In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
[John 1:1-5 NKJV]
What a beautiful name. ‘The Word’. Verse 1 expresses and explains in a few short words the conundrum which is Jesus Christ to us, and it does so, not from our perspective, but from God’s. These five verses which announce John’s Gospel have an unsurpassed resonance in the New Testament — an echo of the first five verses of Genesis announcing the Old.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
[Genesis 1:1-5 NKJV]
Both of these quotations are ‘eternal’ in their expression. John’s Gospel is the most overtly Spirit-led of the four; but that is not to say that Matthew, Mark and Luke are not. John seems less interested in ‘telling the story’ of Jesus, than he is in revealing the Son of God. John, we understand, was the disciple ‘that Jesus loved’ and we sense the closeness of the relationship throughout the book. This, after all, was the disciple who was lying on Jesus’ breast, hearing His heartbeat; the one would ask Jesus the question on behalf of the others (see John 13:18-30).
John also wrote his three letters and the book of Revelation, quoting Jesus as saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” [Revelation 22:13 NKJV]. John, as author of a gospel and the final book of the New Testament, provides his own beginning and end to Jesus’ purpose for us all — a beginning which had no beginning and an end which is never ending. Jesus is forever; He is ‘The Eternal Word’
This song, to which Annea introduced us, seems easily the most appropriate song for this meditation and scripture reading.
If you are a saint God will continually upset your programme, and if you are wedded to your programme you will become that most obnoxious creature under heaven, an irritable saint.