|In the Beginning|
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 was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The Story: John began his gospel with the first words of Genesis: En archē, “In the beginning.” In doing this, John points out that the coming of Christ into the world is a recreation of all things. In the incarnation, the world created by Him was recreated by Him. For John, the incarnation is that radical. Note that “in the beginning” does not mean “at the start of the universe,” but beyond that to what we can call “eternity past” (even though in eternity there is no past or future, but only present). Jesus, the Word who gives order and direction to all things, is, in the words of the Nicene Creed, “the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.” He is the Creator God who gives life and light to all things. And He is the baby in the manger: Venite adoramus. Come, let us adore Him.
The Structure: “Jesus is Lord” is the most basic Christian confession of faith. In saying this, we confess that He is God the almighty, not some super angel or other created being. He is God. Get this wrong and you get everything else wrong. And far too many Christians are getting it wrong. As Eric Metaxas commented in a recent BreakPoint, “Sixty-one percent [of American Christians] correctly say Jesus is both human and divine, but half think that He’s also ‘the first and greatest being created by God,’ rather than existing eternally, as Scripture and the ancient creeds of the faith teach.” Christmas reminds us that Jesus is Immanuel, “God-with-us” not “God’s-special-helper-with-us.” John, in this prologue to his gospel, purposely identifies Jesus, the Word, as the God of creation in Genesis 1. The miracle of God’s love and grace is thus all the greater.
How does the incarnation of the eternal God make His love and grace all the greater?