Day 4: I love a good steak
I love a good steak. The key is to eat it slowly. To really taste it.
Today, taste John 1:1 to 1:18. Read it slowly…read it several times…savor it.
Eat too fast, and you do not taste the food. You don’t enjoy it. You get indigestion. You spend the night belching. Not good. How do I know all this? I eat too fast.
Slow down, though, and you will notice all sorts of flavors. And John 1:1-18 is full of flavor. In just a moment I am going to list some of the things I think are stunning. Don’t let me rob you of the flavor, though.
First, savor this text for yourself for a moment… maybe get a piece of paper and jot some thoughts before you read the flavors I tasted.
After you’ve savored, continue on to what I enjoyed below.
1:1-3…there is this back and forth. The Word was with God, but is God, but was again with God… and then this Word makes the universe – everything. You can hear John hitting all the buttons of creation. And if you compare this to Genesis 1? Well, don’t even get me started! I mean, these words resonate with Jew and Greek alike.
One last little morsel. In verse 1 it is abstract. By verse 2 Logos is called “He.” Wow!
1:4-5…as if the first three verses were not enough, now my mind is drawn into these ideas of life, and light, and darkness. And then there is this quick point about how light overcomes darkness: Jesus is not dead and failed, he is alive!
This isn’t some battle between two opposite but equal opponents: good/evil, light/darkness. No, all that darkness, He has overcome it. Pause and ponder all that this means!
1:6-8…Shout Out to JB…at least that is what his close friends call him (John the Baptist).
Seriously, it seems a little weird that John slams on the philosophical brakes and highlights John the Baptist. Do you wonder why?
There are lots of reasons, but in an instant John has moved us from abstract philosophy to a flesh and blood person, Jesus, without ever saying His name. He draws in Jews who know the Old Testament prophecies while simultaneously engaging Greeks who love the idea of Light.
In an instant, he declares this Light is real. This Light is a person.
1:9-13…and then we are back to Jesus. For me these are some of the most stunning verses of Scripture. There is a recap of the story, about the world, and how it came into being through him. We are at a cosmic level, and then with the turn of a phrase, we read, “But to all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Wow!
1:14…but here is the verse… “And the Word (the Logos) became flesh and dwelt (tented/tabernacled) among us.” God Incarnate.
Now just think about this for a moment. I am going to lean into just a bit of philosophy. Stay with me. For something to come into being, the cause is outside, is beyond, is greater than that which it brings into existence. And this force, this Logos, this Theos…humbles Himself and puts on flesh and enters our – no strike that – His, world…
1:15-18…for from His fullness we have received grace upon grace...
For me, this is one of those portions of Scripture with so many delicious flavors.
If you have never believed in Jesus, the question is: “If this is true, what does it mean for the world – what does it mean for me?”