The first striking thing about this book is most certainly its author. John, who refers to Himself as “The disciple whom Jesus loved”, was extremely close to Jesus himself. John lived with Mary, Christ’s mother, until her death after the crucifixion of Jesus. Imagine the questions he could ask her! This is not some man scrounging for details and trying to cobble together an account 100 years after Christ’s ascension. This is a real eyewitness account from the disciple who quite possibly was the closest to Jesus.
His goal here is to help us to avoid the struggle he went through during Christ’s ministry. He spent those three years trying to figure out exactly who this man was. But, he starts his Gospel off with no doubt about who Jesus was – he wants us to know exactly who He is. He wants us to read this book and worship the greatness of our Lord. There is no suspense here. We know right from the outset that this is a book about Jesus, the son of God. he was with God at the beginning and He is God. He is the creator of all and He is the living word of God. John wants us to read his Gospel with amazement and admiration.
“The Word”. Have you ever wondered why John calls Jesus the Word? He does it again in Revelation 19:13 – “Hew was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God”. Why does John call Jesus, The Word?
One of the commentators helping me navigate the Gospel of John is Rev. John Piper. He says it this way; ““In the beginning was the Word.” My answer to that question is this: John calls Jesus the Word because he had come to see the words of Jesus as the truth of God and the person of Jesus as the truth of God in such a unified way that Jesus himself—in his coming, and working, and teaching, and dying and rising—was the final and decisive Message of God. Or to put it more simply: What God had to say to us was not only or mainly what Jesus said, but who Jesus was and what he did. His words clarified himself and his work. But his self and his work were the main truth God was revealing. “I am the truth,” Jesus said (John 14:6).
He came to witness to the truth (John 18:37) and he was the truth (John 14:6). His witness and his person were the Word of truth. He said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31), and he said, “Abide in me” (John 15:7). When we abide in him we are abiding in the Word. He said that his works were a “witness” about him (John 5:36; 10:25). In other words, in his working he was the Word.”
The message and the man were/are one and the same. As His reflections, we can take note of this and apply it to our lives as well. He lived out His message in such a way that His closest follower couldn’t distinguish between who He was and the Word He spoke. How much more should we, “Practice what we preach”? How much more should we live the message of the Gospel?