The one called the Word gave life to everything
1This is the story about somebody called the Word. Before God made anything, the Word was with God, and he was just the same as God. You see, the Word was God. 2Yes, the Word was with God before anything happened. 3God used the Word to make everything. God and the Word worked together, and they made everything, everywhere. 4The Word had the power to give life to everything, and he showed people what is true about God. You see, the Word was a light for everyone. 5That light shines out into the darkness and makes everything clear, and the darkness can’t put it out.
John the Baptiser told people about God’s special man
6One day, God sent a man called John to talk to people.#Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:1-2 7His job was to tell everyone about the person that is that light, so everyone could hear his message and believe it. 8-9John was not that real light, but he came to tell people about that light. The real light was coming into the world. That light was going to shine in the darkness so that everyone could see God.
The one called the Word became a human being
10The one called the Word came to the world. You know, God used that one called the Word to make everything in the world, but people in the world didn’t know who he was. 11He came to his own countrymen, but most of them didn’t want him. 12But some people did want him. They believed in him, so God said they can join his family, and be his own kids. 13Yes, those people are in God’s family, but they were not born into it the way kids are born into human families. And they did not come from what a human mother or father wanted. God himself gave them new life and made them his kids.
14You see, the Word became a human being. He came and lived in a body, with us here on the earth. We saw that he was really powerful, just like God. Then we knew that he was God’s only special son, and he showed us what his father is like. He was a really good man, and everything he said was true.
15But before we saw the Word, this is what John told everybody about him. He said, “I am telling you about a man that will come later. He is a lot greater than I am. You see, he was alive even before I was born.”
16That man is really good. And when he came, he was really good to us. He is like that. He is good to us all the time, even when we do nothing good for him. 17You know, God gave Moses the law a long time ago, so that our people could live God’s way, but Jesus Christ gave us God’s true message. He showed us that God loves us, even though we did nothing good for him. 18Nobody has ever seen God. But the special man, the one that is God, he is always with his father. He is the one that showed us what God is like.
John the Baptiser answered questions about himself
19The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem city sent some of the bosses of their ceremonies, and other men that helped in the Jewish ceremonies, to ask John some questions. They said to him, “Who are you?”
20John told them straight. He said, “I am not the Christ, the special man that God promised to send to save his people.”
21Those men from Jerusalem asked him again, “Who are you then? Are you Elijah, the man that told God’s message a long time ago?”
John said, “No, I am not Elijah.”
Again, the men asked, “What about the messenger that God promised, a long time ago. He promised to send a special man, like Moses, to tell his message. Are you that man?”
And again, John said, “No, I am not that man.”
22Then the men asked him, “Well, who are you? And why are you here? We have to tell our leaders.”
23John talked to them with the words that Isaiah wrote, a long time ago. Isaiah told people God’s words, and they are in God’s book. John said,
“I am a man that is out in the bush, calling out to people. I’m saying,
‘You mob get ready. Later on, God will come to this country.
It is like when a big boss comes,
you have to make a good road for him.’ ”#Isaiah 40:3
24-25Some of those men from Jerusalem were from the Pharisee mob, that were strong for the law. They said to John, “You say that you are not the special man that God promised to send, called the Christ. And you say that you are not Elijah, or the messenger that God promised. So why do you baptise people? Why do you take them through that special washing ceremony?”
26-27John said to them, “I baptise people with water. But I am telling you, there is somebody coming after me that you don’t know yet. He is the most important one. I am not good enough to untie his shoes.”
28That all happened at a place called Bethany, on the east side of the Jordan River. John was baptising people there.
John the Baptiser told people about Jesus
29The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him. John said to the people there, “Look at that man. He is the special one that God sent. You know how people kill a young sheep to pay for the bad things they did. Well, God sent this man to die, like those young sheep. He is going to let people kill him, to pay for all the bad things that everybody in the world does.
30He is the man I told you about. I said, ‘He is a lot greater than I am. You see, he was always alive, even before I was born.’ 31-34At first I didn’t know that this was the special man that God promised to send. You see, God sent me to you Israel people to baptise you with water and get you ready, so that God can show that man to you.
I didn’t know which man was the right one, but God told me this, ‘You will see the Holy Spirit coming down on to one man, and the spirit will stay on that man. Then you will know that he is the special man that I sent. He is the one that will put the Holy Spirit into people, that is, he will baptise them with the Holy Spirit.’
And I saw it happen like God said. I saw the Holy Spirit come down from heaven. It looked like a pigeon. It came down and sat on him. So I’m telling you, this man is God’s son.”
Some men started to follow Jesus
35The next day, John was standing near the Jordan River again. 36He saw Jesus walking by, and John said to 2 of his followers, “Look at that man. He is the special one that God sent to die for us. You know that God told people to kill young sheep, to pay for the wrong things they did. Well, this man will die for us, just like those young sheep died for people.” 37John’s 2 followers heard him say that about Jesus, so they left John and followed Jesus.
38Jesus turned around and saw them, and he asked them, “What are you looking for? Why are you following me?”
The men said, “Rabbi, where is your camp?” (In their language, that word Rabbi means Teacher.)
39Jesus said, “Come and see.” So the men followed Jesus to his camp, and they stayed with him that day. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
40-41Andrew was one of the 2 men that left John and followed Jesus. Andrew went quickly and found his brother, Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah.” (In their language that word Messiah means Christ. Both of those words mean the special man that God promised to send.) 42So Andrew took Simon to meet Jesus.
Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon and your father’s name is John. I will call you Kefas.” (In their language, that word Kefas means stone, and Peter is another name that means stone, so we usually call him Peter.)
Jesus told Philip and Nathaniel to follow him
43The next day, Jesus wanted to go north, to Galilee country. But first he found a man called Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
44Philip was from a town called Bethsayida, the same town that Andrew and Peter were from.
45Philip went to his friend Nathaniel and said to him, “We have found the special man that Moses wrote about in our Jewish law books. And God’s other messengers talked about this man too. His name is Jesus. He is from the town called Nazareth, and he is the son of Joseph.”
46Nathaniel didn’t believe the words he heard, and he said, “No, Nazareth is a rubbish place. Nothing good ever comes from there.”
But Philip said, “Come and meet him.”
47Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to meet him. Jesus said to the other people there, “Here is a proper Israel man. He doesn’t try to trick anyone.”
48Nathaniel asked Jesus, “How do you know me?”
Jesus said, “I knew you even before Philip found you. I saw you while you were under that fruit tree.”
49Nathaniel said, “Teacher. You are the one we have been waiting for. You are the son of God, and you will be the big boss for all of us Israel people.”
50Jesus asked him, “Do you believe in me because I said that I saw you under a fruit tree? Well, later on, you will see me do even greater things.” 51Then Jesus said to everyone there, “Listen, I am telling you straight, one day you will see heaven open up, and you will see God’s angel messengers going up into heaven, and you will see them coming down on to me. I am God’s special man from heaven.”#Genesis 28:12