and the word was God.” The word belongs to the sphere of God; because he is divine, his word is divine. It is not a separate being from God any more than my word is a distinct being from me, yet in a metaphoric sense my word is me because it expresses who I am.
Finally in John 1.14 the word of God, his plan for salvation, his will for humanity, his ultimate revealed purpose, becomes a living breathing human being in Jesus of Nazareth. How did this happen? The holy spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary which resulted in a totally unique pregnancy. God’s plan to save the world became flesh. In fact, throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus makes it clear that he spoke the words of God and did the works of God (John 8.28; 12.49-50).