Luke closed out his gospel by giving an account of Jesus

returning to take His place in heaven.  John begin his gospel by

giving account of Jesus being in heaven before He even came to

earth --- or even before  the creation of the world.  The Holy

Spirit of God, who inspired John to write the book,  is placing

great emphasis on the fact that Jesus Christ is Deity God in

human flesh.

    You will note in your Bibles that the title of this book is

written at the very top.  The title reads, "The Gospel According

To St. John."  This title identifies the human author of the book

as John, one of the apostles of Jesus.  This title is not a part

of the inspired book, is given by men to distinguish this book

from other books in the Bible.  It also serves to identify the

writer of the book.  Several very early Christian writers have in

their own writings identified John as the author of this book.

John was the human author.  The Holy Spirit of God, inspired John

to write.


I.  John, his family and some of his friends


    I would like to introduce you briefly to John, to his family

and to a few of his friends.  The Apostle John is commonly

referred to in Scripture as being a son of Zebedee.  In fact, he

and his brother James together were referred to as "the sons of

Zebedee." This helped to distinguish them from several other men

with the same names.  Their mother was "Salome" and is believed

to be a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  If that is so, then

John was a first cousin to Jesus and was also kin to John the


    John grew up in Jerusalem.  He and his family were neighbors

to Caiaphas, the high priest.  It was his acquaintance with the

servants of Caiaphas that enabled him to get both himself and the

Apostle Peter into the palace grounds to witness the trial of

Jesus.  However, by the time of the ministry of Jesus, Zebedee

had moved from Jerusalem to Capernaum.  He and his two sons,

James and John, were operating a fishing boat on the Sea of


    Both James and John were saved and baptized under the

preaching of John the Baptist along with their close fishing

companions, Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother.

    Peter and Andrew, James and John were all called upon by

Jesus as they were washing and mending their fishing nets on the

shores of Galilee at Capernaum.  Jesus called upon them to leave

their nets and follow Him and preach the gospel to men.  They

were the very first men who were called upon to be followers of

Jesus.  Later all four of them were ordained as Apostles of


    Salome, the mother of John, was also saved and became a very

devout follower of Jesus.  She, too, was probably baptized by

John the Baptist, but the Scripture does not specifically say so.

Zebedee, himself, was probably a follower of Jesus, but neither

does the Scripture does not make mention of this.

    John, along with Peter and James, were the very closest

companions of Jesus.  They were with Him on the Mount of

Transfiguration and they were with Him in Gethsemene before He

was arrested.  John and Simon Peter were the two disciples who

were sent to prepare the Passover Supper that last night before

the crucifixion.

    John was the very youngest of the Apostles and yet eventually

he lived longer than any of the others.  It is believed that John

was the only apostle who lived to die a natural death.  All of

the others were put to death by the enemies of Christ.

    The Gospel which John has written is said to be the greatest

literature ever written by human hand.  It has been called a

diamond which reflects the glory of the Godhead in the midst of

flesh and blood and a crown of thorns.  It has been said that

John did not place great stress on revealing the facts about

Jesus, but rather he sought to reveal the heart of Jesus.

    John, himself, expressed the purpose which God had laid on

his heart in writing this book.  In John 20:31 John said, "But

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


    I want to issue a challenge to you as we study this book

together.  I want to challenge you to ask God to use this study

to lift you to a higher spiritual plane and to give you a genuine

spiritual revival.  I am going to make that prayer concerning

myself and I ask you pray that God would use me to reach the lost

that they might come to Christ for salvation.


II.  The pre-existence of Jesus Christ


    But now let us get down to the book itself.  V. 1, "In the

beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word

was God."  This statement very obviously refers back to the

beginning of the existence of the world itself.  John speaks of

Jesus existing back in the very beginning of the world's

existence.  Yet here he does not call Him by the name, "Jesus."

Neither does he call Him "the Christ."  Yet it is impossible to

read the book without reaching the positive conclusion that he is

talking about Jesus Christ.

    John here calls Jesus "the Word."  This name is chosen for a

reason.  It carries a symbolic meaning.  Words are used for the

purpose of communication between people.  They express thoughts.

They express one's desire or will.  They give commands.  Jesus is

here called "the Word" because God the Father used Jesus to

communicate with His creation.  When God the Father got ready for

the material universe to exist, it was the Word who spoke and the

worlds came into existence.  When God the Father got ready for

light to shine, it was the Word who spoke, saying, "Let there be

light" and there was light.  When God the Father got ready to

reveal the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai, it was the Word who spoke

to Moses.  When God the Father got ready to reveal Himself to the

world in human flesh, it was the Word who stepped down from

heaven and was born in human flesh.  When He spoke every word was

in complete obedience to the Father.

    John said that the Word was in the beginning with God.  He

also said that the Word was God.  This does not mean that there

were two Gods.  Rather it means that there were two persons in

the Godhead.  In fact, the number was not limited to two.  There

were actually three in the Godhead, but the third party in the

Godhead is not mentioned by John at this time.  The point is that

God the Father and God the Word are two separate Persons and God

the Word was with God the Father in the beginning.

    The Word was with God and the Word was God.  That is, the

Word was equally as much God and God the Father.  The Word is

Almighty as God the Father is Almighty.  The Word is All Knowing

just as God the Father is All Knowing.  The Word is Deity God in

every respect just as God the Father is Deity God.

    V. 2, "The same was in the beginning with God."  John has

already said.  Hasn't he?  He repeats it for emphasis.  Jesus,

the Word, was in the beginning with God.  He did not come into

being when He was born in human flesh.  He was in the beginning

with God and He was God.  He was separate from God the Father,

but He was with God the Father in the beginning.  Although John

does not mention it here,  He was also with God the Holy Spirit

in the beginning.


III.  The work of Christ in creation


    Jesus was not only with God in the beginning, but He was

active in creating the world.  V. 3, "All things were made by

him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John

states positively that it was God, the Word, who actually did the

creative act in the beginning which brought the world into

existence.  It was Jesus Christ, the Second Person in the

Trinity, who created everything.  He created the earth.  He

created the universe.  He created all the heavenly bodies.  He

created all vegetation.  He created all the fishes and the birds.

 He created all the animals.  Jesus is the One who created man.

    The doctrine of creation by the power of God is strongly

opposed in the world today.  Satan wages war on this doctrine.

He wages war on this doctrine because he wants to undermine

people's confidence in the Bible.  Satan does not want people to

believe in the Bible because he does not want them to believe in

God.  He especially does not want men to believe in Jesus Christ

the Son of God and get saved.

    However, John declares in no uncertain terms that God is real

and that the Word is the Creator of all things.


IV.  The eternal life of Christ


    V. 4, "In him was life..."  You will note that John did not

say that life came into Him.  Rather, John said that life was in

Him.  That is, He was already alive before the creation of the

world.  If HE had not already been alive before the creation of

the world, He could not have created it.

    In Him was life.  Life was in Him long long long time before

the world was ever created.  Actually, in Him was eternal life.

The Psalmist said that He is from everlasting to everlasting.

Just as God the Father is eternal, even so God the Word is

eternal.  There never has been a time when He did not exist.

During His personal ministry on earth, Jesus said, "Before

Abraham was, I am."  Now John tells us that before the world was

formed He existed.  He has always existed.  He has always had

life in Himself


V.  The Christ, the Light of men


    (V. 4), "...and the life was the light of men."  Light is

used here to express illumination concerning the truth of God.

The Word is God's means of communicating to men the truth of God.

He is God's way of communicating to men the way of salvation and

that God desires for men to turn to the light and be saved.  The

Word is the Mediator between God and man to show men the way to

heaven.  He would say to men, "I am the way, the truth and the

Life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by me."

    V. 5, "And the light shineth in darkness..."  Even before He

was born into the world in human flesh, the Word was the Light of

the world.  Through the patriarchal priesthood the Word did shine

for to men.  Through the Old Testament law, the Word did shine

forth His light to the world.  Through the Old Testament prophets

the Word did He informed men that they were sinners and by the

types and shadows He promised cleansing from sin through His own

blood.  He revealed to men, that they could not get to heaven

through keeping the law, because no man could keep it.  No man

did keep it.  He revealed that salvation would be by the grace of

God.  God would forgive the guilty sinner through the cleansing

power of the blood.

    Even before He was born in human flesh, through writings of

the Old Testament Scriptures, He revealed to the world the way of

salvation.  He promised that He would be born in Bethlehem of

Judea.  He promised that He would suffer and die for lost

sinners.  He promised that through His stripes lost sinners could

be healed.  That is, through His stripes sinners would be saved.

He promised that He would die on the cross.  He promised that He

would arise from the grave.  He promised salvation to all who

would place their faith in Him.


VI.  The world's unfavorable reception of the Light


    (V. 5), "...and the darkness comprehended it not."  But the

world was in darkness.  The world as a whole did not receive the

truth of God in Old Testament times.  Neither would the world as

a whole receive the truths of God in New Testament times.

Never-the-less, the Word of God is still the light of men.

    John will now proceed in the remaining part of his book to

declare that Jesus of Nazareth is the Word that He has written

about in this first part of the book.  The Bible is the written

word of God, but Jesus is the Living Word of God.  The Bible is

the message of God's truth written in the pages of a Book.  But

Jesus is the truth of God revealed in His Son.  He is the Living

Word of God who spoke the worlds into existence.  He is the

Living Word of God who is the Savior of the world.  Jesus is

man's only hope of staying out of hell --- man's only hope of

going to heaven.

    John wrote that men might believe in Jesus.  John preached

that men might believe in Jesus.



    Does the Light of God shine in your heart?  Have you every

been saved?  Would you like to be saved now?  If so, would you

come this morning and place your faith in Jesus?