In the Beginning (John 1:1-3)
Topic: John Scripture: John 1:1–1:3
First Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:1-31
Second Scripture Reading: John 1:1-18
Sermon Text: John 1:1-3
The way John begins his gospel with the phrase “In the beginning” is meant to draw our attention to Genesis 1:1. Both Genesis and John point to eternity past, to the counsel of our Triune God before creation, in order to reveal God’s eternal nature and creative power. But the striking thing for John’s first-century Jewish audience would have been that he equates the God who created all things with Jesus of Nazareth. Hebrews 1:1-3 reminds us that in the past, “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” Jesus said this of himself in John’s gospel. He said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30); “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9). If we want to know what God is like—if we want to know the greatest being—we need to learn about and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- What do you know about the Gospel of John? What makes it unique among the four gospels? What are your favorite verses in this gospel and why?
- Why does John refer to Jesus as the “Word”? Why would this title have been significant to Gentiles? What significance would it have had for Jews?
- What does the phrase “and the Word was with God” reveal about the Trinity? Read and discuss John 17:1-5 which describes Jesus’ pre-incarnate glory and his relationship with the Father.
- When John writes “and the Word was God,” he is pointing to Jesus’ divinity. How would you explain and defend this critical doctrine when talking to a Jehovah’s Witness?
- Read Colossians 1:15-20. What role did Jesus have in creation?
- In preparation for next Sunday, read John 1:4-5. What do you think John means when he describes Jesus as Life and Light?