15 June 2020

John 1:1-18

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (v. 14).

Psalm: Psalm 53


The Gospel of John, written in about 100 AD, was written much later than the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Its author is presumed to be the disciple John, the brother of James. It was written primarily to those who were Christians, which would have included some Greeks. It differs from the other three Gospels. There are several recurring themes, such as light and darkness, water, and life, in the broadest sense. It contains no parables and the miracle stories are seen by John as 'signs', whose purpose was to show God’s glory.

John 1:1-18 is known as the 'prologue', which introduces the Gospel. The words “in the beginning” take one back to Genesis 1:1. The reference to “Word” (Greek logos) would have been understood by the Greeks as referring to both 'mind' and 'reason', as well as God’s action. Genesis 1 talks about 'God said'. In other words, God spoke and something happened. In John 1 this Word represents God coming to Earth in the person of Jesus. And when Jesus came many people did not know or recognise him.

The climax of this passage is in verse 14. No longer was God some distant being; God became human through Jesus and dwelt among us; or, as Eugene Peterson translates it: (Jesus) “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood”. Jesus came to live among people and identified himself with them.

The remainder of the Gospel demonstrates the full significance of the Word becoming flesh, that is, the incarnation of Jesus. And it shows how this ministry would continue after Jesus’ death and resurrection, when Jesus commissioned the disciples, including contemporary disciples.


To Ponder:

  • What is the significance of Jesus coming to dwell among human beings?
  • How can you be Christ to someone else in today’s world?

Bible notes author

Revd Lynita Conradie

Lynita Conradie was ordained in 2005 in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and worked part-time as a minister and also as a human rights lawyer and editor of the Namibian Law Reports, in Namibia. Lynita came to Britain in September 2013 and served as a presbyter in the Nottingham (North) Circuit until August 2018. She is currently in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit. In her spare time, Lynita follows cricket and rugby and likes reading and travelling.

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