One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is what is known as “The Prologue” in John’s Gospel; John 1:1-18. He begins in John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The obvious parallel is with Genesis 1. John was intentionally pointing back to the original creation account as he announced the inauguration of re-creation through the same agent that God used to create everything “In the beginning;” namely–His Word.
As you look at the parallels between John 1 and Genesis 1, there is probably enough there to keep you busy for a lifetime. They both begin “In the beginning,” the Genesis account launching the famous narrative of the initial creation account, the John passage launching the prologue of the Gospel which gives the re-creation account.
What amazes me is the parallel between the Genesis account and John 1:4.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
Eight times in Genesis 1 we see the phrase “And God said…” This is God creating through His Word. Notice that the first thing God creates through His Word is “light.”
Genesis 1:3: “And God said “Let there be light” and there was light.”
And notice that the last thing God creates through His Word is humanity.
Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image…”
He starts His creative activity by bringing light out of darkness/void (Genesis 1:2), and He closes His creative activity by creating man in His image.
This final creation was brought into existence knowing only light. Through a disobedient act of his free will (before the fall), this creation would usher in darkness and death to an existence that only knew light and life (Genesis 3). This initial act of disobedience, the first sin, would mar God’s image within humanity and explode like dynamite in our relationship with our Creator, forming a chasm of separation of impossible proportion between God and man.
This sin was a response to temptation, a carrot dangled before us by the Devil himself. Take a look at the crafty words of Satan, so skillfully and deceptively woven as a mixture of lies with kernels of truth:
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
We would become like God in a way. We would move from a reality that knew only light and life to an existence that included knowledge of light and darkness. The problem, the real heart of the lie, is that we wouldn’t just know darkness exists; we would be trapped in it. Our souls would become engulfed in the solitary confinement of a dark cell of sin, knowing full and deep darkness, all the while being tortured by the faint echo of the possibility that light exists and that we were meant to live in it. Our race would forever strive for that light, and without a spark ignited in our souls from our Creator, this striving would only dig us deeper and deeper into the prison of night.
Enter the prologue.
These 18 verses were inspired by the Holy Spirit through a man who walked beside Jesus, as the veil was pulled back on the true identity of the God-man. Before sin, before night, before darkness…In the beginning was the Word. He was and is the agent of creation.
What I mean by “agent of creation,” is that in the same way God originally created the world, He would re-create it. God’s self-expression, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, would burst onto the scene of humanity to blow the prison door off the cell of sin. He didn’t just bend the bars to squeeze us through, He BLEW THE DOOR OFF!
Darkness gives way to light as we respond to the ONE who came in grace and truth to turn on the lights.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.
And when God says, “Let there be light,” There is light!