The writers of each gospel book provide insight into what the following chapters would mean in terms of Jesus’ life and ministry in the opening verses of each book. For example, in Mark’s opening sentiments, Jesus is baptized to confirm His status as the Son of God. Mathew, on the other hand, saw Jesus as a descendant of David and Abraham, while Luke records both Jesus’ and John the Baptist’s births. The book of John, however, is the most dramatic, with a prologue that models the contours of a certain Christological focus. As a result, the aim of this paper is to provide an exegesis of John 1:1-14. The Gospel of John starts with a splendid assertion of the Divinity of the Son of God. Its primary emphasis is ontological that entails the metaphysical study of the nature of existence, reality, being, or becoming. It also strives to enlighten people that there is a God who reveals and relates via love. John 1:1-14 is John’s preface and acts as a periscope that forms a coherent thought or unit. John’s utilization of the word “Logos” (1:1-2; the most frequently extracted term in contemporary translations) continually draws attention. Several commentaries imply that the word is rooted within the Old Testament view (e.g. Proverbs 8, Genesis 1). Additionally, its role parallels some aspects of personified wisdom in different traditions in Judaism. However, Ridderbos suggests that Logos and Wisdom cannot be similar since the latter was God’s creation (Sirach 1:9), while the former is pre-existent and Divine (Lewis 1).
After eight verses, the passage reveals the world as well as its glory. It divulges the creator and His relation to the creation. These sentiments are a replica of the Genesis account of creation, particularly separating light and darkness. Moreover, the Gospel affirms that everything was created by Christ for Him and the Logos is life and light (Parkhurst 1). In the Hebrew Bible, light is commonly used metaphorically to represent salvation (Psalms 27:1), liberation from oppressive authorities (Isaiah 9:1-2), and God’s life-giving creative power (Gen1:1-5, 14-19). John continues to stress on creation as entailed in verse 3, where he relates Jesus to the creation work.
Similar to all the other Gospel books, John the Baptist prominently implies that Jesus is superior and would baptize people with the Holy Spirit. John is perceived to be the witness to light rather than light itself. In verses six to nine, the scripture strives to elucidate on the relation between John the Baptist and the light. The focus shifts to Christ and humanity in verses 10 to 13. Then the focus goes into the relationship between Christ and humanity (1:10-13). In this extract, his own people were in denial, but those who accepted him became God’s children (Lewis 1).
Verse 12 depicts believers as God’s children thus linking it with the Old Testament characterization of Israel as the children of God (Satterlee 1). Though the climax is in verse 14, it begins with verse nine. Instead of emphasizing on Christ’s divinity, it dwells on His humanity that interestingly expounds on the mystery of the incarnation. Only the privileged believers will see His glory. In this fundamental verse, a group regarded as “we” were honored to be the children of God.
In conclusion, John 1:1-14 suggests that the Glory of God is imparted on Jesus. It is meant to elucidate on the fact that Christ is God and the people ought to receive Him. The passage also answered many queries about the Messiah, which was a confusing aspect at that time. While some though John the Baptist was the Messiah, he instead preached about a superior being who was greater than him.
Lewis, Karoline. “Commentary on John 1:1-14.” 25 December 2016. https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=3101. 23 February 2017.
Parkhurst, L. G. “International Bible Lesson Commentary.” 11 March 2012. http://www.ouosu.com/IBLC//2012/03/Commentary-on-John_1_1-14.pdf. 23 February 2017.
Satterlee, Craig A. “Commentary on John 1:1-14.” 25 December 2012. http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1523. 23 February 2017.