Jesus, the Creator (John 1:3)
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth has meaning because of who He is. It is His Person that makes His birth outstanding and the reason for His coming that gives us joy. John’s Gospel is unique among the Gospel records in that it begins with an emphasis on Jesus, as the eternal Word of God, fully God, Creator, Life and Light, who became man. The importance of His role as Creator (v. 3) is found in the context of John’s opening verses. 1.Stating that Jesus is Creator affirms His eternal deity.
Reading in the context (vv. 1–2, 14–18, 29–34) reveals that the Word, who is God, became man and is none other than Jesus Christ. By Him the entire universe and all that is in it has been brought into existence. Cf. Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2.
This identifies Jesus with God the Creator in the Testament (e.g., Genesis 1:1, 3; Exodus 20:11). Psalm 33:6 even uses similar wording to John 1:1–3, “By the word (logos) of the LORD the heavens were made.”
The Word, Jesus Christ, is the Creator of everything, and therefore has Himself existed from eternity past as God. We worship not simply a Child in the manger, but the eternal Creator who was willing to subject himself to the limitations of His creation in order to become the Savior of the world.
2. Stating that Jesus is Creator expresses His identity as the Word.
The “Word” communicates or reveals God, which is a basic function of creation (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19–20). The first recorded act of the Word revealing God is in creating the universe which speaks of God.
John will regularly report this. In his prologue Jesus is reported as revealing the glory of God as well as His grace and truth, and the selected miracles and talks from Jesus continue that revelation.
We might infer from 1:10 that the world should have recognized Him as the Creator, but spiritual blindness hindered them. We may see His truly identity and know that the Child in the manger is no mere baby, but One who by His life and word reveals God. What great love of God is expressed by the Creator taking on flesh!
3. Stating that Jesus is Creator explains how He is the Source of life and light.
The Word is both “life and light” (1:4–5, 9–10). He is so, because He is the Creator of both light and life. He is the source of the light we see with our physical eyes (Genesis 1:3–5) and of all physical life (Genesis 1:20–21, 24; 2:7).
The Gospel of John will speak more of light and life in a spiritual sense, e.g., “resurrection life”, but biological life is not absent (cf. John 11:25). The light we see with our eyes helps us understand “spiritual” light (cf. John 9:5).
Jesus can promise resurrection life and eternal spiritual life because He is Creator-God. Though the Child in the manger may seem fragile to us, He is the Creator from whom all life comes. Whether the glorious light dazzling the shepherds or their own physical life, it all found its source in the Creator who lay in that manger.
4. Stating that Jesus is Creator establishes His ownership of the world.
The Word, Jesus Christ, came unto His own (v. 11). Though this may refer to the nation of Israel, the entire creation was not far from His mind (v. 10). Both His people and the world came into existence through Him. God owns everything (cf. Psalm 50:10).
The Book of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus, as the perfect man, has been appointed heir of all things, exalted over all things, and given dominion over everything. Through His incarnation and perfect obedience Jesus gained as man what was rightly His before the incarnation.
The Creator became man to serve His creation and give His life as a ransom for many. He who was rich became poor that you could become rich. That is essential to the Christmas story.
Do not fail to recognize the Word, the Creator, in the Christmas story. Receive Him for who He truly is. Worship Him for who He is and what He has done.
Questions for further thought and discussion:
• How does Jesus being the Creator enrich your appreciation for the Christmas story?
• In words that a six-year-old could understand explain the birth of Jesus from the perspective which John gives in John 1:1–18.
• Using John 1:1–18 (and perhaps Hebrews 1) how do you know (1) that the Bible teaches that Jesus is the eternal God and (2) that matter and energy has not eternally existed?
Basel Christian Fellowship © 2019 David Manduka