25 Dec. John 1:1-14

25 Dec. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world

"In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God."

"He was with God in the beginning. All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him."

"In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it."

"There was a man named John who was sent by God. He came to tell people the truth about the Light so that through him all people could hear about the Light. The true Light that gives light to all was coming into the world!"

"The Word was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world did not know him. He came to the world that was his own, but his own people did not accept him."

"But to all who did accept him and believe in him he gave them the right to become children of God. They did not become his children in any human way - by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God."

"The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory - the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father - and he was full of grace and truth."

          (John 1:1-14)


 

At the beginning of John’s Gospel, John calls Jesus the ‘Word’ of God (John 1:1). The Greek word that is usually translated as ‘word’ is ‘logos’.

Although ‘logos’ can mean a ‘word’ in a different context, this is not the real meaning of ‘logos’ as used here by John. The word ‘logos’ is, in fact, a technical term from Greek and Jewish philosophy that was well known at the time John was writing. It was a philosophical term used to describe the latest 1st century ‘scientific’ explanation of how the world had come into being at the time of creation.

The term ‘logos’ was first used by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who lived in Ephesus (where John was based) about 500 years before Jesus. He used the term to indicate the principle of order that made all the difference at ‘creation’ between ‘chaos’ (which was always there) and the ordered universe as we know it.

The idea of the ‘logos’ gradually developed over the next 500 years. The ‘Stoic’ philosophers with whom Paul debated at the Areopagus on Mars Hill in Athens (see Acts 17:18) identified the ‘logos’ with the reason or ‘divine animating principle pervading the universe’.

The idea was developed further in the 1st century AD by the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who adopted the term in Jewish religious philosophy to mean ‘an intermediary divine being’. In Philo’s philosophy – well known to John’s 1st century Jewish readers – the ‘logos’ was recognised as the highest of these intermediary beings. Philo even went as far as calling the ‘logos’ the ‘first-born of God’.

In his gospel, John says that, not only was Jesus the ‘logos’, present with God at the beginning of creation, but he actually WAS God – and the source of all creation (see John 1:1-3).

He goes on later in his opening chapter to declare that the ‘logos’ became flesh – was born as a human being, Jesus of Nazareth - who was also the expected Jewish Messiah or 'Christ', the 'anointed one', and “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (see John 1:14-29).

The photo shows the Crab Nebula from the Hubble radio telescope (NASA-ESA).

You can read more about the birth of Jesus @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney1/3-jesuss-childhood-journeys-b/the-birth-of-jesus/


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