THE ETERNAL WORD
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life: For the life was manifested: and we have seen, and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us: That which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3
1. “All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made that was made.” Perhaps it would be more accurate to translate: “All things came into being through Him, and without Him nothing came into being that did come to be.” If all things come from the mind of the Father, and the Son, the Word, is the complete understanding of that mind, then by the Son, through the Son, all other things come to be absorbed in, emanating from, the more complete concept, as rays of the great sun from their centre. The Eternal Word is the center and source of all creation.
2. “In Him was life.” Not only in that He is essential life, inasmuch as He is God and Creator, but also in His office of Redeemer, so that “the Life of which he now speaks is the eternal life of grace and glory, which man had lost by his fall, and which is restored to him by means of the Incarnation.” Thus St. Paul: “According to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the world, but is now made manifest to us by the illumination of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath destroyed death, and hath brought to light life and immortality by the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9,10). And St. John: “This is the testimony that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son “(1 John 5:11); and again and again in His Gospel he repeats the teaching that Christ our Lord “is the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), Who came “that they may have life and may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), and Who defined it Himself in these words: “This is eternal life, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him Whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3).
3. The life was the light of men.” The Incarnate Son of God came among men, took on human nature, was visible to men, tangible to men, recognizable by men. This was His revelation to men, the light given to men, of that which hitherto had been the life. Hear again St. John: “The life was manifested, and we have seen and do bear witness and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father and hath appeared to us” (1 John 1:2). And our Lord Himself: “The light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than the light, for their works are evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved (John 3:19-20).
Summary Meditation Points:
1. “All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made.” Jesus Christ, the Word, Jesus Christ the completion of the mind of God, Jesus Christ the source of all creation.
2. “In Him was life.” Jesus Christ essential life, because He is God, Jesus Christ the source of all life, natural and supernatural.
3. “And the life was the light of men.” Jesus Christ the manifestation of God to man, the light in the darkness, the way, and the truth.
Art: Black Sea Sunrise, Bogdan, 2008-08-12, CC by SA, Wikimedia Commons. Mirror of Archbishop Alban Goodier, S.J., www.stmaryscadoganstreet.co.uk, all rights reserved, used with permission.