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. — John 1:1-3 (NIV)
These powerful verses draw us into a mystery. Who or what is “the Word”, who was present with God at the beginning, when all things were created? The Beloved Disciple slowly reveals over the course of the chapter that he is referring to Jesus.
We come to understand that Jesus was not an ordinary person. No, Jesus was (and is) far from ordinary. Since He was with God in the beginning of time, it means that He Himself is also God.
But does that mean that there is more than one God? No, Jesus never disputed that there was only one God, while at the same time not denying it when others accused Him of claiming to be God. How there could be only one God, and yet more than one expression of God is a mystery that the Church early on created a term for: the Trinity (for there is a third expression of God, the Holy Spirit).
Jesus was sometimes called by an additional name: Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). His coming was foretold by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) and other prophets of old. It is truly an amazing thing for God, who created the entire universe, to set aside His majesty (and all that goes with being a spiritual being that has all power and authority in the universe) and take on a human body, starting off as a child in the womb. This is a measure of the love that God has for us that He would venture into our realm, in our form, with our limitations, to rescue us while we were helpless.
First posted on November 14, 2009