Pr Darren Burnett has served as pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church Morayfield for two years. Before that Darren worked as a journalist for two decades. Darren is married to Leona and is the father of three children. Darren lives at Woombye with his wife and youngest child. Grace Presbyterian Church Morayfield is part of the Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) of Australia. WPC churches are committed to the Reformed faith, as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
1. Who is this Man? He is with God … and is God (1:1‐2)
2. Who is this Man? He is the One who made all things (1:3)
3. Who is this Man? He is the source of life and light (1:4‐5)
The first 18 verses of John’s Gospel are commonly known as the prologue. No portion of the New Testament captured the imagination and the attention of the Christian intellectual community for the first three centuries more than this brief section of John’sGospel.
We have to ask: Why does John begin his Gospel with this prologue?Why doesn’t he simply start as Matthew and Luke do, by telling usabout the circumstances of the conception of Jesus and His birth to a peasant girl? In a strikingly different approach, John begins his Gospel with Jesus already as an adult. The only material that precedes the launch of Jesus’ ministry is this prologue of 18 verses.
I believe the inclusion of the prologue has to do with John’s overriding goal, throughout his Gospel, of making a case for the identity of Christ. John says later that he wrote what he did “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:31). Simply put, John is not interested in being a detached observer and chronicler of the life of Jesus.
He is trying to persuade his readers of the truth of Christ so that they might become His disciples. Therefore, before he enters into an overview of Jesus’ life and ministry, he composes a quick look at Jesus’ ultimate credentials. John begins by declaring that the Word was “in the beginning, was with God, and was God” (v.1). Here John echoes the opening words of the Old Testament: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
On the one hand, the Word (Jesus) is distinguished from God, but from a different perspective, the Word is identified with God. This sentence, more than any other passage in Scripture, is foundational for the church’s confession of the doctrine of the Trinity, the belief that God is one in three persons.
John goes on to write that “all things were made through Him” (v. 3). Jesus is now identified as the incarnation of that member of the Trinity for whom, by whom, and in whom all things were made. In this extraordinary statement, John says: “The One I’m going to tell you about, the One in whom there is life, the One in whom I want you to believe, is the One who created you in the first place. Nothing was made apart from Him.” As we make our way through John’s Gospel, we will see two words appear again and again. Those words are life and light, and we encounter them here in the prologue. John says “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (v. 4).
Recently, when I read this verse, which I have read countless times before, I was prompted to think back over my lifetime and rehearse the meaningful moments of my personal experience, and clearly the most defining moment in my life was my conversion to Christ.
Sometimes people speak mockingly of those who are converted, saying they have “seen the light,” but they’re closer to the truth than they realize. For me, conversion was the point when “the lights went on”; I understood things I had not grasped before. I saw that there was life in Christ, that He gives eternal life. Conversely, of course, outside of Christ there may be biological life, but there is noultimate life — there is only spiritual death.
– R.C. Sproul in St Andrew’s Expositional Commentary – John