John 1:1-18, Psalm 1
John 1 intentionally recalls two events spelled out in the Old Testament, the creation in Genesis 1, and God speaking to Moses in Exodus 33 & 34. By beginning this Gospel with, “In the beginning” we are reminded of the first words of the Bible. John doesn’t focus first, however, on what God does by creating the world like Genesis. Instead the focus on who God is and was. God is the one with the Word, who is the Word, who together with the Word was present at the beginning. As this masterful introduction unpacks the identity of this Word and we see that Jesus of Nazareth is somehow the one that was with God and is God, we are reminded that, though many of us (humans) have seen Jesus, no one has seen God. Moses couldn’t even behold the glory of God full of lovingkindness and peace (John 1:18), but we were able to see the Word of God in the flesh full of grace and truth. Beloved as Moses was, what he saw in the sea being parted, the burning bush, and even having God’s glory pass by him was inferior to what a poor peasant beheld on the streets of Jerusalem when Jesus walked past. John calls the Word’s appearance, “grace in place of grace already given.” (John 1:16) Amen, this gift of God is light to our darkness, love in our hate, and hope in our misery and a better kindness than all of God’s preceding gifts. Jesus comes to bring new creation, a superior Exodus, and to show us God’s glory undiminished. May we marvel at these things.