John 1:3-5


“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 men. 

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”




3 - panta ALL THINGS        di THROUGH       autou HIM

egeneto CAME INTO BEING              kai AND        cwriV WITHOUT autou HIM        

egeneto CAME INTO BEING     oude NOT EVEN

en ONE THING     o WHICH        gegonen HAS COME INTO BEING.


4 - en IN        autw HIM          zwh LIFE        hn  WAS       kai AND

h THE                zwh LIFE            hn WAS                   to THE

fwV  twn LIGHT                       anqrwpwn OF MEN


5 - kai AND                  to THE                    fwV LIGHT                   en IN th THE                    

skotia DARKNESS                    fainei  APPEARS kai AND                           

h THE                     skotia  DARKNESS

auto  ou IT                           katelaben APPREHENDED NOT



“The Word”

1)      to the Jewish mind ‘the word of God’ was the divine personality

2)      to the Greek mind ‘the word’ was the rational mind that ruled the universe.


John used these concepts to capture who Jesus was.

In the OT ‘the word’ was involved in three major works of God:

1)      Creation

a.       Genesis 1:3, 6, 9

b.      Psalm 33:6

2)      Revelation

a.       Isaiah 9:8

b.      Jeremiah 1:4

c.       Ezekiel 33:7

d.      Amos 3:1, 8

3)      Deliverance

a.       Psalm 107:20

b.      Isaiah 55:1





After describing the relationship to the Father, the Word’s relationship to creation is stated.


The Word is equal with God, but superior to creation.

The Word is not part of creation.


Proverbs 8:12-9:12 is an OT description of “the Word.”


John states here clearly what the OT had been alluding to in the use of “word”

John addresses the first manifestation of “The Word” communicating with man:


In creation God gave one of his greatest revelations of himself (Romans 1)


Jesus was the one who created everything:

a)      1 Cor. 8:6

b)      Col. 1:16

c)      Heb. 1:2

d)      Rev. 3:14


John is careful to express Jesus as the agent by which God created everything.

Jesus did not act alone.  Jesus did the work and will of the Father in creation.

di  the word translated “through” indicates in itself that God worked his will through the Word.


Jesus then is presented under the authority of God the Father but

Jesus is presented as being in authority over all of creation.


Sometimes people ask or wonder why God made the universe so big that even now we can not find or imagine the end of it.  One of the reasons is that it gives us a picture of the vastness of the mind, power and personality of our Creator, Jesus.


John makes the statement in the positive.

Then to clarify he makes the same statement in the negative.

The negative statement could be translated:

            “without him there was not even one thing made.”

The oude en “not even one’ is stronger than ouden “nothing


were made(egeneto CAME INTO BEING)is in the aorist to picture creation as a total work

has been made(gegonen HAS COME INTO BEING) is in the perfect which gives the       picture of creations continuing existence.

(Hebrews 1:2 “The Son. . .sustaining all things by his powerful word.”






This verse goes from the creation of the physical world to the essence of life

“Life” is a theme word for the book of John.

The word “life” is used 36 times in the book of John

  • Revelation 17x
  • Romans 14x
  • 1 John 13x
  • Total 135x


Jesus is life and He could give life to whatever he wanted.

Notice that life was not one of the things connected to being created in verse 3.

Life is connected to the Word and not to creation.


In creation Jesus has given different levels life to His creation.  A variety of the aspects of life appear through out creation.  Each form of life and each life is a mirror of the one who is life.


John shows this truth in his book.  John will show that Jesus is the source of life in:         

5:26; 6:57; 8:12; 9:5; 10:10; 11:25; 14:6; 17:3; 20:31


Where there is life there will be light.

Where there is not spiritual life there will be darkness.


God’s presence provides the truth which eliminates ignorance and sin.


“That light is the light of men” is the idea that the Word is life and this life provides everything we need to see clearly in the Word’s creation.

Psalm 36:9, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”



“light shines” is present tense here for the first time. 

The manifestation of this light into the world and into the hearts of men is a continuous action that continues even today.

Creation may have happened once.  The Incarnation may have happened just once.

But, the shining of the light that occurred at creation and at the incarnation is still occurring today by that same Word.

God’s manifestation of his revelation is not over and historically recorded. 

It is recorded, but it is still shining in life and light today.


In Genesis 1 light came into the darkness at creation.

In John 1 Jesus (the Light) came into the dark world of man and sin.


There was darkness in Genesis 1 and there was darkness in John 1.

In both cases Jesus was brighter (superior)


“Overcome” is “katelaben” and means “lay hold of, to seize, to grasp”

Also, “to grasp with the mind, to understand.”

It has the idea of making something its own.

1 Cor. 9:24 translates it as “gets” in reference to a prize.

John may be grabbing both meanings:  Darkness has not understood nor conquered light.


This word then sums up the gospel:

1)      Light invades the darkness

2)      Darkness resists the light but no not understand it nor its power

3)      The Light is victorious in the face of this opposition.



Interestingly it is in the aorist and refers to a moment or an event in time when darkness did not “get”, “lay hold of” or “overcome” the light.


This was not a dual between two equal powers.  Just as light is always greater than darkness, Jesus, the creator is always greater than darkness.


Nature reveals this truth.

a)      We turn on a light switch which drives away the darkness.

b)      The sun drives out the darkness in the morning.  The only reason darkness returns is the sun sets and leaves our view.

c)      We can create light with bulbs.  We can not create dark bulbs.

d)      Darkness never drives out the light in any natural occurrence.  Darkness only occurs when light is removed or absent.


This theme will reach its highlight in the crucifixion.  This was the darkest moment. 

The darkest event completely disappears though in the light of the resurrection.


What John introduces in these three verses continues through out the book.

  • Jesus authority in Creation both physically and spiritually
  • Parallels of light and darkness which represent:
    • Revelation and salvation (light)
    • Ignorance and sin (darkness)