In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
In just these three short verses John is telling us so much information about who Jesus is, His pre-existence and His role in creation. The phrase, “in the beginning” is the exact phrase used in the first verse of Genesis chapter one. Moreover, by using this phrase John is taking us back to the beginning of time and space, the beginning of the material universe. And John is saying before the universe began, Jesus was there. In addition, John tells us that Jesus was with God and Jesus was God. John is saying that Jesus is God and He is also the Author of creation. If we rephrase this we would say, “Jesus the very God who created the universe dwelt with mankind.” And in case we were not clear on what John meant, he reiterates that God became flesh and dwelt among us. And that’s why we call Jesus by the name “Immanuel” which means “God with man.” Therefore, it’s vitally important in our knowledge of Jesus, that we understand He is both fully God and fully man.
Jesus the eternal God of the universe, stepped out of eternity and took on humanity, without loss of either His divinity, nor His humanity. This was necessary for Him to do in order to take upon Himself the judgment for sin, which humanity had placed against itself. In addition, we need to look at the term “Word” as used here in John’s passages. This term carries a significant meaning, because it refers to the bodily presence of God. It’s the word “Logos” and it refers to the physical manifestation of God in His divinity and wisdom. The meaning of these verses is very clear, John is telling us that God, in the person of Jesus came to earth, took on flesh and mankind beheld Him. And when we celebrate Christmas that is what we are celebrating, that God, through the incarnation came to earth. The incarnation means that God took on humanity and added it to His divinity without loss of either. And that is why theologians often refer to Jesus as the “God-man,” because He alone is fully God and fully man. The real question is why? Why did God do that? The answer is because He loves us that much! Jesus did this because mankind is unable to earn their way to Heaven. Jesus did this, that we may have eternal life in His name, through our faith in Him. Jesus truly is Immanuel which translated means “God with mankind.”