Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
John 1:9-14 (NIV)
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
In the beginning of both his letter, and his gospel, John emphasizes that he speaks as an eyewitness. He has “seen his glory” (v. 14). As an old man (he is about 80 when he is writing), he is probably one of the last people still alive who actually got to meet Jesus in person, seeing him and touching him. He calls Jesus the “true light” (v. 9) and the “word” (v. 14). These are different ways of describing the same thing: Jesus is God’s words in living body. Learning from Jesus is the difference between reading a textbook on fixing your car, and having a mechanic personally demonstrate how to fix your car. This “gives light to everyone” (v. 9). Everyone, that is, who receives Jesus. Receiving Jesus means believing he is God’s son, and loves us and will save us. When we fully believe this, our behavior and thinking change, so that we now live to please him. We call this change being “born of God.” (v. 14)