Pre-fleshly State of Christ Part 2 series: Harmony of the Gospels
by John Lowe
He that undertook to bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18)7 was himself from eternity with God; so that this grand affair of man’s reconciliation to God was shared between the Father and Son from eternity, and they understand one another perfectly well—“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Mt. 11:27). He was with God, and therefore is said to come forth from the Father. “He was with God and He was God.” From that statement, we know that He is separate from God and yet He is God. Hebrews 1:8-9, helps me to understand this, “But about the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness therefor God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Suggest you read Hebrews 1:1-14). Here, God calls Jesus, “God.” This statement makes it clear that God and Jesus are separate, and that both are God. Along with the Holy Spirit, they are the three parts of the Godhead-equal yet separate, The Trinity; One God in three persons.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Alternate Translation (NCV): All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him.
Jesus, as the creator, created everything, even those things that men use to transform into another form that they can use. He Himself was not a created being; rather He was the Creator of all things. This includes humankind, the animals, the heavenly planets, the angels —all things visible and invisible. Without Him nothing was made that was made. There can be no possible exception. If a thing was made, He made it. As Creator, He is, of course, superior to anything He has created. All three Persons of the Godhead were involved in the work of creation: “God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). “All things were created through Him (Christ) and for Him” (Col. 1:16b).
God made the world by a word (Ps. 33:6) and Christ was the Word: Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the insignificant worm. This proves that he is God, for he that built all things is God (Heb. 3:4). This proves the excellence of the Christian religion, that the author and founder of it is the same that was the author and founder of the world. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation.
Why do men struggle with scripture in an attempt to prove God? It is so futile for our finite minds to try to comprehend an infinite God. That is why brilliant men in great theological seminaries are still lost. I will never try to prove God. It is futile and He does not expect us to. He says in Proverbs that a fool says in his heart, there is no God and it says that Faith in God is the beginning of knowledge. One of the greatest proofs of God is on the other side of your door. Step outside and look at the stars, the trees, the sun, and moon and at man himself. If you do not see the hand of God in creation, you are blind and it will not do you any good to look any farther.
There may be an even greater testimony to the power of God than creation and that is His power to maintain what He created. You can be sure that the sun will rise every morning, that the moon will orbit the earth every twenty-four hours, that gravity will hold you down so that you don’t fall off, that there will be seasons and that as long as there are geese they will fly south for the winter. You can be sure of these things and you can be sure that God is in control.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Alternate Translation (NCV): In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people.
In Him was life. This does not simply mean that He possessed life, but that He was and is the source of life; both physical and spiritual life. When we were born, we received physical life. When we are born again, we receive spiritual life. Both come from Him.
The life was the light of men. The same One who supplied us with life is also the light of men. He provides the guidance and direction necessary for man. It is one thing to exist, but quite another to know how to live, to know the true purpose of life, and to know the way to heaven. The same One who gave us life is the One who provides us with light for the pathway we travel. Christ is the Light shining in contrast to the darkness of this sinful world. This is further proof that he is God, and that in every way He is qualified to undertake the work that His Father sent Him to do.
1. He has life in himself. He is not only the true God, but also the living God. God is life.
2. All living creatures have their life in him; not only was all the substance of the creation made by him, but in addition, all the life too that is in the creation is derived from him and supported by him. The Word of God produced the moving creatures that had life (Gen. 1:20). He is that Word by which man lives more than by bread—“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Mt. 4:4).
3. Reasonable creatures have their light from him; that life which is the light of men comes from him. Life in man is something greater and nobler than it is in other creatures; it is rational, and not merely animal. When man became a living soul, his life was light, and he had capacities that distinguished him from, and dignified him above, the rest of creation.
The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord, and it was the eternal Word that lighted this candle. The light of reason, as well as the life that makes sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This proves him adequate to undertake our salvation; for life and light, spiritual and eternal life and light, are the two great things that fallen man, needs the most. Is there anyone that we could expect to give us the light of divine revelation other than the One who gave us the light of human reason? Moreover, if, when God gave us natural life, that life was in his Son, how readily should we receive the gospel-record, that he hath given us eternal life, and that life too is in his Son!
Jesus is the source of all life. Today we hear a great deal about cloning and creating life, but until man can create life where none exists, he has not created life. He can only take existing life and modify it. The life of Jesus in us energizes us and brings us eternal life and the light of truth. Without Jesus, we live in darkness and we are not bothered by our sin, but with Jesus, we receive light in the form of His word, then the Holy Spirit helps us to see our sin and our need for forgiveness.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Alternate Translation (TLB): His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.
The light shines in the darkness. The entrance of sin brought darkness to the minds of men. It plunged the world into darkness in the sense that men in general neither knew God nor wanted to know Him. Into this darkness, the Lord Jesus came—a light shining in a dark place. Light is self-evidencing, and will make itself known.
1. The eternal Word, as God, shines in the darkness of natural conscience. While men became darkness by the fall, that which may be known of God is manifested in them according to 8Romans 1:19-20. The light of nature is this light shining in darkness. All mankind have an innate sense of the power of the divine Word, both as creating and as commanding. If it was not so, the earth would be a hell, a place of utter darkness; blessed be our God, that it is not that way yet.
2. The eternal Word, as Mediator, shone in the darkness of the Old-Testament 9types and figures, and the prophecies and promises, which were of the Messiah from the beginning. He that had commanded the light of this world to shine out of darkness was himself a light shining in darkness, but there was a veil upon this light.
The 10darkness did not comprehend it. This may mean that the darkness did not understand the Lord Jesus when He came into the world. Men did not realize who He really was, or why He had come. Another meaning, however, is given in the NKJV margin: the darkness did not overcome it. Then the thought would be that man’s rejection and enmity did not prevent the true light from shining.
The world of mankind comprehended not the natural light that was in their understandings, but instead, they became vain in their imaginations concerning the eternal God and the eternal Word, 11(Rom. 1:21, 28). The darkness of error and sin overpowered and overshadow this light. God spoke more than once—“For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it” (Job 33:14). The Jews had the light of the Old Testament, and yet could not comprehend it or find Christ in it. (See Table #2-Gnostics). In the same way that there was a veil upon Moses’ face, there was a veil upon the people’s hearts. However, the light never stopped shinning, but due to the darkness of their understandings, they could not see it. It was, therefore, necessary that Christ should come, both to rectify the errors of the Gentile world and to improve the truths of the Jewish church.