John 1:1b

We’re going through the New Testament looking for a deeper understanding of the Trinity. Right now, we’re in one of my favorite parts, the prologue of John. It has been said that the words to this prologue deserved to be written in gold and we are mining them now for any nuggets. Tonight, we continue by looking at the second part of John 1:1.

and the Word was with God

Last night, we discussed how the whole of the prologue of John is meant to tell us about the Word. This alone is fascinating as John 1:1a indicates a creation story is starting and yet the subject of that creation story is not God but is rather the Word. We brought out how the Jew would have understood this as the memra of God. let us continue down that path and see what the next section can tell us about the Word.

In this one, we find that the Word was with God. Note the use of that word “was” again. John is still sticking with the temporal distinction that we saw in John 1:1a. John 1:1a tells us the relationship of the Word to time and ultimately to the creation. John 1:1b tells us the relationship of the Word to God.

The use of  “was” should clue us in to the fact that the relationship of the Word to time and thus to the creation has been going on as long as his relationship to God has been going on. (To be fair, we could say its relationship to God as a personal pronoun has not been used of the Word yet.)

Note that John also speaks of the Word. He has something specific in mind. This is not a word from God. It is the Word. If God has spoken other words before, then it could be that John is wanting us to realize that this is the Word par excellence. If there is any Word that should be heeded, it is this one. 

The Word is also with God. The word for with used indicates a face to face relationship which is showing a personal nature to the Word. The Jewish mind at this point could very well be thinking about Wisdom and indeed, I would hope we are all thinking about Wisdom in Proverbs 8. It is that passage beginning in verse 22 that we see Wisdom being, as it were, an eternal companion to God in the act of creating. 

I believe John is pointing to that at this point and letting the readers know that the Memra of the Lord and the Wisdom of the Lord are one and the same. They are both seen in this one who is referred to as the Word. 

The Word is incredibly intimate with God in being with him. Before anything else has happened on the scene, the Word was with God. As we continue tomorrow, we will reach one of the most debated points in the gospel of John and see what it tells us about the Word.

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