John’s intention was to focus entirely on Jesus. When we writes these words, he’s an old man. He’s probably the last survivor of the apostles. His purpose in writing this gospel is clear (John 20:30-31).
Who is Jesus?
There’s no doubt that this whole passage is about Jesus, even though his name isn’t mentioned until v17. The opening parallels with Genesis 1. The Hebrew word for ‘Word’ also indicates deed. What God says, he does. The Word is eternal (v2). This passage makes it clear that Jesus has always existed. He is the eternal son of God. He is the creator (v3). When we think of how small the earth is compared to the Sun, it should make us humble and want to worship. Jesus is the uncreated light (v4-5), the light of the world. That is the light that God is shining into our hearts. He’s the source of light and life (v9). At the heart of the Christmas message is the Word became flesh (v14).
Why did he come?
To be light in the darkness (v5). God lives in unapproachable light, but Jesus is God in human form who came and lived among us. The problem is that Jesus said people loved darkness more than light. We don’t like being exposed when we’re wrong. He came to give light to everyone (v9), to give life to all who believe in him (v4), and to live among people and make God known (v14 & 18). What is God like? Look at Jesus. He came to bring God’s grace and truth to us (v17). God’s law shows us our sinfulness, but Jesus came to fulfill the law. He alone can rescue us from our spiritual darkness. Without faith in Jesus, we can’t be accepted by God.
How can we know him?
We need to acknowledge that Jesus is who he says he is. The world doesn’t recognise him, but he’s calling people to recognise who he is. We are to believe in his name. God makes us his children. Having faith means following him. God takes delight in his people. Let’s enter that delight. Let his grace be seen in our lives so that people would be drawn to him and follow him.