Verses 1 - 3
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him nothing that was made, was made.
In the beginning of what?
While in the beginning, at the time of creation, it would have been true to say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him nothing that was made, was made.” This was also equally true at the beginning of the preaching of the Good News of Kingdom above, by John the Baptist.
From before creation until John, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:1 & 14). But even then, along with the Holy Spirit, they still remained One living being yet three persons within that being.
Some would say the beginning here refers to the time of creation, while others would say it refers to the beginning of the preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom above. In my opinion, while there is truth in both views; right back to the beginning of time, in the Garden of Eden, God preached the Gospel of the Kingdom above to Adam, then later to Enoch (Jude 14 – 15), then to Moses and the prophets; but they could not enter the Kingdom.
With John the Baptist mankind entered into a transition period, with John announcing the coming of the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and Good News of the Kingdom. Since then, it has been possible for all to be born again by the Spirit of God and enter the Kingdom. So although the Good News of the Kingdom has been preached since the Garden of Eden, the fulfilment of this Good News did not begin until after John Baptist came preaching repent you, for the kingdom above is at hand (Mat 3:2).
Jesus Christ said of John;
Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Look and see, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you. 11 Truly I say unto you, among them that are born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist: however he that is least in the kingdom above is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom above suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
The prophets up until John preached the coming of the kingdom above. But since John, we now preach the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20 – 21).
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we have looked closely at his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him nothing that was made, was made.
In the beginning the Word was both with God, and the Word was God. Therefore they are both God. 4,000 years later the Word was made flesh, born of the Virgin Marry and dwelt among us.
Also present in the beginning, with God and the Word, was the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the sky and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. - - - - - - 26 And God said; “Let us make man, - - - - - - - - -
There are three main Hebrew words that we translate into English as God or gods.
1: “El” meaning Mighty One. This word declares the oneness of God and he is the One and only Almighty God.
2: “elohim”. This word is used to describe our God far more than any other word. It is also used to describe the many pagan gods. This word indicates the plural nature of our God.
3: “Yahweh”. The New Bible Dictionary by Inter-Varsity Press makes this comment; Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only name of God. I often think of it this way, all the names of God but Yahweh are names that describe either who God is or his character, but Yahweh is his name.
Let us consider my earthly father; he has many names, Dad, Father, Husband, Mr Clark, Bandsman, Songster, Choir Master, and many more, but strictly speaking his name was Albert. As a child I only ever once called my father Albert, and my bottom became so sore I never ever again called my father Albert. It is said the children of Israel never ever called God Yahweh, and that whenever they read the scriptures they translated Yahweh as elohim. It was not until 12th century AD that Yahweh was first translated as Jehovah.
Throughout the first half of Genesis, it is the word elohim, the plural name for God that is used to describe God. In Genesis 1:26 God referred to himself as us and our, by saying; “Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness.
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had ever formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
The creation marks the beginning of all things. Everything has a beginning except God, who was before all things. From everlasting to everlasting, before all things, and before the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one and the selfsame essence and nature. They are all one and the selfsame God, they are all one being yet they are all individual persons. They are all God, the One and only God, they are the Holy Trinity.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in many ways spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him nothing that was made, was made.
God the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. The Word having become flesh and dwelling among us was named Jesus. Then at his baptism God the Father declares Jesus to be his Son (Matthew 3:17).
In these last days God has spoken unto us by his Son, - - - by whom also he made the worlds.
How did God make the worlds? By speaking them into being; seven times during the six days of creation God said ‘let there be - - - - - and things came into being. The worlds were made by the Word of God, then for the next 4,000 years, in times past God spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, but now in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, for in these last days the Word has become flesh and dwelt amongst us.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which enlightens every man was coming into the world.
God is Spirit and the spirit within us, which gives life to our mortal body, comes to us by the breath of God (John 4:24; Gen 2:7 & Job 32:8).
It is also the spirit from God within us that enlightens our minds by bringing to us revelation and understanding (Job 32:8).
Therefore as life comes from God, and Jesus Christ has within him that same life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, reveals the nature and character of God. Christ who is the light of the world brings revelation of the truth to the world; truth to those who are walking in darkness and deception. The devil brings darkness and deception upon the people of the world, so they become blinded to the truth. God through Jesus Christ brings the light of revelation into the world, so that eyes of all who receive him and believe in him are open to the truth. Therefore they no longer walk in the darkness of deception, but now walk in the light of revelation that comes to us through Christ Jesus.
Verses 10 - 13
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God, to them that believe in his name: 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Ever since God created the sky and the earth He was in the world. That is to say the Word was dwelling amongst the people of the world. And although the people of the world were made by him, the world knew him not.
4,000 years after creation He, the Word, came unto his own, those who were of his own earthly flesh and blood, the Jews, and his own received him not.
But as many as received him, regardless whether they were Jews or people of the world, to them that believed in his name he gave the right to become the children of God; children who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but born of the Spirit of God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have looked closely at his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Word; God himself who is spirit, was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
Matthew 1:23 Look and see, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
The Word was made flesh, born of a virgin, and they called him Emmanuel, which means God with us. For thirty years he grew up amongst us, then Jesus (the Word) was baptized by John, and as He was praying, the sky was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from the sky which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21 – 22)
John writes; we have looked closely at his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. This is the first mention of Jesus Christ as the only begotten of the Father, or as the only begotten Son of God. Jesus Christ was never born as the only begotten of the Father, we saw him as the only begotten of the Father, and God the Father declared Jesus to be his Son.
Under Hebrew customs one did not receive the rights of the first born by birth, just because he was the first born. He, who received the rights of the first born, did so because the Father gave them the rights of the first born and declared publicly that they were his first born.
Ishmael was Abraham’s first born, but Isaac was declared the first born. Esau was Isaac’s first born, but Jacob was declared the first born. As for king David’s first born, in order of birth, Solomon was well down the list, but Solomon received the rights of the first born. The right of the first born was not something given by birth, but a right given by the father, through a public declaration.
By right of the public declaration by God the Father we know Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, even though Jesus Christ, who is God, has no beginning and no end.
Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said unto me, you are my Son; this day have I begotten you.
John 1:15 John testified of him, and cried out saying; this is he of whom I spake, He that comes after me, is preferred before me: for he was before me.
John came to testify of the coming Messiah (John 1:23), the Lamb of God (John 1:29), the one who would baptize in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33), the Son of God (John 1:34). John also declares He that comes after me, is preferred before me: for he was before me.
John declares that Jesus is preferred more highly of God than he. John here is exulting Jesus who is God, and that was John’s purpose, to exult Jesus Christ and prepare the way for Christ First Coming. And what is our purpose? To exult Jesus Christ and prepare the way for Christ Second Coming.
Although John was born into this world before Jesus Christ and came before Jesus to declare his coming, John declares for he was before me. In this statement John is acknowledging Jesus Christ the Word was before all things.
John 1:16 And of his fullness, we have all received, and grace for grace.
Jesus Christ is full to overflowing with grace and truth, and God desires to poor out this abounding grace and truth upon us. Grace is the undeserved favour of God. For example, we don’t deserve God’s release from our sins, but God freely releases us from our sins. However there is a condition; like God our Father we should freely release those who sin against us.
Matthew 6:12 And release us from our debts, as we release our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 14 For if you release men from their faults, your Father in the sky will also release you: 15 But if you do not release men from their faults, neither will your Father release you from your faults.
When God releases us from our sins, he extends grace towards us. Do we deserve release from our sins? No! When we release others we extend the grace that God poured out upon us upon others. Do they deserve release from their sin? No! But God is our Father, and just as God has poured out love, grace and release from sin upon us, we to should pour out love, grace and release upon others.
So when we receive the fullness of Christ, we also receive a cycle of love for love; release for release; mercy for mercy; grace for grace. The more love, release, mercy and grace of God we pour out upon others, the more love, release, mercy and grace God will pour out upon us; this is grace for grace.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out to others it shall be measured back to you.
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The law was given by Moses. Under the law, because all man have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), we were all bound by the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Although God’s grace and mercy was available to us, it was largely hidden in type pictures and shadows. But when Jesus Christ came he revealed the fullness of God’s grace and mercy. Therefore grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you submit yourselves as bondservants to obey, his bondservant you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justification? 17 But God be thanked, that you were the bondservant of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. 18 Being then made free from sin, you became the bondservant of justification.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time, however the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. He has declared him.
No man other than Son has seen, known and understood God, nor fully comprehended God.
(The only begotten Son. See comments on verse 14.)
The only begotten Son, who is in the Bosom of the Father. He has declared him. This being in the bosom of the Father is telling us two things.
Firstly: 2,000 years ago, when a group of people came to the table for a meal; they would all recline on their left elbow at approximately a 45° angle to the table. So that if one lent back, the back of his head would touch the bosom of the person behind him on his left. Thus making it possible for the two communicate with each other, while no one else could hear them.
Secondly: It speaks of the closeness between the Father and the Son, and how the Son therefore intimately knew all the Father’s secrets, his personality, his habits, his nature. Then the Son, through his life, actions and words, did reveal, declared and brought to us a true knowledge and understanding of the Father.
Verses 19 - 21
John 1:19 And this is the report of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him; Who are you? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him; what then? Are you Elijah? And He said; I am not. Are you the prophet? And he answered, No.
Perhaps if we compared this questioning of John, with a question Jesus Christ asked his disciples.
Matthew 6:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, who do men say that I the Son of man are? 14 And they said, some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
It would seem that reports of John the Baptist had reached the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, some even suggesting that John the Baptist, was the Christ, some Elijah, some the prophet.
So they came to John and asked, are you the Christ. To which John confessed, “I am not the Christ.” Next, became it is said in Malachi 4:5, that Elijah would come before the great and terrible day of the Lord they asked, Are you Elijah? And John answered “I am not. Then, possibly because Moses spoke of a coming prophet that would be raise up from amongst them (Deu. 18:15), they asked are you the prophet? And again he answered, No.
Some would point to Luke 1:16, where to angel of the Lord prophecies about John the Baptist going before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah; and to Matthew 16:14, where Jesus Christ says John is Elijah which was to come; and ask how can John say that he is not Elijah.
Luke 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, which was to come.
The prophecy given by the angel of the Lord says John the Baptist would come in the spirit and power of Elijah. The angel did not say John was Elijah, only that he would come in the spirit and power of Elijah. While Jesus said, if you will receive it, this is Elijah, which was to come.
John the Baptist did come in the spirit and power of Elijah, but he was not Elijah in the flesh. Therefore if we receive him as Elijah, he is Elijah. But he is not Elijah come in the flesh; therefore in order to fulfil the prophecy of Malachi 4:5 in full, Elijah still has to come in the flesh.
Verses 22 - 23
John 1:22 Then they said unto him, Who are you? So we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say of yourself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.
So far, those who had been sent by the Jewish leaders to ask who John was, had only received negatives answers. So now they ask John; “What do you say of yourself.” And John replies by quoting from the prophet Isaiah, saying, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3). So John’s job description is one who goes before the Lord.
1: To declare that the Lord is coming.
2: To tell people to prepare for his coming. In the natural, to prepare the way for the Lord meant repairing the roads and preparing a welcoming banquet. In the spiritual this means to repent and get your hearts right with Lord God and our lives in order by living just lives.
Matthew 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom above is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Elijah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Verses 24 - 27
John 1:24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25 Then asked him, saying unto him, Why then do you baptize, if you be not that Christ, nor Elijah, neither the prophet? 26 John answered them, saying, I baptize in water: but there stands one among you, whom you know not; 27 he is the One coming after me, who has been before me; whose shoe's strap I am not worthy to unloose.
John said I baptize in water: but there stands one among you, whom you know not. In other words, there is one who is a Jew, who is living amongst you, but you do not know who he is. He is the One who is coming after me, even though he was before me. In the flesh, John was born first, yet John says Jesus Christ was before him. Because in the beginning Jesus Christ as the Word was with God and he was God. And the One who is coming is so much greater than John, that John does not even count himself as worthy to unloose the strap of his shoe.
John 1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan; where John was baptizing.
Although John came from the hill country of Judea, much of his ministry was in Perea, which was east of the River Jordan. John’s announcement of the imminent coming of the kingdom above, not only alarmed Antipas (the ruler of Perea), it also alarmed the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.
John 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and said, Look and see the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
The next day, being the day after John was questioned by those who had been sent by the leaders of the Jews. It would appear that after John had baptized Jesus, and after Jesus had spent 40 days in the wilderness, he then returned to where John was preaching and baptizing in the Jordan.
John seeing Jesus proclaims; Look and see the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
Right back to Garden of Eden, a lamb was the acceptable offering to take away sins (Gen 4:1 – 4). At the first Passover God accepted sacrifice of one lamb per household, to take away the sins of each household (Exodus 12:4). But in these last days God accepts one lamb, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world (John 3:16).
John 1:30 This is he of whom I said; After me comes a Man, who has come before me, for he was before me.
Although John was born into this world before Jesus Christ and came before Jesus to declare his coming, John declares for he was before me. In this statement John is acknowledging Jesus Christ the Word was before all things (John 1:15).
Verses 31 - 34
John 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be revealed to Israel, therefore I have come baptizing in water. 32 And John testified, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from the sky like a dove, and it remained upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, the same said unto me, upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, this is he whom baptizes in the Holy Spirit. 34 And I saw, and testified that this is the Son of God.
Although Jesus and John were cousins, John grew up not knowing that Jesus was the Christ. Yes, before his birth, through the words of the angle of God to his father Zachariah, it had been made known that John would go before the Lord in the spirit of Elijah.
Then later God had it made known to John, by the Holy Spirit, that as he went forth preaching; repent you for the kingdom above at hand and baptizing in water (Matthew 3:2), the Son of God would be revealed by the Holy Spirit descending and remaining upon him.
Verses 35 - 36
John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, with two of his disciples; 36 and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he said, Look and see the Lamb of God!
(See comment on verse 29.)
Verses 37 – 39
John 1:37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said unto them, what do you seek? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is interpreted, Master,) where do you dwell? 39 He said unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and remained with him that day: for it was about the 10th hour.
The question often asked of this passage, what was John talking about when he says, for it was about the 10th hour. Most scholars are of the opinion John was referring to the working day which begin at 6 o’clock in the morning and ended at 6 o’clock in the evening (Matthew 20:1 – 16). So the 10 hour would of been 4 pm our time, and two hours later, at 6pm would been the end of the working day, when most people would return to their own home. So the two disciples of John and Jesus Christ would have spent about two hours together.
Verses 40 – 42
John 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and said unto him; we have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he led him to Jesus. And when Jesus looked upon him, he said, you are Simon the son of Jonah: you shall be called Peter, which is by interpretation, a stone.
Andrew, one of the two who had heard John the Baptist say, that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God, having followed Jesus to his home, and having then spent two hour with him, goes first of all to find his brother Simon, to tell him “we have found the Christ”. Then he led him to Jesus and Jesus seeing Simon renames him Peter, which means a stone.
Verses 43 – 44
John 1:43 The day following Jesus decided to go into Galilee, and finding Philip he said unto him, follow me. 44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Jesus decides to journey from where John was baptizing on the east bank of the Jordan River, to Galilee. Finding Philip he said unto him follow me. Then we are told that Philip, Peter and Andrew are all from Bethsaida, which is on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
John 1:45 Philip finds Nathanael, and said unto him, we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Both Moses in the books of the Law, the first five books of the Bible, and the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi often mentioned coming of the Christ. And Philip finding Nathanael tells him we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. By this statement we not only discover Philip already believe that Jesus was the Christ, we can also take it that both Philip and Nathanael had a good understanding of the Scriptures.
John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said unto him, come and see.
The Jews who lived in Judea had a prejudice against the Jews who lived in Galilee; and although Nazareth was in Galilee, even the Galileans had a prejudice against those who lived in Nazareth. So it was that Nathanael was prejudice against anyone from Nazareth, and knowing it was prophesied that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Mat 2:46), he says, can any good thing come out of Nazareth? But Philip, firmly believing Jesus is the Christ, tells Nathanael to come and see for yourself. When we have had a personal encounter with Christ, we no longer need to argue with others whether Jesus is the Christ or not. All we need to do is show them the Christ by sharing our own personal encounter with Christ.
Verses 47 – 50
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Look and see, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit! 48 Nathanael said unto him, from where do you know me? Jesus answered and said unto him, before Philip called you, I saw you when you were under the fig tree. 49 Nathanael answered and said unto him, Rabbi, Master, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. 50 Jesus answered and said unto him, because I said unto you, I saw you under the fig tree, you believe? You shall see greater things than these.
Even before Philip called Nathanael, when he was under the fig tree, Jesus Christ the Son of Man, by the Spirit of God who dwelt in him, saw and knew Nathanael; and by this sign and wonder Nathanael stopped doubting and believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God; the King of Israel.
Back in Genesis 28:12 – 22, Jacob had his first encounter with God. In a dream he saw a ladder reaching into the sky, and angels were descending and ascending upon the ladder. Above the ladder stood the LORD, who said I am the LORD God of Abraham the father and the God of Isaac. So it was that Jacob received this picture of the ministering angels of the Lord coming down from the presence of the God to minister to our needs and to encamp around those who fear him (Psalm 91:11 – 12 & 34:7).
It is with this knowledge of the Old Testament teachings that we now look at verse 51.
John 1:51 And He said unto him, Surely, surely, I say unto you, hereafter you shall see the sky open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
This verse reveals Jesus Christ as the ladder and the door way between earth bound man and God above. Only through God the Son do we have direct access to God the Father, and through the power and authority of the Son, the angels of God minister to our needs.
Here Jesus Christ is not only talking to Nathanael, but to all of his disciples. The disciples had all just recently recognized, believed and received Jesus as the Christ and as their Lord and Master. Therefore they had also just received the authority to become the children of God born again by the Spirit of God (John 1:12) and except a man be born again, he cannot see nor enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3 - 5). Therefore, now that they are born again, Jesus tells them that from hereafter you shall see the sky open, and the angels of God descending upon the Son of man (John 1:51).
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
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