The Gospel of John Commentary Chapters 1-11 (by chapter)

John 1:1-18 - The Word made Flesh (the Prologue)

v1: “In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
v2 He was in the beginning with God.
v3 All things were made through Him, 
and without Him nothing was made that was made.
v4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
v5 And the light shines in the darkness, 
and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John the Baptist
v6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
v7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, 
that all through him might believe.
v8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

v9 That was the true Light, which - coming into the world -
gives light to every man. 
v10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, 
and the world did not know Him.
v11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
v12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right 
to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
v13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, 
nor of the will of man, but of God.

v14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, 
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

v15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, 
“This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’
v16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
v17 For the law was given through Moses, 
but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
v18 No one has seen God at any time: The only begotten Son, 
who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

The four Gospels present Jesus from four viewpoints (like the four faces of the Cherubim): MATTHEW - The Messianic King of Israel, the Lion of Judah (appealing especially to the Jews)
MARK - The Servant = The Ox (appealing especially to the Romans)
LUKE - the Perfect Man (appealing especially to the Greeks)
JOHN - the Son of God from heaven = the Eagle (for all men).

Each Gospel starts with a corresponding genealogy of Christ, showing His origins: MATTHEW gives the line of succession from Abraham and David through Joseph, establishing His right of Kingship over Israel.
MARK - presents Him as a Servant, so no origins are given.
LUKE - describes his human origins through Mary and her genealogy.
JOHN - is unique and starts by giving His Divine genealogy (origins). 
For He is the Pre-Existant Son. Before He became the man called Jesus 2000 years ago, He eternally existed as God. As Micah 5:2 points out the babe of Bethlehem has His origins in eternity: “Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth unto Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth (origins) are from of old, from everlasting.” 

v1,14: “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with (pros = ‘face to face’) God (in eternal loving communion with the Father), and the Word was God ... and the Word (Jesus) became flesh (His conception) and dwelt (tabernacled) among us (his birth was at the feast of Tabernacles), and we beheld His glory (Jesus’ life, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection and ascension, all seen by eyewitnesses).”

This One called the Word took upon himself a human nature (flesh). John starts by declaring that the man Jesus is also the eternal Word. He did not just appear as a man, but became a true man 2000 years ago. But this was not the beginning of His existence for He was always the eternal Word. He became a man but did not stop being God. Jesus Christ was and is God manifest in the flesh - the unique God-Man. 
“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me (John was older than Jesus) is preferred before me, for He was before me (the pre-existent Word)”(v15)

“In the beginning was the Word”
 is a clear reference to Genesis 1:1, the foundational verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the p3 heaven and the earth.” This declares God’s existence. The Bible says it is self-evident that God exists - only the darkness of man’s heart causes him sometimes to deny this fact. The Psalmist says: “The fool says in his heart: there is no God.” He denies God, in a vain attempt to be his own god but this is foolish because God exists anyway and will judge him. 

Genesis 1:1 teaches: (1) Before time began the eternal God exists. 
(2) He created the space-time-matter universe. 
(3) There is One God who created (singular), yet He exists in plurality (Elohim). As the progressive revelation of God grew, so it becomes clearer that He exists in Trinity - as Father, Son and Holy-Spirit. 
(4) He created the Universe in His Triune image (space-time-matter) and man also in His personal image (as spirit-soul-body): “Hear (‘gather into one’), O Israel: 
(1) The LORD (2) our God, (3) the LORD is one! 
You shall love the LORD your God (1) with all your heart (spirit), 
(2) with all your soul and (3) with all your strength (body)” (Deut 6:4,5) 

As Genesis 1:1 is the foundational verse of the Old Testament, so John 1:1 is the foundational verse of the New Testament, building upon it and elaborating on the plurality of Elohim. 

v1 is a key statement of the Trinity: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was (pros = ‘face to face’) with God (the Father and Son are united together in love), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” 
The Word (Son) is distinct from the Father, yet He is also God. He exists eternally with the Father, bound together in eternal love, for God is by nature Love. We see two Divine Persons, yet One God. Later a third Divine Person will be revealed - the Holy-Spirit (who may be thought of as the Personified Love-Gift being eternally given between the Father and Son) - who completes the Tri-unity of God.  

Why is He called the Word? This shows God is by nature a Communicator If people don’t know or hear God it is not because He is not speaking, but because they are not listening (not tuned in). God reveals Himself through the Second Person - the Word: “No one has seen God (the Father) at any time: The only begotten (unique) Son, who is (abides eternally) in the bosom of the Father (abiding in the place of closest intimacy, and so knows the Father perfectly), He has declared Him (made Him known, explained Him, shown us what He is like)”(v18). 
The WORD, also called the only begotten SON of God, reveals God to us.

Just as Genesis 1 reveals God as the Creator of all, so John 1 reveals the Word as the Creator of all: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (v3). Creation was God’s first act of self-revelation and it was accomplished by the Word.  God the Father spoke and the Word went forth with His Spirit (breath) and created all things. The Word was the instrument of Creation. John shows us that the Word is a Person, the One Who created all things. 
He is confirming that Jesus, the Word, is true God, for only God can be called Creator. 

“In Him was life (He is Life), and the life was the light of men” (v4).  As well as being our Creator, He is the Source of all Life, both natural and spiritual. His life lights up our mind (soul).

“And the Light shines in the darkness
 (of the world), and the darkness did not comprehend (understand, overcome or extinguish) it” (v5).
This is a summary of His ministry: 
(1) The eternal Light came into the world, invading the kingdom of darkness, 
(2) The darkness (satan and evil men) resisted him (even putting Him to death) 
(3) But the darkness could not overcome the Light. The Word triumphed. He rose from the dead and all who receive Him become lights (the light multiplies).

Next, John introduces John the Baptist and his testimony to Jesus Christ: 
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (v6-8). 

John was only a prophet, the greatest of a line of prophets all bearing witness to the Coming Messiah, who was the true Light: “That was the true Light (revealing God) which, coming into the world (by the incarnation) - gives light to every man (note the corrected translation). He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own (Israel),and His own did not receive Him” (v9-11). 

Israel as a nation rejected her King, but many individuals did believe in Him: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name (His character and identity as the Son of God) who were born (not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man) but (born) of God (they receive a supernatural rebirth, becoming actual children of God by regeneration - see John 3 for more detail)” (v12,13). 

The issue is believing in Christ which results in receiving Life through the New-Birth. The key word of John’s Gospel is believe, and it constantly shows the way people either believed (received) Him or rejected Him. In fact the very purpose of John’s Gospel is: “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name” (John 20:31). It is written to bring people to faith in Jesus as the Son of God, for it is through this faith that we receive 
eternal life. So it starts by declaring that He is the Eternal Word, the Creator and Source of all Life (1:1-18). It continues by proving this through eight selected major Signs Jesus performed (John 20:30). 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory (the manifestation of His Deity), the glory as of the onlybegotten (Son) of the Father, full of grace and truth” (v14). Although we became sons of God by the New-Birth, He remains the unique eternally begotten Son of God (v18). Our sonship is by creation, His is by eternal generation. He is in a different category altogether. He is God the Son. He is “full of grace and truth” - these are the basic inseparable qualities of God, revealed in the glory of the Son. It is the perfect combination of mercy and justice. In men, truth alone is harsh, grace alone is soft (Col 4:6). 

John’s Testimony
: John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was (eternally) before me’ (v15). 

The personal testimony of the first believers
: “And of His fullness (‘of grace and truth’ - v14, the divine nature) we have all received, and grace upon grace (we receive wave upon wave of blessing!). For the law was given through Moses, but ‘grace and truth’ (v14,16) came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time: The only begotten Son (the oldest manuscripts say: ‘The only begotten God’), Who is (eternally) in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (v16-18). 

This is the foundational passage of John and of the whole New Testament. It reveals the foundational truth of the New Testament that Jesus is the fulfilment of all the prophets, the eternal Son of God, the Source of all life, and through believing in Him we are born-again and receive wave upon wave of ever-increasing divine blessing, grace and life. So put all your faith in JESUS CHRIST as LORD (God) and receive of His fullness!

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