Author: Ron Graham
The POWER of Jesus as the GOD who created all things and for whom all things exist.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made (or created) through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:1-3) .
We will worry about the term "Word" when we get to the R in GLORY, and consider Jesus as the Revealer and explainer of God.
But for now it is enough that we realise that, here in John 1:1, the Word who was God and created all things is the same person as in John 1:14 (our text for last lesson) where we find that the Word became flesh. We know that John is talking about Jesus when he says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us". So John must be talking about Jesus when he says, "The Word was with God and the Word was God".
It would be very confusing to have someone called the Word in verse 1 and someone else called the Word in verse 14. That is why we accept that the Word who became human and the Word who was God are the same Person, namely Jesus.
Paul says that Jesus, "being God in very nature (or form) , did not consider that he should cling to equality with God, but made himself... in human likeness, being found in appearance as a man" (Philippians 2:6-8) .
You will recall that we made the point last lesson that Jesus must have been human, because he appeared so. He himself said, "Touch me and see that I have flesh and bones". People testified that Jesus was human, because they could touch his flesh, examine his form and appearance, and see that he was human like them in every way. In the same way, we now find Paul saying that Jesus was in the form of God.
Of course no human being has been able to examine Jesus in that form, but we take it on faith that he was, as Paul said, "in the form of God". If he had the form or nature of man, was he not man? Likewise, if he had the form or nature of God, was he not God?
Paul’s point is that Jesus did not esteem this equality with God something to hold onto. He who was with God and was God, humbled himself, and became one of us, divesting himself of his divine form, and taking upon him the form of flesh and blood and bone.
This is not the easiest thing to understand, and nobody completely understands it except God. But those who have tried to "fix" it and make it easier to understand, have only made matters more complicated. At best they have been inconsistent; at worst they have been heretical.
Let us now look at the second thing which John says. Really, it's the same thing only in different words.
John makes it clear that all things came into being through Jesus. To make sure we understand, John says that nothing that has ever been made was made without Jesus (John 1:3) . J.B. Phillips makes a tidy job of translating this verse: "All creation took place through him, and none took place without him."
Paul says of Jesus, "By him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth... all things were created through him and for him" (Colossians 1:16) .
Down through the centuries, people have argued about whether Jesus was the first creature. By "creature" they mean something created, in particular a created being. It seems clear that if no creature was created without him (as John says) , and all creatures were created through him (as Paul says) , then he cannot himself be a creature. If he exists, but was never created, then he always existed. Since only God has always existed, then we can see why John says that he "was God".
There has always been the temptation to say that Jesus created all things except himself, or that Jesus created all other things. The Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible for example, inserts the word "other" into Paul's statement, and makes John say, "The Word was a god". Without these interpolations, the scriptures show Jesus Christ to be the Creator of all things, and to be himself eternal.
Let us be satisfied to accept the divine nature of Jesus. Some things are hard to fully understand, but not hard to believe. This is one of them.
Let us accept Jesus as divine Creator, and say with Paul, "He is before all things and in him all things cohere" (Colossians 1:17).