In the Beginning

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

Excuse me if we get a little too deep in scripture for a moment. This is good.

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

How many people have ever read this and just kind of stood puzzled at what it’s trying to say? I had this experience just last week waiting to catch my flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles. 

First, who or what is “the Word”? And why does this sound so strikingly familiar to the opening words of the Bible? Genesis 1:1-2 introduces 2 characters into the Bible. First is God himself: 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Then, the Spirit of God: 

“The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 

But now, John wants to talk about a third character? Is this character different than the other two? Well, there are a few things we can learn about “the Word” from the Bible. 

Psalm 33:6 talks about the voice or “the Word” of the Lord as the agent of His creation. Other translations use “Yahweh” in place of “Lord”. It’s how the heavens were created, and it’s how the entire universe was created. This same “Yahweh” is used in Isaiah 2:3 when it associates Him with being a teacher, and his word coming from Jerusalem. About whom do we know this to be true? Jesus! (This is also made clear in John 1:17) 

It gets better. John is interpreting Genesis through the framework of Proverbs 8:22-31. Here, the Wisdom of God is described as a person or entity that assists God with creation of the world.  Below I will quote only verse 22:

“The Lord formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began.”

The use of the Hebrew word “qanah” here does not convey conception (i.e., bringing into existence). Rather, it means, “brought forth”.  

With agreement from Paul in Colossians 1:16:

“For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.”

I had to just stop and process this all for a moment. Basically what I realized sitting in that airport were the following things:

Three beings were present from the beginning of time, not two.

Each being is associated with a form of God.

Everything was centered on this one being, Jesus, who was agent and reason for all of creation. 

Jesus is Wisdom itself, who came in the form of a human to earth to die for me so that I could have life.

Now, if being Wisdom means to absolutely know everything and have the best judgment of all, then I cannot deny Jesus, and I cannot deny what He has done for me. If he says “it is finished”, well, then I must trust him. 

And if trusting God himself means that I gain some of this understanding from Jesus by allowing him to transform my heart, well, then I want trust God.

About the Author: Jaret is originally from Sugar Land, TX, but moved to Ann Arbor with his wife after graduating from Texas A&M to be an engineer for Toyota. They now live in Ypsilanti and have a puppy for a child. Jaret loves community and making friends, and can’t get enough of these Michigan summers!