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What does it mean that Jesus was in the beginning with God (John 1:2)?

in the beginning with God

The opening verses of John’s Gospel give us one of the most theologically rich and vivid glimpses into the nature of Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1–3).

With these statements, John deliberately lays out the foundational doctrine upon which his entire message would stand—the deity of Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus was in the beginning with God proves several key points: Jesus Christ is God—He is divine; He existed in the beginning because Jesus is eternal; He was not created in the beginning but is co-Creator. He was with God, distinct in personhood from the Father and a member of the triune Godhead.

Jesus Christ Is God

“The Word” (Logos in Greek) is an undeniable reference to Jesus Christ, as the Word was made flesh (John 1:14). John would emphasize the deity of Christ throughout his Gospel (John 1:14; 5:17–18; 10:30, 36–38; 12:45; 14:7, 9–11). In the book of Revelation, John reintroduces Jesus as the “Word of God” (Revelation 19:13).

Jesus Christ Is Eternal

John describes Jesus as pre-existent. Jesus was in the beginning with God means He was already present in Genesis 1:1 when the universe began. He has always existed (John 8:58). The writer of Hebrews applies Psalm 102:25–27 to Jesus: “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever” (Hebrews 1:10–12, NLT).

Jesus Himself revealed in prayer that He shares in God’s eternality: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5; see also John 17:24). Again, in the book of Revelation, Jesus declares, “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end. . . . I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One” (Revelation 1:8, NLT).

Jesus Christ Is Creator

Jesus was in the beginning with God means that Jesus was not a created being but an active co-Creator with God. The term for “with” in the original Greek expresses a living, dynamic union in the closest, most intimate sense. John could not state it any more precisely: “God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him” (John 1:3, NLT; see also John 1:10).

The apostle Paul confirms, “For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, NLT).

Jesus Christ Is God the Son

Jesus was in the beginning with God also supports the doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus is God, yet He was “with God.” Jesus is distinct in His personhood from God the Father; He is God the Son. They are One but not identical. They interact with one another. The world was created by God through Jesus: “There is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6, NLT). As members of the Trinity, the Father and Son act distinctly but in close collaboration with one another (Genesis 1:1–3; cf. John 1:1–3).

The apostle Paul further describes this collaborative action in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ” (NLT). Jesus reveals “the visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15–17, NLT). “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command” (Hebrews 1:3, NLT).

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This page last updated: March 16, 2023