“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)
The opening verses of John’s gospel take us back before the book of Genesis. Before God created anything, He existed. The Word that John writes of is Jesus. He has come to speak the truth and to bring the light of God into the sin-darkened world. He is the Messiah who was promised to the Jews, yet He existed always; He created all things; He holds all things together by His power. He is God incarnate, in the flesh. If we want to know what God is like, we must look at Jesus who is the fullness of God’s revelation to man. He is full of mercy, truth and peace. The Law of Moses too was truth but it revealed that we needed God for the Law was an onerous burden which was impossible to keep. The good news is that though we cannot keep the Law Jesus came to do this by becoming the Lamb of God, the sacrifice which would atone for the sins of all mankind.
Jesus is who He says He is, but not all would agree, particularly the rulers of the Jews, the ones who held religious authority in the time Jesus was born. Though they claimed to walk in the light they were dwelling in spiritual darkness. While it was true that they looked for the Messiah, Jesus was not who they expected. They looked for a warrior King who would throw off the yoke of Roman oppression and establish a new and victorious nation, not a baby born in a manger, not a suffering servant who would be executed like a criminal. Those who were oppressed by sin and Satan, these would accept Jesus. They would no longer dwell in darkness, but in the light of God’s truth revealed in the Word. They share that light that all may enter into the peace of God’s Kingdom.