1. John 1:1 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why is "the Word was God" such a staggering statement?

John 1:1 (ESV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

There is nothing greater that can be said of Jesus Christ and there is no clearer statement of his divinity than the Word was God. The man who lived in history, who walked around Palestine, who slept after a long day of work, who felt aches and pains in his body, who knew what it is to sweat and laugh, to feel the warmth of the sun and the cool of the rain—this man, Jesus Christ the Word, he is the eternal God.

For the first readers of the Gospel account, especially those coming from a Jewish background, these words are absolutely staggering. Your whole life you have been taught that the Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). There is no other God except the Lord and he is one. Now you read that the Word was God. The Word who is distinct from the Father and was with him in the beginning, that Word is not a creature. He is not an angel, he is not a created being. The Word is God.

John did not make this claim because he was a polytheist. He did not believe in the existence of many gods; he only believed in one God. Yet he walked with Jesus during his life on earth. When he spoke with him and sat at his feet to learn from him, he was presented again and again with this truth: as strange as it might seem, Jesus is fully God.