John 1:1-5 – Fourth Friday of Lent

John 1 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.


Of all the passages in the Bible, this one intrigues me the most.  I feel a deep kinship with this phrase.

I attribute my feelings toward John 1:1-5 to my abstract mathematics background.  I envision mathematical universes that I can’t describe to others less write down on paper.  If you grant me a little leeway, I shall endeavor to explain this connection.

We exist in a three-dimensional world. That is, we have height, width and depth.  When we look at our shadow, it is a projection of our three-dimensional selves onto a two-dimensional surface.  That shadow ever changes its shape but it is still a projection of us.

Mathematicians and Physicists sometimes offer that there are more than three dimensions. The fourth can easily be assigned the value of time.  For example, I am the same person I have been for the last 50 years.  However, as time has progressed, so has my three-dimensional appearance changed.  I would argue that my three-dimensional self is but a shadow of my real self that exists in four-dimensional space.

We can increase the dimensions ad infinitum. In mathematics, we call this n-dimensional space.

Looking at John 1:1-5 from the n-dimensional perspective, we can parallel the different phases of God, the Trinity, the Word, as different “projections” of God from one set of dimensions to another.  They are all the same being.  We assign attributes to this being using the dimensions we have at hand at the time we are in need.

Christ is God is the Holy Spirit is the Word is the Trinity.  They are all “shadows” of one another.  They are not separate. They are the One.

Application:

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

In the Silmarillian by J. R. R. Tolkein, Tolkein’s deity creates the universe by music. The Ainur create the entire universe and not only does this bring planets, sky, people and other beings into existence, but they also give speech to the lower beings.

Similarly, our God is the Word.  Without existence, there was Him.  There was His thought, His echo which cast the “shadow” into our realm of understanding as the Word.

He was in the beginning with God. 

Jesus, the Messiah, our Christ has always been with God.  Just as mathematicians and physicists operate in n-dimensional space and arbitrarily assign meanings to different dimensions, Jesus is another description of what our n-dimensional God truly is. Jesus is equally eternal and transcendent as God, because they are one.

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.

As Tolkein’s Ainur brought the world into being by singing, the One brought everything into existence by the Word.  He is so powerful, that with a thought, a Universe is created. With a whisper, all of humanity is set in its design.

We are created by, of and in Christ.  We are His creations. We, along with all the creatures, plants, planets, stars and elements are all precious.  We can never forget that. We, all of creation, are His.

What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

We are not condemned to live in darkness and despair, but are expected to rejoice in the light and experience joy and happiness. When we live righteously, in Christ, we baste in His light.

This one phrase has kept me going over the last year or so.  There were times when the pain from the 96-hour spasms was so exhausting and painful I began to doubt that I could survive.  Christ gave me a ray of His light.  He allowed me to see that in Him, I can experience joy in despair.  I can experience light and not cower in the darkness afraid.  I can be bold.

We are not meant to understand all of mathematics and physics, yet we do not doubt they exists.  Yet, there are some of us that dispute the existence of God due to contradictions and flaws.  I purport that there are contradictions in mathematics and physics.  When we examine them closer, we come to understand that they are really not contradictions.  They are just being applied in a method that they were not meant to be.  We create the contradictions.

God, the Word, Christ, the Holy Spirit, are not meant to be fully understood.  They are meant to give us light, like a beacon, to lead us.  Light, blazing a way for us, through the darkness.  The Word, is to help us comprehend what we can of the Christ, knowing that it is truly impossible for our feeble minds to fully gain understanding of what is the One, the Most High, our Christ.

Thanks for reading and God Bless,

Jay C. “Jazzy_J” Theriot