The first chapter of the Gospel of John is a lot like the first Chapter of Genesis. You could comment on just about every word. Genesis begins, “In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s well said to be a figure of speech called a “merism.” It means he not only created the heavens and the earth but he also created everything in between. It’s like Jesus saying that he is the “alpha and the omega.” He’s not just the first letter of the alphabet and the last letter. He’s also everything in between. I wonder if John was trying to clarify this for us when he speaks of “The Word – Jesus” as being the creator of it all. John 1:3 says, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Jesus was the direct agent of God’s creation as recorded in Genesis 1:1. This settles one of the most important questions ever asked. It was first asked by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the man who bequeathed us calculus and the binary system which is at the heart of our modern computers. From our study of the planets or the atoms, we try to see what caused them. We see that they exist, but we want to know where they came from. And secondly, why is it the way it is?

“Many earlier thinkers had asked why our universe is the way it is, but Leibniz went a step further, wondering why there is a universe at all. The question is a challenging one because it seems perfectly possible that there might have been nothing whatsoever – no Earth, no stars, no galaxies, no universe. Leibniz even thought that nothing would have been ‘simpler and easier’. If nothing whatsoever had existed then no explanation would have been needed – not that there would have been anyone around to ask for an explanation, of course, but that’s a different matter.”[1] You see, we are around! We are a curious lot and want desperately to know about the cause of all the “effects” that happen around us. Things don’t just happen. John is telling us.

James Boice said, “We know the force of this verse from things in our own experience. When we see a leaf blowing down the street, we do not attribute the powers of self-motivation to the leaf. We assume that a power equal to the effect is behind the leaf and has put it in motion. We call that power wind. When we examine a watch of fine Swiss workmanship, we do not assume that the steel and glass and small bearings possess the ability to organize themselves into a watch. We posit the existence of a watchmaker. So, it should be in the realm of nature. Jesus intended that we should recognize God’s existence and power through nature.”[2] There is nothing more powerful in our lives than sitting quietly by the ocean and gazing in awe at what Jesus created. Seeing God in nature has pulled many people out of deep depression, calmed many fears, and encouraged them in times of trouble. Jesus is God’s demonstration of His love for me. He filled the world with color and gives me eyes. He fills the world with music and gives me ears. One web blogger observed, “The mountains stand strong and powerful, the sun rises no matter how dark the night, the waves gently lap the rocky coast, God’s voice is found in creation, we simply need to train our eyes to see Him.”[3]


[2] Boice, James Montgomery. 2005. The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.