John opened his gospel with a pretty astounding statement: Jesus was with God in the beginning. In fact, He was and is God, and He is the one through whom all things were made. Paul wrote essentially the same truths in his letter to the Colossians, calling Jesus the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of all creation. “In him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16 NIV). But these staggering declarations are not just New Testament inventions; the Old Testament implies a tri-unity within God in the act of creation “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26)—and talks about wisdom as an agent of creation that was with God when He spoke the world into being (Proverbs 8:27-31). God the Father was not alone in the beginning.
How exactly did this work? That’s something of a mystery to us—we weren’t there, and our finite brains wouldn’t comprehend everything that happened at creation anyway. But it’s clear from Scripture that Jesus is eternal, divine, and has creative power, and the world was made through Him and for Him. In other words, the answer to that question so many human beings have asked—“What is life all about?”—is Jesus. Not a cause, not a principle, not a theory, but a Person. Jesus is present from the very first verse of the Bible.
This truth helped shape the early years of the church, and it eventually developed into our understanding of the Trinity. There is only one God, but Scripture speaks of Him in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. One essence, three persons and personalities. A fellowship of three in a being of one. A perfect, loving community at the heart of all reality. A way to express love within God’s own nature. An eternal story before human history ever began.
If we didn’t know this about Jesus, we might consider Him only to be a great teacher or prophet—a miracle worker empowered by God, but still only a man. But the Bible assures us He is more than a man. He is divine, and worthy of worship. He even allowed people to worship Him on several occasions during His earthly ministry. He is able to intercede for us in heaven, having all power and authority in His hands. When Scripture calls Him Immanuel—”God with us”—it speaks quite literally.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.