Click here for the reading: John 1:1-14.

Instead of beginning at Bethlehem, John opens his Gospel in eternity. He emphasizes Christ’s divinity, though not at the expense of His humanity. Jesus the Word is God, because He was in the beginning with Him, created all things, and is life and light. Why is Jesus called the Word of God? Why is it important to talk about His divine nature, even if we can’t fully comprehend it? Why does John begin here, and do we see a similar need in our own day? What is the Old Testament background for the Word of God, such as Jeremiah 1?

John the Baptist also came from God, but in a different way. God sent Jesus into the world in order to be the light of the world. John was a witness to the light, so that all would hear and believe. How does Jesus serve as the revealer or witness of God? How does John serve as the witness of the light? Why do we need both in order to believe in the light? What does Romans 10 teach us about the relationship between preaching and the revelation of God?

Jesus the Light came into the world, but the world did not know Him. This seems like an odd thing to say, since Paul makes it clear in Romans that all men know that God exists. However, the world does not know the Lord, because to know Him is to believe in Him. When we know the Lord, we call on His mighty name. When we do not know Him, we turn away from Him. Why is the knowledge that God exists insufficient for salvation? What does it mean for Jesus to give light to everyone? How does Jeremiah 31:31-40 help us understand this passage?

The Jews rejected their Lord, even though He came to them just as He promised. What they did not understand was that being a son of God is not a matter of flesh and blood, but a matter of faith and the Spirit. Therefore, when Jesus came in Spirit and truth, they crucified the Lord of glory. How does this rejection of Christ by His own people shape much of the New Testament? How do we fall into a similar temptation? How do Jesus’ words about the destruction of the temple in Matthew 24 show that salvation comes by faith and not by blood?

Christmas celebrates the Word becoming flesh, God dwelling among us. John points to the glory of the Son, the glory which is full of grace and truth, the glory which leads us to life and light. What is the glory of God? How do we see it? Where do we see it in our own day? Why does this glory lead us to repentance and faith as well as transform us into a new creation? What do we learn about God’s glory in Jesus’ prayer in John 17?