The Centrality, Supremacy, & Superiority of Jesus Christ
- Verses 1-2
- The “Word” refers to Jesus, the incarnate Christ (v. 14). Saying He was “in the beginning” is to say He is eternal because to be at the beginning is to imply that one was already there preceding the beginning they’ve arrived at. So, we learn from this verse that Jesus is (1) eternal; (2) with the Father; and (3) God.
CENTRALITY of Jesus Christ:
- Verse 3
- Jesus was the central agent through which all things came into being. In other words, the existence of everything is owing to Jesus Christ; He is the central One who has created all. Just as He is the central agent of creation, may He be the central focus of our lives.
- Verses 4-5
- Life is only found “in [H]im”; It is not found in the pleasures or successes of this fleeting life. It is not the case that a person has a good life before accepting Jesus, and then they add him as a part of their life, as if He were some accessory. NO! Jesus IS life! (John 14:6) If a person has life, then they must have Jesus; otherwise, they have nothing. To have Jesus is to have life; to not have Jesus is to not have life - to have death instead.
- Jesus is a shining light in this dark world. He pierces the darkness of many souls and saves them. Only His light and presence bring life to the soul, for He is the only life-giver because He alone is life.
- The latter part of v. 5 can be translated in two ways:
- (1) “but the darkness has not understood it” - The dark souls of humanity cannot comprehend the light of Jesus Christ on their own; they need divine revelation. Fortunately, Jesus is the light source which illuminates the souls of many.
- (2) “and the darkness has not overcome it” - The Devil, his agents, and sinful humanity will never ultimately overcome the power of the Light. Each, apart or together, can strive endlessly to diminish the light of Christ, but they will fail. While it may appear at times that these forces are winning out against the Lord, in the realm of eternity their alleged victories are but a passing moment that would be missed by merely blinking.
- Verses 6-8
- This man, John the Baptist, was not the Messiah (”Anointed One”). He was but a “witness to testify concerning” the true Light, so that humanity might believe in Him. We too, are not messiahs, but are witnesses of Jesus. As we live our daily lives, we are called to testify of this Jesus who has set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Just as John the Baptist gave everything he had in testifying (even his very own life - Luke 9:9), we too must be willing to give up all for the sake of the Gospel. As we live this Christ-centered life all for His glory, we are storing up eternal treasures (Matthew 6:19-21) that are indeed promised to those who are faithful (Mark 10:29-31).
SUPREMACY of Jesus Christ:
- Verse 9
- Once again, Jesus is the only “true light”. It is only this Light that truly illuminates the soul of a person.
- Verses 10-11
- The creation did not recognize its Creator; this is the plight of humanity caused by sin. Even though people are created in the image of God, the presence of sin has marred the nature of unsaved humanity; thus, they do not accurately perceive who their Creator is and what He demands.
- When Jesus came and went about His earthly ministry, many did not understand who He really was (Matthew 16:13-14). Some thought he was just a good teacher, a miracle man, a messenger, or what have you. Truth is He was all of these, but also far more. He was the Messiah, sent from God the Father to be the atoning sacrifice to forgive the sins of those who would believe, so that the Father would be glorified. Let us say as Peter did to Jesus: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). May this confession of ours be used by God to spur us on to have the proper response to the significance of what it means to call Jesus the “Christ” (this is not a light statement, but one that demands the entire life of one who affirms it).
- Verses 12-13
- For those who believe in Jesus, God has given them the “right to become children of God”. All who receive Him become children of God. Notice that this is a gift, not something that is earned. Salvation is not based either in part or in whole on works, but rather solely on the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8). People do not cause themselves to be born again; they are born of God and born because of His will, not merely human decision.
- Verse 14
- The holy and infinite God chose to humble Himself and become a man to dwell among His creation (Philippians 2:5-8). This divine mystery (the incarnation) is profound - how is infinite divinity contained within in finite humanity? Obviously we will never know, but we can know this God-man Jesus personally. He is “full of grace and truth,” sent from the Father, showing His glory, and we have the awesome privilege of seeing Him!
SUPERIORITY of Jesus Christ:
- Verses 15,17
- Jesus is superior to both John the baptizer and what he did and Moses the prophet and what was given through him. The people of God are baptized with more than just mere water (what John did), but also with “the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16). Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law (what God gave through Moses), and the initiator of a new covenant - one sealed in the shed blood of the Son (Matthew 5:17; Luke 22:20).
- Verse 16
- Being in Christ means we are immensely blessed! (James 1:17-18) The gift of eternal life is vastly more than we deserve! What we have received has come from the “fullness of his grace”. May we always be eternally grateful for and satisfied in His finished saving work at the cross!
- Verse 18
- Apart from Christ no one will see God. It is only those who are in Christ who see Him with eyes of faith. The hope of a Christian is unprecedented in this life; it is unlike any worldly experience, for its origin is of God. Pray today that He would give you a renewed hope; that He would be made more known to you; that He would open your eyes to new revelation in His Word each day. God wants to meet you in His Word, so you gotta read it! As you do, don’t forget the centrality of Christ in all of life, the supremacy of Christ over all things, and the superiority of Christ above all powers. Begin a journey through the life & ministry of Christ today and always be amazed at this central, supreme, and superior God you serve!!