We say someone has a “high christology” when the divinity of Christ gets more emphasis than the humanity of Christ. With this beginning to the gospel of John, we see a VERY high christology. Although the jury may still be out on the gospel itself. The prologue (1:1-18) is generally seen as a later addition — possibly written by a disciple of the author.
What speaks to me in this brief excerpt?
I see a claim to the integrity of God and God’s speech. When I promise something, even when I do so with the best and most sincere of intentions, my word and my being are separate by the very act and event of my speaking. Circumstances tomorrow could turn my promises of today on their heads. This is why Jesus tells us swearing oaths, or making claims about our future actions are arrogant:
Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
But with God, this is different. God’s word, God’s self revelation, is itself God. One in essence and one in intention. The spirit who inspired the prophets, the revelation given in word or vision, are all one in perfect integrity. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And it is this same divine self-revelation by God, who was God’s instrument in the creation of all that is. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. And that self-same divine and creative self-revelation is the source of all life and truth what has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. And moreover, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome/understand/comprehend it.
With a beginning like this, we must be prepared for a book that makes a lot of claims. A book that is not shy from discussing arcana and metaphysics. This Word of God makes claims upon us and as this Word is itself God, those claims are themselves infinite.
Scary stuff, eh kiddies?