When the four gospel writers set out to write an account of Jesus’ life, they had to decide where to start. Luke began with a detailed narrative of Jesus’ birth story. Mark skipped all that and jumped right in with Jesus as a 30 year old man. Matthew went way back — 42 generations, in fact — to Father Abraham. Each of them had their reasons, based on the audience they were trying to reach.
He did something very different.
“In the beginning….”
John’s started his gospel by plagiarizing Moses’s opening line in Genesis 1.
Jesus was here in the beginning.
Jesus was here before the beginning.
Jesus was here before the beginning began.
To accurately tell the story of Jesus’ life, John decided to reach back farther than John the Baptist and the Jordan River and the dove.
John comprehended that he needed to push past the immaculate conception and Bethlehem and the manger and the shepherds and the angels.
John understood that he had to venture beyond Jesus’ great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Abraham.
John was compelled to somehow communicate that Jesus is beginning-less, that He existed before time and space and the created order as we know it. So, John started at the very beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God
in the beginning.”
Each gospel provides a unique picture of Jesus.
Matthew shows us that Jesus came from the line of Abraham and is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
Mark shows us that Jesus came from Nazareth, portraying Jesus as a Servant.
Luke shows us that Jesus came from Adam, presenting Jesus as the Perfect Man.
He goes where no gospel writer had gone.
John shows us that Jesus
came straight from heaven,
declaring Jesus is God.
That’s a very good start to 2020.
*My 2020 Bible reading plan will take us on a slow stroll through the first ten chapters of the gospel of John over the next three months. Come along! Treasures await!
This week’s reading: John 1:1-18 (deeper study on John 1:1-5)
Next week’s reading: John 1:19-34 (deeper study on John 1:6-13)
Something to think about: How does Jesus’ eternal nature (no beginning, no end) impact you?