The Word – Christ
1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2: The same was in the beginning with God. 3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The Witness – John the Baptist
4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7: The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11: He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15: John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16: And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 19: And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20: And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21: And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22: Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23: He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. 24: And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25: And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 26: John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27: He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28: These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John picks up his pen to write his Gospel. He is increasingly faced with the heresies that deny the deity of Christ so he says in Ch 20 these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. His Gospel is twofold. He wishes to establish who Jesus is and that the readers might come to faith in him. John as an Apostle writes with the Jewish nation very much in mind, yet he writes too for the whole world. John commences his Gospel in Eternity and he simply declares that In the beginning was the Word. Then John says something this is mysterious. He says that the Word was with God and then he says the Word was God. Now how can the Word be with God and also be God? This brings to us the mystery of the Trinity doctrine. God the Word is both co-equal with God and is also himself God. Then John goes on to show that the Word is the source of life and the light of men. Then John digresses to describe the Ministry and place of John the Baptist - He was sent to bear witness of the light. John then describes the unique career of the Word. He the creator was in the world that he had made and yet they did not know him. And when he came to his own they did not receive him apart from those who did accept him – to those he gave them the right to be Sons of God by faith. Then John steps back again and says the Word became flesh and tabernacled with us. Then John switches back to the Baptist who describes Christ as preferred before me. Then describes the great change that the coming of Christ brought to the world. Previously Israel lived under the Mosaic Law but now grace and truth has come by Jesus Christ. When John faced investigation as to who he was he stated clearly that he was not the Messiah. He called himself simply a voice calling in the wilderness. John knew that his calling was foretold by Isaiah. Yet he confessed himself unworthy to be Messiahs most humble slave.