Sermon: And the Word Became Flesh (John 1:1–18)
The prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1–18) accomplishes two critical goals that shape the way that we will read the rest of this book. First, this introductory section frames how we ought to understand what John is trying to teach us about Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Word made flesh. Ultimately, John writes his Gospel so that we will believe (John 20:31), and John’s initial method of accomplishing that goal is to state his conclusions in the very beginning of his book. Through the rest of the book, he will then prove those conclusions through Jesus’ words and deeds.
Second, John does not give a flat, single-dimensional statement about Jesus Christ, but the Evangelist introduces us here to the multiple themes that he will develop over the rest of the book. It is as though John holds up the precious diamond of Jesus Christ for all to see, and then he turns it quickly about, allowing every facet to sparkle briefly here at the beginning before returning later to examine each of those facets in more detail over the rest of his Gospel.
In this prologue, John develops three main themes, with a multitude of other facets that support and clarify these three main themes. First, John identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Second, John identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the Redeemer of the world. Third, John identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the Mediator between God the Father and God’s people.