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Studies in the Book of John – Lesson 1

by Tim Brown

There's Life In The Words--John 1:1-4,42

John opens his gospel with the following:

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:1-5

Unlike all the other gospels, John takes us on a journey deep within the soul and Spirit of the gospel. Instead of focusing on the genealogical pedigree of Jesus, as Matthew and Luke does, John takes us back to the root of who Jesus really is, that he is the Word of God, that He has always existed with God, and that He is, in fact, God.

This is important as the Word of God; the words that Jesus speaks are the very words of life, literally, not figuratively. Think of it this way. It says in verse 3 that through him all things were made, this echoes back to the 7 days of creation, when God created the heavens and the earth. So how were all things created? Through God’s word. You will remember that God said in Genesis 1:1, “Let there be,” and there was. God, who is life, spoke the word, which produced life, and as a result all things came into being.

This is extremely powerful for us to understand because this means that the very words we have in our Bibles are not just words on a page, they are supernatural. Combined with faith, the spoken words of the Bible, which John says here are “life,” will bring life, spirituality, relationship with God, and power from on high into your life in ways you never thought possible.

One more example of this. Notice later in chapter one when Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus as Andrew believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Here is how John records the interaction:

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Ever wonder why Jesus changed the name of Peter? It wasn’t an accident. The name Simon was a common name that meant “He (God) has heard.” But Jesus changed his name prophetically to Cephas or Peter, which means a stone, or rock. The idea was that it may not look so now, but Peter is going to become a rock and pillar of the faith, a leader in the church.

See the principle? Jesus spoke the word of life to Simon saying, “Simon your name will be Peter!” In other words, “Simon you will become like a rock in the faith!” And because God spoke the word, the word did not return void (Isa. 55:11). Peter eventually became what God pronounced.

This is extremely important for you and me, and is why we need to read the word of life daily. Because the things spoken in the Word are not just spoken for the people who lived in the first century. We need to hear the word, believe it, and appropriate it to ourselves through faith. Faith finds the miraculous.


Tim Brown is Minister of the Gallatin Church of Christ in Gallatin, TN.

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13