Bible Study

John Bible Study, Day 1: Jesus: The Word, the Life, and the Light

Today’s passage: John 1:1–14

Focus verse: In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4)

The book of John opens with a most moving passage. It’s lyrical, it’s evocative, and it is exquisite.

In this poetic prelude of John’s Gospel, he calls Jesus the Word, and asserts that the Word is God. This means Jesus is God. While some people may think it’s an overreach to claim that the Word refers to Jesus, keep reading.

To remove all doubt, John later states that this Word becomes human to join us on earth. Jesus becomes a man to live among us. Jesus, as the Word, shows us his glory as the one and only Son from Father God. Jesus overflows with grace and abounds in truth.

He is the Word sent to us from God.

We often assume the Word of God means Scripture. But remember that the New Testament of the Bible didn’t exist until several centuries after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Because of this, we should consider God’s Word as his spoken Word, more so than his written Word.

What if Jesus is more than the metaphorical Word? What if he serves as the actual Word of God? Yes, Jesus is the Word.

John also writes that in Jesus is life. Jesus is present when time begins and takes part in forming our existence. In fact, without Jesus, creation cannot occur. Physical life flows through Jesus at creation. In the same way, eternal life emanates through Jesus now.

Jesus comes so we may have life and live with abundance (John 10:10). This theme of life recurs throughout the book of John, with his writing mentioning life in forty-one verses, more often than any other book in the Bible.

The life of Jesus, and the life through Jesus, gives us light. Just as the sun that Jesus created illuminates our physical world, the light that Jesus gives off now illuminates our spiritual world.

This light shines for us in the darkness that surrounds us, exposing the evil in our world. Best of all, this light of Jesus overcomes the darkness, pushing it away. This means good is stronger than evil. God is more powerful than Satan. Hold on to this truth. Don’t forget it.

Jesus is the light. As the light—our true light—he comes into our world to save us. Though many do not recognize him or accept him, everyone who receives him and believes in his name become children of God, born of God.

Because of Jesus we’ve been born into the physical realm, and through our belief in him we are born a second time into the spiritual realm.

Take time to contemplate John’s profound opening to his biography, revealing Jesus as the Word, the life, and the light.


  1. What does it mean that Jesus is the Word?
  2. How does the Word of God impact your life each day?
  3. What does it mean that Jesus is life?
  4. What does it mean that Jesus is the light?
  5. How does knowing that Jesus took part in creation inform our understanding of him?

Discover what else John says about the Word of God in 1 John 2:14, Revelation 1:1–2, Revelation 19:12–13, and Revelation 20:4. What insights can you glean from these passages?

Read the next lesson or start at the beginning of this study.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.