Have you ever noticed the unmistakable similarities between the beginning of the book of Genesis and the beginning of the book of John? Take a moment to examine both passages and notice the similarities:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
— Genesis 1:1-4 (ESV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:1-5 (NIV)

What did you notice? I assume the first thing that jumped out at you was that both books begin with the phrase, “In the beginning.” Also, they both talk about creation, light and darkness.

Isn’t it interesting that John would start out his gospel about Jesus by drawing parallels with the creation event in Genesis? Let’s take a closer look at these parallels and try to understand their significance.

Parallel 1: In Genesis, God is the one who is there in the beginning. In John, “the Word” (or Jesus) is described as being “in the beginning.” But Jesus isn’t just described as being with God in the beginning, he is described as being God.

Parallel 2: In Genesis, God is the creator of everything. The rest of chapter one describes in more detail the things God created. Verses 26 & 27 describe his creation of human beings. In John, Jesus is described as being the means through which all things were created.

Parallel 3: In Genesis, there was a darkness covering creation. John also refers to a darkness.

Parallel 4: In Genesis, God caused light to shine into the darkness and separated the light from the darkness. In John, Jesus is the light that shines into the darkness and overcomes it.

Now that we have looked a little closer at these parallels, what truth do you think John was trying to convey when he drew them?

I believe he was trying to tell us that Jesus is not only a man, but he is the one and only God of the universe. Jesus is the God that was in the beginning, the God that was referred to in Genesis. Jesus is the God of creation, the one who created the heavens and the earth and the one who created us. Jesus not only created light in the world in the beginning, but he is the light of the world, even today. Jesus not only created a light that overcame the darkness in the beginning, but he is the light that overcomes the darkness even today.

I think John was trying to tell us that Jesus is not only the God who created us in the beginning, he is also the God who can re-create us today.

God created us in his image, which means that we were created to be his children and to reflect him through our behavior. If we had reflected God’s love the way were supposed to, we would have loved him and others the way he wanted us to. By reflecting God’s love, and therefore loving him and others appropriately, we would have automatically obeyed all his commands.

But we failed to reflect God’s love, and the result was that we failed to obey God’s commands. We chose instead to rebel against God and sin against him. Our rebellion and sin brought about our spiritual death, separation from God, and God’s wrath. We are dead in our sins and unable to escape our death, separation from him or the wrath we deserve through any efforts of our own. We are in a hopeless situation.

But John wanted us to know that, even though we cannot save ourselves, there is one who can save us. John began his gospel by drawing a parallel with Genesis 1 to tell us who this Savior is.

It’s Jesus! Jesus is the God who originally created us, and Jesus is the God who can re-create us and make us the children that we were originally created to be. Jesus is the God who can pierce our dark and dead souls and say, “Let there be light!”

Don’t be mistaken, Jesus is the both the God of creation and the God of re-creation!

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
— 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT)

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