1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1 (ESV)
The Holy Bible. There is no collection of writings like it. No other volume you can pick up and hold in your human hands is alive and active.
And I do mean alive. These are not merely the words of men who follow God:
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
All of Scripture is God’s words, His Word, His revelation of Himself to humanity.
To His children.
For me, no book of the Bible shows the hand of God at work in words like the gospel of John. Here we have a gospel that is unique among the four books of its genre. And yet, despite its differences with Matthew, Mark and Luke, John’s gospel flows in absolute harmony with the “synoptic” gospels.
Not only that, but consider this: the gospel of John was written to two divergent audiences, the Jews and the Greeks. John uses metaphors that would ring loud in a Jew’s ears, while throwing in language that the Greeks would understand and appreciate.
Look at John 1:1. The sentence echoes the very first words of Genesis, of the Penteteuch: “In the beginning…” Only, instead of saying “In the beginning God…” we have “In the beginning, the Word…” As we read on through the rest of John 1, we see that God is the Word, and Jesus is God Incarnate, the second person of the Trinity and, thus, Deity. He was there and active in the creation of the world. (No wonder God is referred to in the plural in the Genesis creation account.)
But John is not simply reaching out to Jewish believers. He is sharing this message in terms the philosophical Greek Gentiles would understand. The word “Word” is translated from the Greek word logos. Aristotle taught that the logos was a force of reason. It is what separated man from animals, giving us the ability to reason, to ponder, to think abstractly.
What John is showing us is that the logos is indeed very real. However, it isn’t some force that enables humans to be humans. The Logos is Jesus Christ, Son of God and son of man, Who has always been, Who was present and active in creation (including creating man separate and unique from the animals). It is the Logos Who descended to earth, lived among us, gave His life for our sins, and rose again.
And all of this from the words of a simple, elderly fisherman with no formal rhetorical education? No, this has to be the inspired word of God. This is God meeting His people where they are, revealing Himself in terms we can understand through our own frame of reference.
This simply scratches the surface of the wonders of Scripture, the very living and active Word of God.
And some folks think studying the Bible is boring…