The Word is Life

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 was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 1:1-4 (ESV)

There is so many extraordinary thoughts and revelations in this sentence.

In the beginning was Logos – the idea, the thought, the expression of God. But more, Logos was God and more was with (gk: pros) or toward/alongside God. Before Logos was nothing.

HE (gk: οὗτος houtos nominative singular masculine) exists in the beginning with God.

He is the Creator – there is nothing that exists that does not owe it’s existence to Him.

He is the embodiment of LIFE. The life force or life principle derives from Him, there is no external life force or agency that enlivens Him. He is the one who enlivens every living thing. The life force is a person /personality.

Without this self-revelation of himself we would never know these facts about our universe, ourselves and about Him, the Creator. There is no way from inside the universe that we could learn of anything outside this closed system. In fact we know very little about the entire system, it is so vast and complex. We know very little about ourselves, our own world and the systems that make up our environment and consciousness. To be presented with the facts of who created and the agency of creation is mind blowing and confronting when thought about deeply for any length of time.

But the next sentence is the one that is probably the most difficult to understand.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

John 1:4 (ESV)

How is the life that Logos, the Creator embody, how is that the light of men? What exactly does that mean? Is it physical light? Spiritual light, almost certainly, emotional, moral, consciousness? All of the above?


So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

Jordan B. Peterson makes the point that we think in words. That we use words to organise our thoughts and to make sense of our world. (cit. The Importance of Being Ethical, with Jordan Peterson, Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, Hoover Institute, YouTube Apr 30, 2022 https://youtu.be/DcA5TotAkhs?t=1745 )

Is it in this sense, that at bottom, we are words or expressions of divine thought that are made flesh, that we are made in the image of God? Is it the ability to express ourselves and thus relate to “others” that enables us to be an expression of the light and life of God?

The statement “the life was the light of men” indicates that for darkness to be dispelled, for knowledge and awareness and understanding to flourish, we must partake of this life, we must know this life and we must inhabit or be inhabited by this life.

Values

I couldn’t see any other solution to the problem of perception other than the imposition of the structure of value

Jordan Peterson at Franciscan University of Steubenville


And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. “

Genesis 1:3-4 (ESV)

It is God himself who sets the values that we live by. Even in such a fundamentally basic thing as light. Why is light good and not the darkness? If God had proclaimed darkness as good how would it have affected our perceptions of the world? God declares that matter and life are good and that the entire creation, with humanity, made in His image at it’s head, is very good.


And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31 (ESV)

All our morality and value judgements have at bottom the fact that God has set them and He has given them value. We do nothing more than either agree or disagree (at our peril) with his value judgements. The entire Bible is the narrative that explains our existence, and His interactions with us, in the context of His values judgements.


Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:17 (ESV)

When we look for truth we find that it is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 (ESV)

Our values must be based upon the person and work of Jesus Christ, He is the one through whom all things were made and who upholds all things. He is the one who gives value to all things.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)