Commentary on the Gospel of John 1: 1-5

John 1 Modern English Version (MEV)

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.



The Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John. He was one of the disciples in Jesus’ inner circle. He is commonly known in the Gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was a fisherman by profession. Apart from the Gospel, John has written three letters and one prophecy book. God’s love (Greek: AGAPE) for mankind or humanity is the central theme of John’s Gospel.


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Commentary: Verse 1 starts with, “In the beginning …”. This is how the first Book of the Bible, Genesis, also starts. When the Bible states, “In the beginning …”, it is talking about the beginning of the physical world; the creation of the universe. Scientists are now convinced with all the information we currently have available that the universe came into existence from a point of explosion which they call the Big Bang Theory. This explosion brought into existence space, time, and matter. Therefore, whoever caused the explosion needs to be beyond space, time, and matter. In other words, the initiator of the Big Bang needs to be timeless, space-less, and matter-less (material-less). He also needs to be an intelligent mind since our planet is so finely tuned and designed. Considering these four essential points, it becomes simple to understand that this is a clear description of the God of the Bible who is beyond time, space, matter and is an intelligent mind (spirit being).

John states in verse 1 that in the beginning was the word. The Greek word translated as “WORD” here is “LOGOS”. Logos is the divine expression. Well, who is this divine expression? The answer is found in Verse 14. Let’s have a look:

14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

According to the above verse, the Logos or Divine Expression is the Son of the Father. In other words, the Son of God, namely Jesus Christ. Now let’s replace the word, “WORD” in verse 1 and 14 with Jesus Christ since that is whom John is talking about.

In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Hopefully, the verses above make more sense to you now. The Logos that is the Divine Expression took on a body. Some theologians translate the Greek word logos as the eternal word of God, which existed co-eternally with the Father before anything ever existed or before any creation took place. Jesus is the logos, and we know that his disciples penned down four gospels, twenty-one letters, and one prophecy book in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, the four Gospels are eyewitness accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of His followers. So, we can justly say that the New Testament is in a way the logos put in print because the eternal word of God was put together in the form of a book which can be read and studied to understand and know God at a very personal level. Now, I am in no way saying that Jesus Christ is the Bible and the Bible is Jesus Christ. But the point I am trying to make is that the Bible is the closest thing to knowing and understanding the logos, which is the Divine Expression that is Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, Jesus said He and His Father are one. When you come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ through reading and studying the Bible, you really are getting to know His Father as well. Praise God, we have His word available so readily nowadays.

According to Verse 1, the word existed with God before anything existed and that the word was itself God. Now some might question, well if we do the math, the scripture seems to suggest that Jesus was with God and Jesus was God. Now we end up with two Gods which is unbiblical. For us to fully understand John 1:1, we need to have knowledge of the doctrine of Trinity. I know that many professing Christians have rejected this doctrine. A close study of the New Testament Books clearly points out that there are three divine personalities mentioned several times in scripture. What’s more astonishing is that they have been mentioned appearing together several times as well. The New Testament writers never stated that these three personalities are the same but made a distinction. It used to be somewhat confusing to the Church Fathers. That is why they came out with the doctrine of Trinity to make sense of the scripture. I do not have the bandwidth to cover this doctrine in this article but will surely write one in the future. The doctrine of Trinity in simple terms states that God is one in essence and three in person. Please take note that this in no way breaks the philosophical law of non-contradiction which states that A cannot be “A” and non-A at the same time and in the same sense or relationship hence God the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit are one in essence (the intrinsic nature) but three in person. The God mentioned in Verse 1 is God, the Father and the Word is Jesus. These are two of the persons in the one Godhead.


2 He was in the beginning with God.

Commentary: It’s clear from our study of Verse 1 that the ‘He” mentioned here is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus had always existed co-eternally with God, the Father. Since God is beyond space, time, and matter, it is difficult for mankind to understand how something can exist outside of space, time, and matter. We can rightfully conclude, it is impossible for us to comprehend this. It is like a two-dimensional creature trying to understand a three-dimensional world. Now for the two-dimensional creature, squares, circles, and triangles are the norm. However, consider now that the two-dimensional creature suddenly jumps into a three-dimensional world where he encounters cubes, spheres, and pyramids. These would not only seem strange and confusing but the creature is witnessing an impossibility which is beyond his realm of science and logic. This is what we call a Miracle. Keep in mind that what is considered a miracle for a two-dimensional creature is the norm for the three-dimensional creature.


3 All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created.

Commentary: Since we know that the “Him” in this verse is Jesus, let’s replace it with Jesus and reread the verse:

All things were created through JESUS, and without JESUS nothing was created that was created.

Since Jesus is the word (Greek: Logos), let’s try replacing Jesus now with “WORD”:

All things were created through the WORD, and without the WORD nothing was created that was created.

I want you to notice that everything was made through the WORD (Greek: Logos). This account is very similar to what the first book of the Bible, “The Book of Genesis” states regarding God speaking out words to bring forth creation from nothing; YES, God created everything from nothing. How? By speaking forth words; YES WORDS! Look closely at the following verses from Genesis Chapter 1:

3 God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”

9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.

11 Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees on the earth yielding fruit after their kind with seed in them.” And it was so.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs to indicate seasons, and days, and years.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures and let the birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”

The point I am trying to make here is very clear from the above verses. God spoke the universe into existence. Here we see the unity of God, the Father, and the Son working through the person of the Holy Spirit to cause the manifestation of the universe. God, the Father is the Creator and God, the Son is the Creative Force while the Holy Spirit is the Creative Power flowing between the Father and Son. The Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11 further clarifies the account of creation.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was framed by the word of God, so that things that are seen were not made out of things which are visible.


4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.

Commentary: The ‘HIM” mentioned here is a reference to Jesus. In other words, “In Jesus was life”. But what kind of life was in Jesus. In English language, we have only one word for life but in the Greek language, there are two words. The first one is BIOS which is the physical life force which starts at birth but ends at death. This is temporary. The second word for life in the Greek language is ZOE which is defined as the God kind of life. This life starts as soon as a person receives Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. This life is permanent or eternal. It starts and goes into infinity. In the Book of 2 Corinthians 5:17, we learn that if any person is in Christ, he or she is a new creature or creation, not physically but spiritually. Your spirit person, the real you, living inside the physical body is born again into God’s family. How? God imparted His life which is ZOE into you which regenerated your Human Spirit and restored your relationship to God, the Father. Now the verse continues saying that the life that was in Jesus was the light of mankind. Since Jesus is the life (ZOE), we can simply read this verse as, “Jesus was the light of mankind”. Have you ever thought why the Bible continually calls Jesus the light? What does light do? It illuminates our surroundings so we can see clearly. When Jesus comes into our hearts, He illuminates us spiritually so we can see spiritual things clearly. He removes the spiritual cataracts that have blinded our spiritual sight. Remember, we used to be children of darkness but now we are children of light. As we continue to spend more time with God and His Word, He will increase His light and direct our path; one step at a step. Here’s a verse that clearly defines this principle:

Psalm 119:105 (MEV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I wonder if you noticed so far that a lot of words used in relation to Jesus are titles given to Him such as word, life, light etc. We can say that these are synonyms for Jesus.


5 The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.

Commentary: The Apostle John uses light and darkness to distinguish between God’s kingdom and the devil’s kingdom. As a matter of fact, this is the clearest distinction between God’s children and the devil’s children. God’s children are described as the children of light while the devil’s children are described as the children of darkness. I wonder if you have ever noticed or thought about a major property of light is that it illuminates and enlightens. It doesn’t matter how dark a room is but if you light just one candle in there, it will illuminate and enlighten the entire room making that which was previously invisible now visible. With visibility comes the ability to see and move around considering what is where. Jesus is the light of the world. When we receive Him in our hearts, His light shines in us and through us. This is the clearest evidence of the life of God that is ZOE operating in the life of every Christian. This is what separates us from the life of the world and sanctifies us for the work of God through the regeneration caused by the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We Christians are called to illuminate that light in us as a guide to this dark world. Let me ask you a simple question: Are you a light to the non-believers? Let us do a spiritual check and make sure we are indeed the light in this world; a world that is slowly perishing away in the darkness of its sinful works. Always remember, darkness can never overcome light. As a matter of fact, darkness is not even a thing. It is the absence of light. Light is something which exists as opposed to darkness which is a condition of light being totally absent. I want to conclude my commentary on these first five verses of John chapter 1 with this powerful statement Jesus made in the Gospel of John Chapter 8 (MEV):

12 Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Let us all make a decision to follow Jesus going forward.