Saturday, March 29, 2008

Was isn't yestarday anymore...

While dissecting some very popular text in John 1 this past week the Lord revealed something to me through my study. The text that I began to translate was not an unfamiliar one and I know that I had translated it before. This time, however, the Lord showed me something so amazing that I had to write and share it with all of you. This understanding is one that sort of shapes and defines one's theology and understanding of one's faith. It has transformed my faith and strengthened me in our Lord.

Check out John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Here in this passage, John writes about the eternality of the pre-incarnate Christ. Most believers have read and know the principles uncovered in this passage. We learn from this passage that Jesus has lived forever in a very special relationship with and as God. Dr. David Rice stated to me the other day that Jesus is the same nature as God but a different function (I hope that I have that quote right!) While Dr. Rice's definition does help to uncover a sliver of the majestic Trinity, truth be told, however, the eternal and perfect relationship that exists within the Trinity is undefinable by our finite minds. The Lord did not uncover this understanding to me this past week but He did show me something very special in this one verse.

One key word in this verse is "was" or the verb εἰμί "to be" in Greek. The verb itself has no special significance but the tense does. The verb is written in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense is used to signify a continuous process. So an appropriate translation of this verse would be "In the beginning was, is, and will always be the Word, and the Word was, is, and will always be with God, and the Word was, is, and will always be God."

The wonderful truth that is uncovered in this one tense of this one word is the eternality of our Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect and unending relationship with God. With the recent growth of pluralistic spiritualism, this one word helps us remember why Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and why no one comes to the father without Him.

What do you think about this?


Brian said...

Wow!! What a great verse. My small human mind can not grasp the concept of "no beginning or no end". If Jesus had a beginning or and ending that would mean that he was created. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit guides me through these deep things of God. Without faith and the Holy Spirit these would just be words on a page. Thanks for sharing Josh.

brandon said...

Thank you for your insight. I think that you are right-on target and this verse is a fork in the road for cults that often call themselves "Christian".

Everything hinges on what we believe about Jesus. He IS the way, the truth, and the life.

Dr. Carl M. Peters II said...

Hey Josh, thanks for your insight. How incredible that we are invited to share in the divine life of the Trinity. 2 Peter 1:4 says, "Through these (his divine power and knowing him) he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature..." There is an ancient saying - "We are sons in the Son." Imagine - as God's family, we participate in the Trinitarian life of God - perfect in unity. Amazing!

jdryer said...

Carl makes a good point in reminding us that we are so blessed to have been invited by God into a relationship with Himself and sustained by Him as well. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and it is through His grace and mercy that we have been picked up out of the mire. To be connected with God through our relationship with Jesus is indeed an immeasurable treasure. To be counted righteous by God and considered to be a child of God is an eternally precious reward.