What does John 1:1 really mean?

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


Setting the Scene for John 1:1

In the beginning, before time began, there was a vast expanse of darkness. The scene opens with the presence of God, the Creator of all things, existing in this void. His divine essence radiates a soft, warm light that pierces through the darkness, illuminating the emptiness around Him. The atmosphere is filled with a sense of anticipation and potential, as if the very air is charged with the promise of something extraordinary about to unfold.

As the scene progresses, we see the Word, who is with God and is God, standing beside Him. The Word is the embodiment of God’s thoughts, intentions, and creative power. Together, God and the Word exist in perfect harmony, their unity a testament to the divine nature of their relationship. The Word is poised and ready, as if waiting for the perfect moment to bring forth creation with a mere utterance.

Surrounding them is a heavenly host of angels, their presence adding to the sense of awe and wonder in the scene. They watch in reverent silence, knowing that they are about to witness the miraculous act of creation. The stage is set for the beginning of all things, as God and the Word prepare to speak life into existence.

What is John 1:1 about?

This verse from the Gospel of John is rich in meaning and significance. It begins by proclaiming the eternal existence of the Word, which represents Jesus Christ. It affirms that the Word existed before all creation, emphasizing the divine nature and eternal existence of Jesus. The verse asserts the unity and equality of Jesus with God the Father by stating that the Word was with God and was God. This powerful declaration highlights the divine identity of Jesus Christ as part of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Reflecting on this verse prompts us to ponder the mystery of the Incarnation, where the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). It emphasizes the divine origin of Jesus, who came to earth to bring salvation to humanity. This verse challenges us to contemplate the profound relationship between God and Jesus, inviting us to deepen our understanding of the intricacies of the Trinity. It calls us to recognize the divinity of Jesus and to have faith in Him as the Son of God, who is both fully human and fully divine. We invite you to marvel at the profound truth about Jesus Christ as we delve into the depths of this verse. How does this declaration of the Word as both with God and as God challenge our understanding of the Trinity? What implications does this verse have for our faith and relationship with Jesus? Let us ponder the significance of this verse and allow its truth to enrich our understanding of the divine nature of Jesus Christ.

Understanding what John 1:1 really means

Structure for Commentary:

  1. Introduction and Context
  2. Key Phrases and Their Meanings
  3. Cross-Referencing Other Scriptures
  4. Relevance to Modern Life
  5. Anecdotal Illustration
  6. Reflective Questions
  7. Conclusion


1. Introduction and Context:

The verse we’re focusing on today is from the Gospel of John, a book rich in theological depth. This particular verse serves as a profound introduction to the nature of Christ, setting the stage for understanding His divine and eternal existence.

**2. The verse introduces three key phrases: “In the beginning,” “the Word,” and “was with God, and the Word was God.” Christ’s existence is eternal, predating creation itself, emphasizing that the phrase “In the beginning” echoes the opening words of Genesis. “The Word” (Logos in Greek) signifies Jesus as the ultimate communication and revelation of God. Finally, the declaration that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God” asserts both the distinctiveness and unity of Jesus with God, a cornerstone of Trinitarian doctrine.

3. Cross-Referencing Other Scriptures:

To deepen our understanding, let’s look at other scriptures. God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, as stated in Genesis 1:1.” This parallel highlights that Jesus, the Word, was present at creation. Colossians 1:17 further supports this by saying, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” These verses collectively affirm Jesus’ divine role in creation and His eternal nature.

4. Relevance to Modern Life:

Why is this relevant today? Understanding that Jesus is eternal and unchanging provides a solid foundation for our faith in a world filled with uncertainty and change. It assures us that the same power that spoke the universe into existence is available to guide and sustain us through life’s challenges.

**5. A lighthouse has stood the test of time, weathering storms and guiding countless ships safely to shore. Just as sailors rely on its unwavering light, we can rely on Jesus, the eternal Word, to navigate the turbulent waters of our lives. His constancy and presence are our guiding lights.

6. Reflective Questions:

  • How does knowing that Jesus is eternal change the way you view your current struggles? You can seek to understand and incorporate the teachings of “the Word” more deeply into your daily life in what ways?
  • How does the concept of Jesus being both with God and God Himself influence your understanding of the Trinity?

**7. John 1:1 is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ divine nature and eternal presence. It calls us to anchor our lives in the truth of His unchanging word. Just as He was in the beginning, He is with us now and always will be. Reflect on this truth and allow it to bring peace and direction to your life.

What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?

Believing in Jesus Christ means recognizing Him as the Word who was with God in the beginning, and who is God Himself. It is acknowledging Jesus as the source of life and light, understanding His role in creation and the salvation of humanity. Belief in Jesus Christ entails accepting His deity, His power, and His authority over all things.

Furthermore, believing in Jesus Christ involves having faith in His redemptive work on the cross, understanding that He came to earth to die for our sins and offer us forgiveness and reconciliation with God. It means trusting in Him as the only way to the Father, and committing to follow His teachings and example in our lives. Belief in Jesus Christ results in a transformed life, marked by love, obedience, and a deepening relationship with Him.


Think of John 1:1 like your job’s mission statement or your family’s core values: it’s crucial and shapes everything you do. Jesus is the Word made flesh, and understanding this can pivot your entire life. Picture running your work projects or family duties through this lens. How will you show that Christ’s divinity guides your decisions and actions today?