The beginning of this chapter reads like the opening words of Genesis. "In the beginning God...." John reads, "In the beginning, WAS the Word." John is pointing out the dynamic truth that this Jesus is more than a mere human being. He is God as well. John lets his readers know that Jesus is eternal, for he says that when time began the Word already was. Jesus existed prior to the beginning of time. This Jesus is also part of the Godhead and has been in fellowship with God forever. The word "with" means face-to-face. Jesus has always been in fellowship with the Father and Holy Spirit.
John uses an interesting concept to describe the nature of Jesus' being when he refers to him as the Word. This is the Greek word, "logos," which is related to the word "logic." John is stating that Jesus is the source of truth because he is the truth and that all which is true cannot contradict his Person and teaching. In the Greek world the Logos was an impersonal force and source from which all truth and logic emanated. In order to communicate well with his audience John takes up this concept of the Logos and applies it to the person of Jesus. John relates that the source of truth is a Divine Person and not an impersonal force. Also, as the Word, Jesus is the most definitive description and communication of who God is. As Jesus would say of Himself, "When you have seen me, you have seen the Father."
Thus, Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh and dwelt among human beings on earth. He was in every sense a first century Jewish man. John describes the nature of the glory of God that was communicated through the Person of Jesus. He states, "...and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Here we are introduced to the reality that while God is the God of all truth, He is also the God of all grace.
This should guide us as to the path we should walk as believers. The pursuit of truth alone is not sufficient. We must also walk in the light of God's grace. Truth and grace must be kept in vital tension. Truth without grace is legalism. Grace without truth is antinomianism. If truth is the steering wheel of a car then grace is the gas that fuels the car. Truth keeps us in line. Grace empowers and motivates us to walk in the truth. Grace does not change the call to obedience; it changes the motive for obedience. Grace and truth. What a life!