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In Him was life

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:1-4

Christmas is around the corner. Christmas is about Christ doing what was unexpected; “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). These opening words of John’s Gospel have the ring of the opening of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John, however, starts with a scene before the beginning of the earth. He uses the past tense, continued action, “was,” to depict the existence of the Word. Even in the beginning, the Word was eternally preexistent, was distinguishable from God but had a relationship with God, and, in fact, the Word was God. How all this can be true at the same time is beyond the comprehension of man. Among the first of God’s creative acts was to bring forth light. This was spoken into existence: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). From our text, John said that because of the presence of the Word, life comes “and that life was the light of all mankind.” But what is life? One can examine objects that have life, but no one has isolated life itself and put it under the microscope. There are different kinds of life. The vegetable has life, but the beast of the field has a different kind of life. Plato once said, “A pig eats, sleeps, and breathes, and still remains a pig.” His point was that if all a man does is eat, sleep, and breathe, then he is living the life of a pig and not of a man. Life to an intelligent being should be more than the life of a beast. The coming of our Lord Jesus as proclaimed by John concerns life, but the life he presents is still more than existence at the highest reaches of the mind of man. He points to the true life as a child of God. The kind of life offered by Jesus is the gift of God, eternal life (John 3:16). He came that men might have more abundant life (John 10:10). This new life is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3). This is what the message of the Gospel of John and of Christmas. He introduces the Word, not simply as the one who brings life, but the one in whom life itself resides. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Do you have the life that comes from knowing Christ, the Word who became flesh?


Noel De Guzman

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