“The Word was God”
By the time the apostle John wrote his account of Jesus’ life, he not only had experienced the years of walking beside Jesus, but the horror of watching him tortured and killed. Though Jesus had often told His disciples that He would be killed and resurrected, no one seemed to understand that He was speaking of a literal return. John would always remember the resurrection morning when the women returned from the tomb and told the troubled disciples that the body was no longer in the grave. John and Peter immediately ran to the grave. John himself reports that when he saw the empty grave clothes, he believed (John 20:8-9).
He believed. Believed. Not only did he believe in the resurrection, but also in the fullness of Him who had walked among us.
John would have later thought back through the times when Jesus was seen after his resurrection, his ascension and the angels’ assurance that he would return “in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” As John thought back on all that had happened, he must have often thought back to the words of Isaiah, who had seen it all prophetically, but how impossible it was to believe until everything happened:
“To us a child is born, to us a son is given…. He will be called… Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” The son born would be God, would be the Everlasting Father! (9:6-7)
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (7:14). Immanuel: God with us (Matthew 1:23). God had walked among us.
”He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not…. he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth… he was cut off from the land of the living…He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied….he bore the sin of many.” (Isaiah 53)
That He would be rejected, that He would be silent before His accusers, that He would die, that His death would be with the wicked, but somehow also with the rich, that He would come back to life, and that He would carry our sins – it was all predicted through Isaiah, but never comprehended until it happened.
So John, pen in hand, began to write his own account of this God/man:
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
As we celebrate Christmas this year, may Jesus, God with us/God in human form/God born to a virgin from Nazareth, God who now lives within His followers through the Holy Spirit – may this Jesus surround us and be the ever-present Guest among us.
The best is still ahead. Have a blessed year in Jesus.