“In him,” John says of Jesus Christ, the Word, “was life” (1:4). The second Christmas word in our series is “life.” What does this mean?
I begin with this: John does not say only that the Word “gives” life but that “in him” — in who he was by nature — was life. The Word that became flesh is Life Itself, the very life of God in living flesh.
Second, by connecting Word to Life, John emphasizes again the New Creation theme. Life, a New Life, is now at work among Israel — the very life of God.
Third, this Life was there in the beginning and gave life to everything created. It is as if the Ball of Life exploded into Bits of Life. The life those bits have is only because the Ball of Life had life.
Fourth, the presence of the Life in the Word means that Eternal Life has now entered into history so that we can experience that Life now and know the message of God in that Word who is Life.
Finally, Jesus is that Life — the way, the truth, and the life (John 11:25; 14:6). He gives that life abundantly (10:10). No one can abide in God apart from the One who is Life (15:5).