“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
An examination of the Gospel of John, in fact a careful look at all of the Apostle John’s writings, leads us to develop a strong suspicion that one of the themes that he wanted to impress upon our minds was the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. John points us back beyond the beginning of creation in order to develop the foundation of his gospel proclamation. The one he is about to introduce us to is someone much more glorious than any historical figure. He is in fact the one through whom all of creation has come into being, and in whom everything currently holds together. John calls us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Glorious One whom the whole of Scripture has been pointing to as the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Destiny of Creation. John uses the word Logos to describe Him. This is the Word of God as a person active in every part of God’s revelation of Himself. Today I will focus upon two aspects of this revelation in order to point us to the Glory of Christ.
First the Scriptures describe Him as wisdom personified. In 1 Corinthians 1:24 we read, “But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” In Proverbs 8:22-31 we read about Wisdom as being personified and much that is written there seems to inform John’s description of the Word of God.
“The Lord brought me forth as the first of His works, before His deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there was no oceans, I was given birth, when there was no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before He made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. I was there when He set the heavens in place, when He marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when He gave the sea its boundary so the waters could not overstep His command, and when He marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence, rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind.”
John links his portrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom he calls us to believe in, with this being who existed before anything had been created. In fact John takes his Gospel further by telling us that not only was this being with God before creation, He was in fact God Himself. The teaching in the Old Testament about this pointed further as well because in many places this Divine Logos was also identified with the Angel of the Lord who was in fact the Pre-Incarnate Christ. In Exodus 23:20-23 we read about this figure. “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to Him and listen to what He says. Do not rebel against Him; He will not forgive you your rebellion, since My Name is in Him. If you listen carefully to what He says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.” What a tremendous promise for these Old Testament people of God. This Angel of the Lord will be God Himself among them, leading them. The Name of God, the character of God, will be in this Angel. It is this figure that John is pointing to as he calls us to faith. He asks us to lift up our eyes and behold the Glorious Christ who has come in humility to redeem us through the Cross.
Such truth saves us from sin. It is this that Charles Haddon Spurgeon describes when he tells us the account of the conversion of an ancient Christian writer by the name of Junius the younger, quoting his description of the way in which he came to Christ. “My father, who was frequently reading the New Testament , and had long observed with grief the progress I had made in infidelity, had put that book in my way in his library, in order to attract my attention, if it might please God to bless his design, though without giving me the least intimation of it. Here therefore, I unwittingly opened the New Testament thus providentially laid before me. At the very first view, although I was deeply engaged in other thoughts, that grand chapter of the evangelist and apostle presented itself to me — `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.` I read part of the chapter, and was so greeted that I instantly became struck with the divinity of the argument, and the majesty and authority of the composition, as surpassing the highest flights of human eloquence. My body shuddered; my mind was in amazement, and I was so agitated the whole day that I scarcely know who was I was; nor did the agitation cease, but continued till it was at last soothed by a humble faith in Him who was made flesh and dwelt among us.“