|The Fourfold Gospel
d JOHN 1:1-18.
d 1 In the beginning was the Word
[a title for Jesus peculiar to the apostle John],
and the Word was with God
[not going before nor coming after God, but with Him at the
and the Word was God.
[Not more, not less.]
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him
[the New Testament often speaks of Christ as the Creator--see
:10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:13, 17; Hebrews 1:2];
and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
[This shows that Jesus himself is not a creature.]
4 In his was life
[As in the Father
( As this life animates the
living, so can it reanimate the
and the life was the light of men.
[The life of Jesus is the light of men, because from that life we get
our intellect and understanding, and because that life formed and
governs the creation around us by which we become enlightened as to
the existence and power of
God--Romans 1:18-21; Acts 14:16, 17.]
5 And the light shineth in the darkness
[an ignorant, benighted world];
and the darkness apprehended it not.
[Did not receive or admit it. Jesus, the Light of the world, was
despised and rejected by men.]
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for witness, that he might bear
witness of the light.
[that he might tell men that Jesus was the Messiah],
[who heard his testimony]
8 He was not the light
["He was the lamp that burneth and shineth"
but came that he might bear witness of the light.
9 There was the true light
[as opposed to the imperfect, incomplete, and transitory lights],
even the light which lighteth every man
[all men are enlightened in some degree and enlightened of Christ:
some by nature, some by conscience, and some by Bible revelation],
coming into the world.
10 He was in the world.
[invisibly present, renewing and sustaining his creation],
and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not.
[Though it might and should have known
him--Romans 1:18-21; Acts 14:16, 17.]
11 He came
[visibly in the flesh]
unto his own
[his own land or
possessions--Hosea 9:3; Jeremiah 2:7; 2:12],
and they that were his own
[the children of
Israel--Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2]
received him not.
12 But as many as received him
[whether Jew or Gentile],
to them gave he the right to become children of God
Romans 3:14-17; Galatians 3:26; 4:6, 7; 1 John 3:1, 2],
even to them that believe on his name:
13 who were born, not of blood
[descent from Abraham, David or any other godly person does not make a man a
God--Luke 3:8; Matthew 3:9; John 8:39, 40; Galatians 3:6, 7, 29],
nor of the will of the flesh
[the efforts and exertions of our own human hearts and natures may
reform, but can not regenerate, the
nor of the will of man
[we are not begotten of God by the acts and deeds of our fellow-men,
however much they may aid us in leading right lives],
but of God.
[ 3:5; 1 John 4:7; 5:1.]
14 And the Word became flesh
[by being born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary],
and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory
[in his miracles, and especially in his
transfiguration--John 2:11; 2 Peter 1:16-18],
glory as of the only begotten from the Father)
[such glory as was suitable to the Son of God],
full of grace and truth.
[The glory of Christ was not in pomp and worldly grandeur, but in the
holiness, grace, and truth of his daily life.]
beareth witness of him
[the words of John the Baptist still witness to unbelieving Jews and
saying, This was he of whom I said
[John had preached about Jesus before Jesus appeared; he now points to
Jesus as the one about whom he had preached],
He that cometh after me
[He for whom I as a forerunner have prepared the
is become before me
[is worthy of more honor and reverence than am I]:
for he was before me.
[Though born into the world six months later than John, Jesus, as the
Word, had existed from eternity. (In
verse 16 the words
are the apostle John's, and not John the Baptist's.)]
16 For of his fulness
[Jesus was full of grace and truth--and all the attributes of
God--Ephesians 1:23; 3:19; 4:13; Colossians 1:19; 2:9]
we all received
[by union with him all his perfection and righteousness became
ours--Philippians 1:10, 11; 3:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 1:30],
and grace for grace.
[This may mean that we receive a grace kindred to or like each several
grace that is in Christ
(Romans 8:29; 12:2; Ephesians 4:11-13). But
it more probably means fullness of grace, or fresh grace daily added
to the grace already bestowed.]
17 For the law
[the Old Dispensation with its condemnation
(Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:21) and its types and
shadows--Colossians 2:16, 17; Hebrews 8:4, 5; 10:1]
was given through Moses
[by angels at Mt.
grace and truth
[the New Dispensation with its justification
(Romans 3:21-26) and its
came through Jesus Christ.
[Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:3.]
18 No man hath seen God at any time
[1 John 4:12, 20; John 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:16];
the only begotten Son
[the word "only begotten" indicates that none other bears with Christ
a like relationship to God],
who is in the bosom of the Father
[who bears the closest and tenderest relationship and fellowship as to
he hath declared him.
[ 3:2; John 15:9; Colossians 1:15.]