John now brings the introduction to his gospel to a close. And in doing so he reverts back to John the Baptist who also declared the eternal nature of the Word, this eternal, Creator God who became flesh. We read in 1:15,
John testified about 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.’ ”
Jesus, who became flesh that first Christmas morning, was physically born after his relative John. And yet John the Baptist declares that Jesus existed “before me.” Our savior, the God-man Jesus, is an eternal God. We serves a risen savior who is God.
The apostle echoes the deity of the Word with the term “fullness” in 1:16 and again in verse 18 with another remarkable statement. Of this Jesus (v. 17) John states,
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him (1:18).
The difficulties of this verse are very technical. But the best reading is as follows: “the unique and beloved one – himself God.” It is true no one has seen God (apart from shielding and lived!) at any time. However this Jesus who became flesh, he is the Father’s beloved one and is in the bosom of the Father (e.g. 1:1 “the word was with God”). This Jesus has explained or made him clear to all of us. Our savior, the eternal, Creator God who became a man, came to reveal God to us. We are a most fortunate people. God chose to reveal himself to us in Jesus. That is why, “He who has seen me, has seen the Father.” They are both God, yet one God. This truth should motivate us and transform us to love him with all our heart.