EXEGESIS OF JOHN 11-14
Posted On June 29, 2020
EXEGESISOF JOHN 1:1-14
EXEGESISOF JOHN 1:1-14
Thebook of John is one of the canonical gospels, which greatly speaks ofJesus as the Messiah and portrays his divinity. The exegesis of John1:1-14 seeks to interpret the scripture and how the message iscommunicated from the author of the book. The first chapter of thebiblical scripture creates a connection between the gospel of Christand the story of creation. The first verse of the scriptureascertains that Jesus was present during the creation and that he isone with God. It also acknowledges that John the Baptist was amessenger sent by God to prepare the way for Christ, who is referredto as the light. Verses 10 and 11 speak of Jesus’ rejection by theworld of which through him, it was created. Verses 11 to 13 talkabout the salvation given to those who received Christ and theirrecognition as children of God, while verse fourteen affirms thatChrist is the son of God, and that he made his dwelling among men,thus revealing the glory of God, the Father. The book gives anidentity of Jesus, his connection with God, his role on earth, andthe fate of man after the act of salvation.
Thebook of John is one of the four gospels of the New Testament. Itdates back to the 75-80CE,whichis the period when the Jews were attempting to identify themselveswith the absence of the Jerusalem temple1.The book offers a clear picture of Jesus in the divine form and histransition to the human form with the purpose of bringing salvationto the human race2.Just like the other gospels, the Gospel of John tells the story ofJesus including his early life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Italso offers a much vivid insight of the work of John the Baptist andhis role in the ministry of Christ3.
Thefirst chapter of John is of particular importance. The passage ofJohn 1:1-14 bears weighty points, which are theologically importantespecially when it comes to the identity of Jesus and his relation tothe Old Testament. It is known that some books in the Old Testamentsuch as Isaiah mentioned of the coming of Christ, but failed toclarify more on who exactly the Messiah will be, and that is theexact role that John 1:1-14 does. The passage reminds us of thecreation story in the book of Genesis and even goes forth to give anelaboration on who was present during the process of creation. In thefirst verse, Jesus is referred to as the Word and that the Word waspresent in the beginning, and that it was one with God the Father.This part is, therefore, very significant in showing the identity ofJesus and revealing his spiritual form. It also gives a confirmationof Jesus as being part of the Holy Trinity. The verses of the passagework in unity to bring out the picture of Jesus and his roles both inthe Old Testament and in the New Testament.
Inthe second verse all through to the fourth verse of the passage, thegreatness of Christ is revealed. The second verse is the climax ofthe passage as it shows the actual power that Christ holds in that,the creation could not go on in his absence and that it was throughhim that everything was made. The fourth verse goes on to reveal thesignificance of Christ by depicting him as the light which gives lifeto man. The fourth verse happens to show the connection between manand Christ4.It reveals the concern of Christ on humans and indicates that he isthe one who gives people direction through the light that comes fromhim. It is, therefore, clear from the fourth verse that the light ofChrist directs us, and that the light has a life. This first part ofthe passage also functions as an exposure of how the believers areconnected to God the Father through Christ.
Thetext brings out the role of John the Baptist and clarifies hispurpose and identity. The author of the passage gives a clarificationof who John the Baptist was, and tries to remove the notion held bysome Jews during the time that he was the Messiah. Instead, the textdiscloses that John the Baptist was a messenger from God and not theMessiah, but was sent to prepare the people for the coming of thetrue Messiah, who is described in verse 8 as the light. The author ofthe book who is believed to be John, son of Zebedee and one of thetwelve apostles of Christ intended to feel some gaps in the knowledgeabout Jesus Christ and John the Baptist.
Thestory of John 1:1-14 forms the first part of the book of John, whichis preceded by other gospels namely Mathew, Mark, and Luke. All thefour Gospels give the accounts of Jesus’ life and seek to explainwho he is. They all do these using different styles, for exampleMathew starts by tracing the lineage of Jesus in his human form fromAbraham to Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born(Matthew 1:1-17). Mark starts by pointing out to the reader thatJesus was the son of God and that the prophets had talked about hiscoming (Mark 1:1-4). Luke, on the other hand, begins by giving theaccounts of the birth of Jesus and that of John the Baptist. All thethree gospels focus much on identifying Jesus in his human form, butas seen in the passage from John, the author opted to begin hisaccounts on Jesus by letting the reader know his divinity and roleboth in the Creation and on his mission on earth5.The passage was therefore placed rightfully at the very beginning ofthe book as a way of continuing with the traditional introductorystyle of the other Gospels. The writer also mentions John the Baptistin this very first chapter to show his importance in the ministry ofJesus, and to shed more light on who he is.
Historically,the passage seems to have been written after the ascension of Jesusto heaven, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple6.This is mainly evident from the tense used in the passage and themanner in which the narrator shares the story. He seems to beoffering an explanation to some of the questions that people wereasking during the time, and seeking to strengthen their faith inChrist. He, therefore, starts the passage by giving a description ofChrist and showing the people that Jesus was inseparable from God,and that he was the true Messiah. The passage refers directly to thesocial context by revealing the non-believing nature of the peopleduring that time.
Hewas in the world, and though the world was made through him, theworld did not recognize him. (John 1:10)
Aproper application of a biblical passage in the teachings ofChristianity mainly relies on the theme of the readings. On readingthe first chapter of the Gospel of John, it is noticeable that thefirst to the fourteenth verse display some different topics,including the creation of the world, salvation, the unity of Christand God the Father, and the theme of belief. I would effectivelyapply the passage in teaching about the Christian faith and theessence of believing. The whole section of the scripture emphasizeson the theme of believing. The first four verses of chapter one teachChristians to believe that Jesus is attached to God, and that the twoare one while the twelfth verse to the fourteenth verse speaks ofthe rewards of believing in Christ, and following his teachings. Italso speaks of man in two forms, those who rejected him, and thosewho received him, who are also referred to as the children of God.
Likethe other books of the gospel, the book of John starts with a passagethat importantly shares on the identity of Christ, his significancein the creation and confirming that he is one with God. The text is avaluable tool for the people in teaching them about faith in Christand answers the questions on the actual identity of Jesus Christ. Thepassage also makes one understand the greatness of Christ in that inhis absence, the work of creation would not have occurred. It alsocreates a better understanding of who John the Baptist was and themission that he had been sent by God to do. It is, therefore,important for the people in the current world to understand thatJesus Christ is part of the Holy Trinity, which works in togethernessand is inseparable as shown in the text. It is also important as seenfrom the text to appreciate that Christ is indeed the Messiah andthat John the Baptist was only an important messenger sent to preparethe way for him.
Brodie,T. L. TheGospel according to John: A literary and theological commentary.Vol. 1. New York: Oxford Press, 1993.
Brown,Raymond Edward. Anintroduction to the Gospel of John.Anchor Bible, 2003.
Moloney,Francis J. "The Gospel of John, Sacra Pagina, 4, Collegeville,MN." LiturgicalPress 402(1998): 406-7.
Patte,Daniel. GlobalBible Commentary.Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2004.
Witherington,Ben.John`s wisdom: A commentary on the fourth Gospel.Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster, John Knox Press, 1995.
1 Patte, Daniel. Global Bible commentary. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2004.
2 Brodie, T. L. The Gospel according to John: A literary and theological commentary. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford Press, 1993.
3 Witherington, Ben. John`s wisdom: A commentary on the fourth Gospel. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster, John Knox Press, 1995.
4 Brown, Raymond Edward. An introduction to the Gospel of John. Anchor Bible, 2003.
5 Moloney, Francis J. "The gospel of John, Sacra Pagina, 4, Collegeville, MN." Liturgical Press 402 (1998): 406-7.
6 Patte, Daniel. Global Bible commentary. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2004.