John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2: He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3: All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:4: In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:5: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Verse 1 appears to present a paradox. How can something (the Word) be with something else (God) and be that something else (God) at the same time? I don’t know how to explain it; to be honest I don’t fully understand it. But the Bible makes it clear that it is true, so I am forced to accept it. There are other things in life that I’m forced to accept even though I don’t fully understand them. I don’t know whether you have studied the particle-wave duality of light yet, but once you do you’ll understand how it represents two apparently contrary statements being true at the same time.
Verse 2 identifies the Word as Jesus. This verse makes it clear that Jesus is not a created being; He is eternal just as God the Father is eternal.
Verse 3 reenforces the creation account. All things were made through Jesus. The second half of verse 3 may appear to be only repeating the beginning of the verse, but this is not the case. By saying that without Jesus nothing would have been made, John is stating that only Jesus is able to create the world. There are no equals with Jesus. Jesus is not one of many; He is the only Son of God.
The “life” in verse 4 means at least two things. First, it represents the eternal life which only Jesus can give. Second, it represents the full and abundant life which only Jesus can provide. We cannot find true satisfaction and fulfillment in anyone or anything other than Jesus. He alone is our hope. It’s very easy to look to things besides Jesus for fulfillment in life. Here are several things that people at college look to for fulfillment:
- Grades. Many people look to their academic abilities for fulfillment. But grades can never satisfy for two reasons: First, you will fail at some tasks. Even if you maintain a 4.0 throughout college there will be someone else with a 4.0 who has done more or has a harder major or is just plain down smarter than you are. Second, even if you are a prodigy and are the smartest person in all of academia, what good does it do you? You’ll die just like everyone else. The worst thing that can happen at the end of your life is not that you fail to get what you wanted; it’s to get what you wanted and to realize it wasn’t what you really wanted the whole time.
- Social standing. Many people look to their circle of friends for fulfillment. They find there identity is who respects and likes them. This can never fully satisfy. Even if you have the greatest friends in the world, what good will it do you? They (and you) are all going to die just like everyone else. This cannot provide lasting fulfillment.
- Spouse. This is very common for both men and women. It’s very easy to start to find your identity in who you are married to. Don’t get me wrong, part of your identity is who you’re married to, but it shouldn’t be your defining identity. Don’t look for a guy or girl for complete satisfaction. To you guys out there, there’s not a girl in the world who can help you overcome your insecurities.
Where do you find your identity? What is the defining characteristic of your life? Describe yourself in 3 words. What are they?