D John I. 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 beginning],
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 ver. 10; I. Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 13, 17; Heb. i.
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 (chap. v. 26
). As this life animates the living, so can it reanimate the
dead—John xi. 25]; 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—Rom.
i. 18–21; Acts xiv. 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], that all [who heard his testimony] might believe
[in Jesus] through him. 8 He was not the light [“He
was the lamp that burneth and shineth” (
chap. v. 35); but not the Sun of righteousness—
Mal. iv. 2], 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—Rom. i. 18–21; Acts xiv. 16,
17.] 11 He came [visibly in the flesh] unto his own
[his own land or possessions—Hos. ix. 3; Jer.
ii. 7; Zech. ii. 12], and they that were his own [the
children of Israel—Ex. xix. 5; Deut. vii. 6;
xiv. 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 [comp. Rom. iii.
14–17; Gal. iii. 26; iv. 6, 7; I. John iii. 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 child of
God—Luke iii. 8; Matt. iii. 9; ch. viii. 39,
40; Gal. iii. 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 life—ch. iii.
6], 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. [
Ch. iii. 5; I. John iv. 7; v. 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—ch. ii. 11; II. Pet. i.
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.] 15 John [the
Baptist] beareth witness of him [the words of John the Baptist still
witness to unbelieving Jews and Gentiles], and crieth,
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 way—Matt. iii. 3]
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—Eph. i. 23; iii. 19; iv. 13; Col. i. 19; ii. 9] we all
received [by union with him all his perfection and righteousness became
ours—Phil. i. 10, 11; iii. 8, 9; I. Cor. i.
30], and grace for grace. [This may mean that we
receive a grace kindred to or like each several grace that is in Christ
(Rom. viii. 29; xii. 2; Eph. iv.
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 (Rom. iii.
20; Gal. ii. 21) and its types and shadows—Col. ii. 16, 17; Heb. viii. 4, 5; x. 1] was
given through Moses [by angels at Mt. Sinai—Heb. ii. 2]; grace and truth [the New
Dispensation with its justification (Rom. iii.
21–26) and its realities—
Heb. ix. 1–15] came through Jesus Christ. [Heb. i. 1, 2; ii. 3.] 18 No man hath seen God
at any time [I. John iv. 12, 20; ch. i. 18; I.
Tim. vi. 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 the Father]
, he hath declared him.
[Ch. iii. 2; ch. xv. 9; Col. i. 15.]