(John 1:1 NASB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1: There are three distinct statements:
1. In the beginning was the Word
2. And the Word was with Elohim
3. And the Word was Elohim
“The Word” is the highest and most profound title of Yeshua the Messiah. What exactly is meant by this title “The Word?” Yeshua Messiah is the one out of whom everything was gathered from the Tanakh and is now presented as the One “In the beginning.” Note that it does not say “in the beginning IS the Word.” It says, “in the beginning WAS the Word.”
The second term, the Word was “with” may not be a good translation. The Greek word is “pros” and it usually translated “unto.” It is seldom translated as “with.”
The passage should probably read (John 1:1 NASB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was unto Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. To look into this translation is not to take away from the Deity of Yeshua Messiah. On the contrary, it is to take away from the pagan belief in multiple gods. Yeshua is a physical manifestation of the Word of the Father. It is a revealing of His person in the flesh.
(John 1:2 NASB) He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:2: The Greek word “pros” is used once again. He was in the beginning unto Elohim. He was the Word of Elohim that came forth from Elohim.
(John 1:3 NASB) All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
John 1:3: Yeshua, as the very Word of Elohim, is the instrument of creation (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, etc..) This Word of Elohim that created all things is the very same Word of Elohim given to us in His Torah that tells His people how to live in the way that is pleasing to Him. That is why Yeshua said that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6-7). If you have seen Yeshua, you have seen the Father.
(John 1:4 NASB) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:4: In Him was life. His life is the light of all who fear His Name. That is why He is also called the “Sun of Righteousness” (Mal. 4:2). That is why many prayers in the Tanakh were for His face to “shine upon us” (Psalm 67:1-2, 80:1-3, 119:135).
(John 1:5 NASB) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:5: The actual Greek does not mean “comprehend” but “to take in or to take down.” The darkness could not take in the light.
In the physical world, darkness and light cannot co-exist. When you turn on the light, the darkness is gone. However, in the realm his people, light and dark coexist. If someone is not chosen, they are in darkness and cannot understand the light or take it in. Although they may be surrounded by the light of the Word of Elohim, they just are not able to take it in. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
(John 1:6 NASB) There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
John 1:6: John enters the picture here. Luke gives us some earlier details of John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness for a period of time and suddenly appeared on the scene.
(John 1:7 NASB) He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.
John 1:7: We see here the purpose of John. He is to bear witness to the light so that His people may believe. What does “believe” mean? It is the Greek word “pisteuw.” The Greek lexicon tells us:
1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
a) of the thing believed
1) to credit, have confidence
b) in a moral or religious reference
1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
Pisteow is not an passive emotional word. It is an action word.
(John 1:8 NASB) He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.
(John 1:9 NASB) There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
John 1:9: The light of the world is Yeshua the Messiah. He is the Word of Elohim in the flesh (Psalm 119:105). Truth is only found in His Word, which at this time was only the Tanakh (Isa. 8:20).
(John 1:10 NASB) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
(John 1:11 NASB) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
(John 1:12 NASB) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
John 1:12: Even though the world was made through Him, it did not know Him. Many of His own people (many of the Jewish people) did not receive Him.
Those who do receive Him, to those who are called by His name, to them He gave power to become the sons of Elohim. Those who receive Him are those who receive His ways (Isa. 56:4-7, Jer. 3:19).
(John 1:13 NASB) who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:13: This verse must be read with the previous one in order to be understood. Those who receive Him do not receive Him from the will of the flesh or from the will of man. Man does not choose Elohim. It does not matter if one cries tears of want and desire or if one runs away from Elohim. Elohim chooses whom He will. This passage is speaking of the ones who are chosen by the will of Elohim.
(John 1:14 NASB) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14: The very Word of Elohim became flesh and dwelt among us. Through Him, we behold the glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (Isa. 40:5, 60:1-2).
(John 1:15 NASB) John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'”
John 1:15: The text says that John bore witness of Him. We were previously told that is the reason John was sent (John 1:6-8). John says that He who comes after him will have a higher rank than him because He existed before John. He is speaking of the Word of Elohim that existed before the beginning of the world and was made flesh.
(John 1:16 NASB) For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
(John 1:17 NASB) For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17: His “fulness we have all received” from Him is the Spirit of the Father (Luke 4:1). In verse 17, we are given a contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant, Torah was given through Moses. In the New Covenant, which came to us through the shed blood of the Messiah, grace (His blessings) and truth (His Torah) are realized through His Spirit within us, which came from the blood of Messiah (Deut. 30:6-9).
(John 1:18 NASB) No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
John 1:18: No man has seen Elohim. No man can see Him and live (Ex.33:19-20).
The last part of the verse says that Yeshua “explained” the Father. The literal Greek actually means He “led Elohim out into the open.” He did this for us to actually know Him. He came to show us His Word in it’s pure and simple form and He came to us in the flesh.
(John 1:19 NASB) And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
(John 1:20 NASB) And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
(John 1:21 NASB) And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
John 1:21: Why did the Jews send priests and Levites from Jerusalem come to ask John if he was Elijah? We are told that in the last days, Elohim would send Elijah (Mal 4:4-6). John did not realize that he was Elijah, but Yeshua said that he was Elijah who was to come (Matt. 17:10-13). John’s father knew that he was to be Elijah that turns the hearts of the fathers back to the children and teach righteousness (Luke 1:15-17).
Then they asked if he was the prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:17-18. He said, “No.”
(John 1:22 NASB) They said then to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
(John 1:23 NASB) He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
John 1:23: John quotes the prophet Isaiah here (Isa. 40:3-5). John says that he is the voice in Isaiah making the paths straight so that the glory of Elohim may be revealed.
We have been told so far that Yeshua Messiah is the Word and John the Baptist was a voice.
(John 1:24 NASB) Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
(John 1:25 NASB) And they asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
John 1:25: The men who asked these questions came from the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the conservative religious leaders in that day.
They are asking John, if You are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the prophet, why do you baptize? They saw this baptizing as a symbol of the New Covenant which they thought would come in the last days (Ezek. 36:25-28).
(John 1:26 NASB) John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know.
(John 1:27 NASB) “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
John 1:27: John says his baptism is one of water. we are told in Matthew’s account that the baptism of John was one of water for repentance (Matt. 3:11). He was telling people to turn away with their old ways and turn to Torah. He was turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, as prophesied.
(John 1:28 NASB) These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John 1:28: John (the apostle) was very specific in his locations and his chronology. Not all the Gospels are chronological when they give the events in the life of Yeshua.
In this verse he tells us where this took place. The next verse tells us that Yeshua came to John the Baptist “the next day.”
(John 1:29 NASB) The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said^, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29: Yeshua is “the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sins of the world.” The “Lamb of Elohim” is in reference to the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:3-14). This is also in reference to the scapegoat of the Day of Atonement (Lev.16:5-10). It was the second goat (the first goat on the Day of Atonement was killed for the atonement of sins) which was anointed with the blood of the slain goat and was left to die in the wilderness. This goat was bearing Israel’s sin and taking it away from the people. Here John refers to Yeshua as the Lamb of Elohim that “takes away the sin of the world.” He takes the sin away from His people and becomes our scapegoat by bearing the weight of that sin.
This is also in reference to the Suffering Servant of Isa. 53:6-7. All references clearly point to the sacrificial Lamb from the Torah and Tanakh. The difference is that this is the Lamb from Elohim.
(John 1:30 NASB) “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’
(John 1:31 NASB) “And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
John 1:31: John saw Yeshua coming to him and pronounced Him as the Lamb of Elohim who will take away the sins of the world and that He existed before John (as the Word of Elohim).
John said he did not recognize Him. That Greek word for “recognize” is G3609a. oida, from G3708; to have seen or perceived, hence to know:– appreciate(1), aware(1), aware of(2), become learned(1), conscious*(1), having knowledge(1), knew(16), knew about(1), know(216), know about(1), know how(9), knowing(36), known(4), known about(1), knows(15), knows how(1), realize(1), realizing(2), recognize(3), unaware*(1), understand(5), understanding(1).
It more likely means that John did not know about Him at that time. But that in order that He might be recognized to Israel, John came baptizing in water. That term for “manifested” is G5319. phanerow, from G5318; to make visible, make clear:– appear(1), appeared(6), appears(3), become visible(1), becomes visible(1), disclose(1), disclosed(1), displayed(1), made evident(2), made known(1), made manifest(2), make clear(1), manifested(18), manifests(1), revealed(7), show(1), shown(1).
This passage is better understood if read as, “And I did not know about Him, but in order that He might be revealed to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
(John 1:32 NASB) And John bore witness saying, “I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.Mes
John 1:32: John’s act of baptizing in water is how Yeshua was revealed as Messiah by the Father’s voice coming from above and His Spirit descending on Him like a dove.
(John 1:33 NASB) “And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’
John 1:33: John was apparently told by Elohim to go forth and baptize people with water. When John comes across One who has the Spirit descend upon Him and remaining on Him, he will know that this is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit in when the Spirit (or Breath) of Elohim is inside an individual and the heart of that person turns toward Elohim and His Torah,. It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that cleanses one of sin and makes them a part of the New Covenant (Titus 3:5-6, 1 Cor. 12:13, Acts 11:15-16).
(John 1:34 NASB) “And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
(John 1:35 NASB) Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples,
(John 1:36 NASB) and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
John 1:36: John knew his job was not to build up his own popularity, but to point others to Yeshua. John is telling his followers that this is the one they should be following. We are told that at least two of John’s disciples listened.
(John 1:37 NASB) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
John 1:37: As we saw earlier in the chapter, John came to bear witness, as he says again in verse 34. It is through the witness of John that verified the identity of Yeshua. Two disciples then heard Him speak and followed Yeshua.
(John 1:38 NASB) And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?”
(John 1:39 NASB) He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” They came therefore and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
John 1:39: Yeshua asks those who followed Him, “What do you seek?” Notice that they do not answer Him. They do not know what they are seeking. They just ask where He is staying. Yeshua invites them to follow Him.
(John 1:40 NASB) One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
John 1:40: Once again, it was the witness of John that revealed to Andrew the identity of Yeshua.
(John 1:41 NASB) He found^ first his own brother Simon, and said^ to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).
(John 1:42 NASB) He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
John 1:42: Yeshua tells Simon that he shall now be called “Cephas” in Aramaic. The Aramiac word means “rock.” The Greek word for “cephas” or “rock” is “petros.”
(John 1:43 NASB) The next day He purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found^ Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.”
(John 1:44 NASB) Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
(John 1:45 NASB) Philip found^ Nathanael and said^ to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:45: Philip told Nathanael he has found the One of whom Moses wrote of in Torah and of whom the prophets wrote.
(John 1:46 NASB) And Nathanael said^ to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said^ to him, “Come and see.”
(John 1:47 NASB) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said^ of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
John 1:47: Although Nathanael was a smart aleck, he was not filled with deceit. He was being honest in his opinion that he did not think any good thing could come from Nazareth. Yeshua is surprising Nathanael by knowing what he said.
(John 1:48 NASB) Nathanael said^ to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
John 1:48: Yeshua is displaying His Deity with this statement to Nathanael (Psalm 139:1-4).
(John 1:49 NASB) Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”
(John 1:50 NASB) Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.”
(John 1:51 NASB) And He said^ to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 1:51: In that account in Genesis, Jacob was fleeing from his brother Esau and left home the previous day. Elohim appeared to him in a dream as a ladder reaching up into heaven with angels going up and down it (Gen. 28:12).
What did Yeshua mean by telling Nathanael that he will see this ladder?
Yeshua saying that He is the only way to the Father and Nathanael will see that fact (John 14:6).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas