John 1:1-18 (aka “the Prologue”) is on of the most powerful sections of Scripture. It speaks clearly of the deity of Jesus. “the Word” being in the beginning with God – he was not created – rather all things were created thru Him. In Him was life and light for men…a light that overcomes the darkness, the darkness has not, nor cannot overcome it.
This Word was in the world, yet not everyone recognized him as God, particularly those who were his own people, the nation of Israel. But for those who did recognize him, who did understand that he was God in the flesh – he gave them new life, as adopted children of God.
The Word, God-in the flesh, Jesus walked the Earth full of grace and truth. The law represented the moral standard of God, yet clearly no one is able to merit eternal life by keeping all the rules – the point is that we need grace. We need a Savior – someone human to represent us yet someone divine to be able to pay for the sin and in exchange give us life in the truth of God’s redemptive plan to save a rebellious human race.
A few weeks back I had two Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door, they were very nice, and gave me all the information I asked for. I have never engaged them and wasn’t 100% clear on what they stood for. After they left, as I read their material, it became clear. They are so close to the truth, but miss that Jesus was God – as John 1 clearly states. There are all sorts of things that we as believers can do to “prove” this – we can go to John 1, we can better still go to the original Greek and show them. Unfortunately, this is another sad reminder that entire religions are built on false interpretations of what the Bible actually says.
However, what rings in my mind is something much more personal that goes beyond academic and textual “proving”. If Jesus isn’t really God, then I’m in eternal trouble – because I need God himself to remove my sins and restore my relationship with him. There isn’t a man, Pope, or religious system in the world that can do that divine work, only God himself can do that. Our responsibility is not working for it, but recognizing it — Jesus as very God in the flesh, what some people mentioned in John 1 didn’t do and there are many today who still don’t. We recognize Jesus for who he is (God) and submit to him (as God) in all aspects of our lives and then live lives that glorify God – not earning our salvation, but working from our new identity as he has made us children of God. In this grace and truth we grow, til one day we are perfected when we are with him. But until then, much work to do.