The Word Becomes Human
1In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was already with God in the beginning.
3Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him.
4He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity.
5The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.
6God sent a man named John to be his messenger. 7John came to declare the truth about the light so that everyone would become believers through his message. 8John was not the light, but he came to declare the truth about the light.
9The real light, which shines on everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him. Yet, the world didn’t recognize him. 11He went to his own people, and his own people didn’t accept him. 12However, he gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him. 13These people didn’t become God’s children in a physical way—from a human impulse or from a husband’s desire ⌞to have a child⌟. They were born from God.
14The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness #1:14 Or “grace.” and truth.
15(John declared the truth about him when he said loudly, “This is the person about whom I said, ‘The one who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.’ ”)
16Each of us has received one gift after another because of all that the Word is. 17Laws were given through Moses, but kindness and truth came into existence through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. God’s only Son, the one who is closest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.
John Prepares the Way
(Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:1–18)
19This was John’s answer when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly, “I’m not the Messiah.”
21They asked him, “Well, are you Elijah?”
John answered, “No, I’m not.”
Then they asked, “Are you the prophet?”
John replied, “No.”
22So they asked him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23John said, “I’m a voice crying out in the desert, ‘Make the way for the Lord straight,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24Some of those who had been sent were Pharisees. 25They asked John, “Why do you baptize if you’re not the Messiah or Elijah or the prophet?”
26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Someone you don’t know is standing among you. 27He’s the one who comes after me. I am not worthy to untie his sandal strap.”
28This happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
John Identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God
29John saw Jesus coming toward him the next day and said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 30He is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘A man who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.’ 31I didn’t know who he was. However, I came to baptize with water to show him to the people of Israel.”
32John said, “I saw the Spirit come down as a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33I didn’t know who he was. But God, who sent me to baptize with water, had told me, ‘When you see the Spirit come down and stay on someone, you’ll know that person is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen this and have declared that this is the Son of God.”
Calling of the First Disciples
35The next day John was standing with two of his disciples. 36John saw Jesus walk by. John said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God.” 37When the two disciples heard John say this, they followed Jesus.
38Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He asked them, “What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39Jesus told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went to see where he was staying and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about ten o’clock in the morning.
40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two disciples who heard John and followed Jesus. 41Andrew at once found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. Your name will be Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
43The next day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me!” 44(Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.)
45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the man whom Moses wrote about in his teachings and whom the prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, son of Joseph, from the city of Nazareth.”
46Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip told him, “Come and see!”
47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and remarked, “Here is a true Israelite who is sincere.”
48Nathanael asked Jesus, “How do you know anything about me?”
Jesus answered him, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49Nathanael said to Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!”
50Jesus replied, “You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51Jesus said to Nathanael, “I can guarantee this truth: You will see the sky open and God’s angels going up and coming down to the Son of Man.”