"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, ESV)
The opening sentence of the Book of John highlights one of the most fantastic complexities of the Christian faith. Once again, we read, “In the beginning…” This time, we are told of a person and a relationship that precedes everything. “In the beginning was the Word.” Right from the start, the Apostle John points us to Jesus Christ as the eternal revelation of God. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3).
When you want to communicate something from within yourself to someone else you use a word. The word makes what would otherwise remain hidden, knowable to others. Similarly, Jesus is that Word of God. Jesus has been eternally making the glory of God knowable. Even “in the beginning”–as far back as you want to go– the Word was.
Even in the beginning, before Creation, there was relationship. The Word was with God. The original language suggests an intimate relationship between the Word and God. In fact, a few verses later John tells us that the Word was “in the bosom of the Father” (Jn. 1:18). There, in eternity past, was a sharing in and enjoying of the glorious perfections of God. There was a relationship where each person was fully known and fully loved. Perfect harmony and contentment.
This relationship is so perfect and eternal due to the nature of the persons involved. This is an absolutely unique relationship. While the Word was distinct from God, John makes it clear that the Word was God. How could that be? Here we see the mystery of the Trinity. The Bible reveals that there are three distinct persons fully sharing the single Divine essence. God, in his essence, is an eternal community of persons.
What does this mind-bending doctrine mean for us? First, it means that if you are to know God, you must know him as he has been revealed in Jesus Christ, the Word of God. We are not free to imagine God however we see fit. We must worship him as he actually is. We must come to him through Christ alone.
Secondly, when you became a follower of Christ–when you were united to him through faith– you were caught up into an eternal relationship of love. As the bride of Christ, all that is his is ours. You have the smiling face of the Father. When your conscience condemns you and Satan accuses you, remember that you are loved with an everlasting love. You are loved with a love that pre-exists all things.
God has always been communicating and the Word has always been Christ. Today, consider the glories of God revealed through the Word and share with others. In doing that, you are truly imitating God.