In the beginning

Meditation 2a: In the beginning
by Don Schwager

Genesis 1:1-3,26 and Gospel of John 1:1-3 (RSV translation)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:1,3)… Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26).

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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).

Some questions for reflection

    1. Compare the verses in Genesis 1:1-3 with the verses in John 1:1-3. What similarities do you see? And what differences do you see? Can you recognize the Word of God in Genesis 1? God’s word is a spoken word – when God speaks his word has creative and dynamic power to bring about a change and transformation. His word can even create something out of nothing.

    1. Why does John begin his Gospel account with the same three words recorded in the book of Genesis, chapter 1 (Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1)? Is John comparing the beginning of creation with the coming of Jesus, the Son of God, who became a man of flesh and blood like us? Or is John saying something more – a continuity, development, or fulfillment of what began in the Old Testament?

How does Genesis 1 shed light on John 1 and how does John 1 bring to light what is hidden in Genesis 1? In Genesis 1:26 God speaks in the plural, “Let us make man in our image.” How does the Gospel of John reveal what is hidden in Genesis 1:26? Christians throughout the ages have understood this plural expression in Genesis as a veiled reference to the Trinity of the one Godhead (three persons ” the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).