In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make.
Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.
The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
God sent John the Baptist
to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.
John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light.
The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.
But although the world was made through him, the world didn't recognize him when he came.
Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan -- this rebirth comes from God.
So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.
John pointed him out to the people. He shouted to the crowds, "This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did.'"
We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us -- one gracious blessing after another.
For the law was given through Moses; God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart; he has told us about him.
This was the testimony of John when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John whether he claimed to be the Messiah.
He flatly denied it. "I am not the Messiah," he said.
"Well then, who are you?" they asked. "Are you Elijah?" "No," he replied. "Are you the Prophet?" "No."
"Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?"
John replied in the words of Isaiah: "I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare a straight pathway for the Lord's coming!'"
Then those who were sent by the Pharisees
asked him, "If you aren't the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?"
John told them, "I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not know,
who will soon begin his ministry. I am not even worthy to be his slave."
This incident took place at Bethany, a village east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
He is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Soon a man is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did.'
I didn't know he was the one, but I have been baptizing with water in order to point him out to Israel."
Then John said, "I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.
I didn't know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, 'When you see the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon someone, he is the one you are looking for. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God."
The following day, John was again standing with two of his disciples.
As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and then declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!"
Then John's two disciples turned and followed Jesus.
Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" he asked them. They replied, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
"Come and see," he said. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place, and they stayed there the rest of the day.
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of these men who had heard what John said and then followed Jesus.
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means the Christ).
Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, "You are Simon, the son of John -- but you will be called Cephas" (which means Peter).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Come, be my disciple."
Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter's hometown.
Philip went off to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth."
"Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from there?" "Just come and see for yourself," Philip said.
As they approached, Jesus said, "Here comes an honest man -- a true son of Israel."
"How do you know about me?" Nathanael asked.And Jesus replied, "I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you."
Nathanael replied, "Teacher, you are the Son of God -- the King of Israel!"
Jesus asked him, "Do you believe all this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this."
Then he said, "The truth is, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down upon the Son of Man."