The first chapter in the Gospel of John can often be split up into three sections. Verses 1-18 can be referred as the “origins of the word”. Verses 19-34 can be referred as “the commission or testimony of John the Baptist”. Lastly, verses 35-51 are “the calling of the disciples”. With the first few words of the first few verses of the first chapter of the Gospel of John; it can be often used to show that Jesus Christ has always existed (John 1:1-5).”The Word was with God and the Word was God” (v.1) tells us that there is a interpersonal relationship between God the Father and Christ the Son. This is also a strong building block for the doctrine of the trinity. It’s important to note too that in these verses the words “life, light and darkness” “continue to draw out Genesis motives” as it paints “Jesus as the light that shoes the very presence of God” (ESV, pg 2019). These words can speak to the human soul as we can greatly understand what it means to “live in the light” verses “live in the darkness” in the Christian journey once we have the context that the Lord Jesus Christ is the light and the darkness represents wickedness and sin. It’s interesting that in everyday conversation, we may use the language of “we live in a dark world” or even telling a loved one “you are the light in my world”. Jesus is the true light of the world that showed moral purity, true knowledge and the very essence of God.
John the Baptist and Jesus were first cousins. We often forget that but it definitely gives us interesting context to John the Baptist making the path for Jesus to come. When asked by the Jewish priests and Levites, John the Baptist knew of course that he wasn’t Christ as he knew who was. They also asked if he was Elijah as Elijah never died and was expected to return again. John the Baptist of course knew he wasn’t Elijah either. John the Baptist was no prophet either but instead a “voice of the one crying in the wilderness” (v.23) which was one of the prophet Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 40 which meant preaching a word of “repentance and divine judgement” (ESV, 2021). My spirit is always touched when I read the words “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”. Finally it is the Messiah who the Jewish people have been waiting for! Hallelujah!
To be classified as a movement you need to have followers. When looking at the early church in the first century, it was eye witnesses to Christ and his resurrection that were pillars and all (but John and technically Judas) died for the cause. Andrew was the first disciple called in John 1 and the second was not directly named bit we can imagine it was “most likely John the son of Zebedee” (ESV, 2022). Imagine the excitement of sharing the news that “we have found the Messiah” (v.41). Later on to close the chapter, Jesus calls Phillip and Nathanael to be his disciples. Again of joy is seen with the words of Nathanael that state “Rabi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (v.49).
This first chapter of John is a thrilling and exciting narrative that recognizes the deity of Christ and the excitement behind what it meant to be apart of his early ministry and calling.