40 Days of Hope
Monday, March 18
In the Beginning
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels. This designation is based upon their similar perspective in sharing the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. “Synoptic” is an English word that both transliterates and translates a Greek word that means “same eye.”
John’s Gospel is . . . well . . . different! He begins his account of the story of Jesus in the very beginning! His opening prologue hearkens back to the Book of Genesis. Any Jewish reader of John’s Gospel would have immediately recognized the opening phrase --- In the beginning.
The Book of Genesis begins with the story of creation. John’s Gospel will focus on re-creation. In his commentary on the Gospel of John, Gary Burge offers this beautiful assessment:
This is a Gospel that will record the re-creation of men and women, the giving of life in darkness where there is no hope. This parallels the thoughts of Genesis 1, in which God breathes life into the nostrils of Adam and provides new possibilities for the world.
-Gary Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John, Zondervan, 2000, p. 54.
John boldly opens his Gospel with a clear declaration of the eternal nature of God the Son. He has no beginning. He simply is.This is the clearest expression of the pre-existence of the Son of God in the New Testament. Jesus will make this same claim in John 8:58 – “Before Abraham was born, I am!”
John also proclaims God the Son is the Creative Agent of the Godhead. Through Him, “all things were made.” Again, John hearkens back to the story of creation to introduce the story of re-creation. God the Son was present in the very beginning, and He is active in creating all that is.
John also points out that the Son of God is life and light. He embodies all that God desires to share with humanity. God’s answer for sin’s judgment (death) is life. God’s response to the darkness of evil is light. God the Son is the revelation of God the Father. What a powerful introduction to the Gospel!
Sometimes we just need to stand in awe of what God has done. God spoke creation into existence. He has now spoken through His Son. Today, let’s reflect on this profound truth.
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