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The Living Expression

In the very beginning[a] the Living Expression[b] was already there.

And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.[c]

They were together—face-to-face,[d] in the very beginning.[e]
And through his creative inspiration
    this Living Expression made all things,[f]
    for nothing has existence apart from him!
Life came into being[g] because of him,
    for his life is light for all humanity.[h]
And this Living Expression is the Light that bursts through gloom[i]
    the Light that darkness could not diminish![j]
Then suddenly a man appeared who was sent from God,
    a messenger named John.[k]
For he came to be a witness, to point the way to the Light of Life,
    and to help everyone believe.
John was not that Light but he came to show who is.
    For he was merely a messenger to speak the truth about the Light.
For the Light of Truth[l] was about to come into the world
    and shine upon everyone.[m]
10 He entered into the very world he created,
    yet the world was unaware.[n]
11 He came to the very people he created[o]
    to those who should have recognized him,
    but they did not receive him.
12 But those who embraced him and took hold of his name[p]
    were given authority to become
    the children of God!
13 He was not born by the joining of human parents[q]
    or from natural means,[r] or by a man’s desire,
    but he was born of God.[s]
14 And so the Living Expression
    became a man[t] and lived among us![u]
    And we gazed upon the splendor of his glory,[v]
    the glory of the One and Only[w]
    who came from the Father overflowing
    with tender mercy[x] and truth!

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  1. John 1:1 The first eighteen verses of John are considered by most scholars to be the words of an ancient hymn or poem that was cherished by first-century believers in Christ.
  2. John 1:1 The Greek is logos, which has a rich and varied background in both Greek philosophy and Judaism. The Greeks equated logos with the highest principle of cosmic order. God’s logos in the Old Testament is his powerful self-expression in creation, revelation, and redemption. In the New Testament we have this new unique view of God given to us by John, which signifies the presence of God himself in the flesh. Some have translated this rich term as “Word.” It could also be translated “Message” or “Blueprint.” Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, the creative Word, and the Word made visible. He is the divine self-expression of all that God is, contains, and reveals in incarnated flesh. Just as we express ourselves in words, God has perfectly expressed himself in Christ.
  3. John 1:1 The Living Expression (Christ) had full participation in every attribute of deity held by God the Father. The Living Expression existed eternally as a separate individual but essentially the same, as one with the Father.
  4. John 1:2 The Greek word used here and the Hebraic concept conveyed is that of being before God’s face. There is no Hebrew word for “presence” (i.e., the “presence” of God), only the word face.
  5. John 1:2 Both Gen. 1:1 and John 1:12 speak of the beginning. In Genesis it is the beginning of time, but John speaks of eternity past, a beginning before time existed. The Living Expression is Christ who existed eternally as part of the Trinity. He had no beginning, being one with the Father.
  6. John 1:3 Or “all things happened because of him and nothing happened apart from him.” The Aramaic is, “everything was in his hand” (of power). See Ps. 33:6; Isa. 44:24.
  7. John 1:4 The Aramaic reads “In him were lives” (plural)—not only multiple human lives, but also spiritual life, eternal life, and life in every form.
  8. John 1:4 As translated from the Aramaic, which can also be translated “the spark of human life.” Jesus Christ brings the light of eternal life and the full revelation of God. The Gospel of John is easily divided into three sections: life (chs. 1–7), light (chs. 8–12), and love (chs. 13–21).
  9. John 1:5 Or “keeps on shining through.”
  10. John 1:5 The Greek has a double meaning here. Darkness could not diminish this Light, nor could it comprehend it. The darkness can also be a metaphor for the sons of darkness.
  11. John 1:6 This is John, the Baptizer.
  12. John 1:9 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is, “the True Light.”
  13. John 1:9 Or “to enlighten everyone.”
  14. John 1:10 Or “the world [of humanity] didn’t perceive it.”
  15. John 1:11 Or “to his own” (things or people).
  16. John 1:12 Or “those who are putting faith into his name.” To “lay hold of his name” means to believe all that he represents and put into practice what he taught in the power of his name.
  17. John 1:13 Or “not from streams of blood” (i.e., the blood of a father and mother).
  18. John 1:13 Or “from the natural realm.”
  19. John 1:13 Or “born out from God.” This verse could be considered John’s version of the virgin birth of Christ. The Word (message) is now “humanized” (and become the messenger). However, the vast majority of translations and expositors see here not Christ’s virgin birth, but the new birth of those who became “children of God” in v. 12. Both are clearly presented in the Scriptures.
  20. John 1:14 Or “became visible.”
  21. John 1:14 This is the fulfillment of Isa. 7:14. The “God with us” is Jesus Christ our Immanuel. He is among us in that he is in human form, a man for all eternity. The Greek and Aramaic reads, “he pitched his tent among us.” This takes us back into the book of Exodus where God came down and lived in the tent (tabernacle) in the wilderness. See Ex. 25:8.
  22. John 1:14 The Aramaic is, “We gazed upon his preciousness.”
  23. John 1:14 The Aramaic is, “Unique and Beloved Son.” The Greek word, monogenes, means “of a single [mono] kind [genes].” This word is also used for Isaac in Heb. 11:17 as Abraham’s uniquely precious son, but not his only one.
  24. John 1:14 The Aramaic word, taybootha, means “loving kindness or goodness.” The Greek word is charis, which can also be translated, “grace, favor, sweetness, pleasure or delight.” The translator has combined all those concepts in the words tender mercy. Truly, Jesus Christ is full of everything that our hearts crave.