Activated - - NEWS - By Peter Am­s­ter­dam, adapted

The Gospel of John doesn’t tell the story of Je­sus’ birth, but it tells us the pre­quel—the story that pre­cedes what we are told in the birth nar­ra­tives. This Gospel takes us back to the be­gin­ning, be­fore our world ex­isted, and tells us some­thing about our Sav­ior that was true well in ad­vance of His earthly birth in Beth­le­hem two mil­len­nia ago. Un­der­stand­ing this part of the story is what brings clar­ity to who Je­sus was, why He came, and what He ac­com­plished.

The story be­gins like this: “In the be­gin­ning the Word al­ready ex­isted. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He ex­isted in the be­gin­ning with God. God cre­ated ev­ery­thing through him, and noth­ing was cre­ated ex­cept through him.”

1 This Gospel be­gins by telling us that be­fore any­thing was cre­ated, the Word ex­isted, was with God, and was God. John looks back be­yond the be­gin­ning of the cre­ation of the uni­verse, be­fore time ex­isted, and tells us that the Word was pre­ex­is­tent. The open­ing line of this Gospel re­peats the first words of the Bi­ble in Genesis: “In the be­gin­ning…” This ex­presses that the Word ex­isted

2 be­fore cre­ation and is eter­nal, that there was never a time when the Word was not. The Word was not part of what was cre­ated, mean­ing that the Word is greater than all things that were cre­ated.

We’re told that “the Word was with God,” and then it’s re­peated a sec­ond time, “He ex­isted in the be­gin­ning with God.” The em­pha­sis here is that the Word ex­ists in in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with God. That one­ness is ex­pressed in the phrase “and the Word was God.” Ev­ery­thing that can be said about God can also be said about the Word.

This is what we cel­e­brate at Christ­mas—that the Word, who ex­isted with God be­fore cre­ation, who lived in face-to-face fel­low­ship with His Fa­ther, who par­tic­i­pated in the cre­ation of all things, who is self-ex­is­tent, and who is God the Son, was born as a hu­man be­ing and lived among hu­man­ity.

All that Je­sus did dur­ing His time on earth—the words He spoke, the para­bles He told, His in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple, His con­fronta­tions with the re­li­gious lead­ers of the day, the mir­a­cles He per­formed—all of it re­vealed His Fa­ther’s love, care, and con­cern for hu­man­ity. It is through the In­car­nate Word, Je­sus, that we gain a deeper un­der­stand­ing of God, as well as of His de­sire to rec­on­cile hu­man­ity to Him­self. At Christ­mas, we cel­e­brate that God en­tered our world for the pur­pose of mak­ing it pos­si­ble for us to live with Him eter­nally.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us! What a won­der­ful thing to cel­e­brate.

Peter Am­s­ter­dam and his wife, Maria Fontaine, are di­rec­tors of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional, a Chris­tian com­mu­nity of faith.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.