The Gospel of John is meant to be read as an entire unit, meaning, all twenty-one chapters aren’t intended to provide us twenty-one or more different themes. Although the narrative in chapters 14 through 16 deal with Jesus’ discourse with the apostles, this discourse isn’t offering a different theme from Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman in chapter 4. Both deal with the nature and mission of the Christ. Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus is intended to be seen under the same umbrella as Jesus’ interrogation with Pilate. Both deal with the nature and mission of the Christ.
John 20:30-31 tells us that this gospel account carefully chooses signs to illustrate the nature and mission of the Christ but 1:1-18 gives us the omniscient perspective we need as readers. We’re allowed to know “how the movie ends” before it starts. We’re allowed to know who Jesus is before the disciples realize who Jesus really is, before Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, etc.
John 1:1-5 gives us five identifications of Jesus: Word, God, Creator, Life, Light. Jesus is the Word. The Word (logos) was in the beginning. This gives us a concept of a starting point in history that will culminate with Jesus coming into the world He created. By coming into the world God will bring eternal life through Jesus. Jesus is Light by explaining God’s desire for a world that turned its back on God, yet God loved the world enough to reconcile it to Himself through Jesus (3:16-17). By hearing that the Word was in the beginning we’re able to imagine that God always planned to enter the world (1:14). This way we’re able to see 20/20, clearly, what Jesus’ nature is. The Word (which entered the world) was with God in the beginning. However, the Word existed as God in the beginning but in Jesus, was now being realized as God as a human. Usage of the ‘Word’ enables us to see that both God and Jesus are the Word, yet manifested differently for different periods of time, apparently for different reasons. For example, verse 18 is a declarative statement where we hear that Jesus fully reveals God. Jesus is God’s final revelation to mankind. Jesus is the full explanation (cf. 1:1ff) of God, of God’s nature and God’s ultimate expression of love through the cross.