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John 1:15 – “The Word Was Before John”

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(2015 SIH Christmas 18-Part Devotional Series)




Throughout this series we will be looking at a Biblical character described as “the Word”.

Who was “the Word”?

This is a title given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can clearly see this by taking a look at just a few of the verses we will be covering in this series:

In these verses, we are told that “the Word”…

John 1:1 – “was God” (Matthew 1:23)

John 1:2 – “was in the beginning with God” (Colossians 1:17)

John 1:3 – “all things were made by Him” (Hebrews 1:2)

John 1:4 – “in Him was life” (John 3:16)

John 1:10 – “the world knew Him not” (Isaiah 53:2-3)

John 1:11 – “came unto His own” (Philippians 2:5-8)

John 1:12 – “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (Galatians 3:26)

John 1:13 – “was made flesh and dwelt among us” “was full of grace and truth” (John 1:17)

Etc. etc.

We can easily see from these quotes from our devotional text, and the corresponding references from other parts of the Bible, clearly, without any doubt, our Lord Jesus is the One that is given the title “the Word” in this devotional text.

Why was Jesus given the title “the Word”?

The Greek word for “word” is the word “logos” – one of the definitions of this Greek word is “an expression” or “something that is said”.

In other words, Christ expresses God to man. Through Christ we have God revealed to us. This is much like our words that reveal our thoughts and intents to others. This is the basic reason why Christ is described as “the Word”.

This same truth is brought out in the text of our devotional series as well as throughout the remaining portions of God’s Word…

John 1:18 KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…”





Joh 1:15 KJV – “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”






John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake,

John the Baptist, gives testimony on behalf of The Word, identifying Jesus, as the One that he was speaking about as he ministered to the Jews. John the Baptist’s ministry was to prepare the way for Jesus to come to the earth…

Mat 3:3-4 KJV – “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.”

How did he do this? By identifying Jesus as the true Messiah and appealing to Jews to accept and follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Joh 1:33-37 KJV – “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”



He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”



John the Baptist was born before The Word’s birth in Bethlehem and he began his ministry before The Word’s ministry began. It is in both of these senses that Jesus, The Word, “cometh after” John.

This is whom John is referring to in this verse. John goes on and says that this same Word “is preferred before me, for He was before me”. In other words, Jesus would take precedence over John the Baptist because, as God, Jesus existed before John.

John claims The Word “cometh after” him and then states that The Word was “before” him.

What a seeming contradiction! But is it really a contradiction?

1. On one hand, John said he came before Jesus, meaning that his physical birth and the beginning of his ministry took place before that of Jesus.

2. While in the next breath, he says that in reality, as God, Jesus existed long before him, as Jesus has existed from eternity past.

As long as we recognize that Jesus is God Himself, sent to the earth as a man, we can understand these sayings of John as making perfect sense with no contradiction. It is only if we mistakenly see Christ as only a man who was born into this world, that we must believe John’s sayings are contradictory.

What does Christ say about this truth?

Jesus explains that He existed before and of God’s creation existed…

Joh 17:5 KJV – “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

And He clearly states that He is One with God the Father…

Joh 10:30 KJV – “I and my Father are one.”




Christ, The Word, when He came into the world was given the title “Immanuel” which means “God with us”…

Isa 7:14 KJV – “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Mat 1:23 KJV – “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Folks, God Himself came down to man in the person of Jesus Christ, The Word, that was sent from heaven. May we all bow down to, worship and serve Him!


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  1. The True Light! says:

    Another good study with some excellent points. Indeed the “Word” existed as a part of the panoply of God long before the world was formed. In that respect He did exist before John the baptizer. And Christ is worthy of all praise above all else except His Father God.

    Thank you for the lesson, Rob.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Thanks for sharing this devotional.

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