The introduction to John’s gospel can read a little abstract and symbolic for many. Who is this ‘Word’ that John is referring to? What knowledge is John building on, and why does he use this convoluted tone as an introduction to a book about a man who talked of sparrows, sheep, and stone? This retelling looks at the reasons why John started the book with these now famous lines.
This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.
Main Passage : John 1: 1-10
John sat in front of a long blank roll of papyrus and wondered how to start telling his readers about the man named Jesus, who was also God. He didn’t know how long these words would last, but he knew that there were already some writings being sent between the churches. Why did God want him to write another account?
The story of Jesus was the most exciting and life-changing story John had ever known, almost as amazing as the whole story of God starting with God creating the world. John remembered hearing the story of the beginning as a child, how God had made everything and everyone we see. Everyone knew the famous first words, ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ John smiled as he remembered it. He glanced out his window to see God’s creation and realised that that was the perfect way to start.
“In the beginning was the Word” John wrote, soon his readers would know that the word was Jesus, but first he would make some things really clear. “And the Word was with God” he continued, “and the Word was God”
John sat back and looked at his sentence. Yes, that was perfect. What next?
“All things were created through him.” Jesus didn’t just appear, thought John. He had always been there, waiting for the time to come to earth.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Yes! Thought John, that was very Jesus. He liked to talk about life, eternal life, full life, amazing life.
“That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” That was the story of Jesus, as simple as light, shining into the darkness, and no matter what the darkness tried, nothing could stop the light from shining.
John was on a roll now. He knew what to do. He needed to tell the whole story of Jesus, from the cries of John the Baptist in the desert to the frustration of the religious authorities that led to their anger and Jesus’ death. Then the amazing, miraculous, story of how Jesus beat death and returned to be with us forever. John stopped wondering and started to write, words flowing out in smooth lines over the papyrus. How did he ever doubt he could find the words for this story? It was God’s story and God was helping him write it!
Today’s bible hero is John because he shows us the gift of The Word