And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Now John fills in the flesh and bone of the incarnate Word of God. He dwelt among us. We got to behold His glory. Then John adds another theological detail—one we might not notice because we know it so well—He’s the only begotten of the Father.
And to leave no room for ambiguity about what this means, in verse eighteen John calls Him the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. Make no mistake; He’s the second person of the Trinity.
Then the gospel cites John the Baptist to back this up with, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.” Make no mistake; He’s eternal.
The last paragraph is also incredibly rich. Grace replaces law. The significance of that shift cannot be overstated.
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
At last! We get the name of this Word/Life/Light/only begotten Son of God—Jesus Christ.
Then comes a curious clarification. No one has seen God at any time. Why bring that up? What’s the point?
Jesus ends the era of “no one has seen God,” though it’s not simply that we get to see God the Father. Rather, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. Other translations say, “made him known,” instead of, “declared Him.”
If this isn’t clear enough, John will make it completely unambiguous when, in John 14:9, he quotes Jesus as saying, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
This completes the abstract part of the Gospel of John. In only eighteen verses, John has taken us on a whirlwind tour of creation, the Trinity, incarnation, the gospel, and eternal life, plus he has shown the evidence of how we can know that it’s all true. This lays the logical foundation for the historical narrative to come.
It that’s anywhere near as intense as this first section, fasten your seatbelts.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.