In my view, the gospel writer, John writes in a manner that reflects the concept of “thin places.”  Thin places means a place where God is present in a deep and meaningful way.  This means they could be anywhere. But they can also mean special spaces where heaven and earth meet – or at least have a flimsy boundary that allows for the divine and human to go back and forth.  For John, the prologue is like a thin place where heaven and earth meet in Jesus (1:14-18).  Jesus, is the divine-human messenger who is presented as the Logos (Word) and Light who reveals God as Father.  In the first four verses of John 1, the reader is swept into a cosmic stage where he or she reads about Jesus, the Word before any word was spoken and the Co-creator of the Universe (1:3-4). This is Jesus who was before time and creation began. This is Jesus who is not from our planet and dimension. But because of a powerful force called LOVE (1:18; 3:16) came to our planet to reveal who God is – the God who he calls Father.  John begins his story about Jesus by telling the reader/audience that the person I am about to introduce to you is no ordinary being but someone who is going to change your life if you believe in him. (Another example of “thin places” encounters in the Bible are Moses meeting God in the burning bush (Exodus 3) and Jesus transfigured on the mountain. John alludes to it in John 1:14 and the Synoptic Gospels report with more detail (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; and Luke 9:28-36).

Jesus, the Logos made human, who was the Word/Message and the Messenger who showed up and pitched his tent among humans not just to save them but to inspire them to live empowered by the Light, who shines in the midst of darkness.  It will be helpful to the 21st century reader to know that John’s reference to “the Jews,” does not mean all Jewish people.  “The Jews” in John’s Gospel are the Jewish religious leaders and those who rejected Jesus as God’s Son.  John’s Gospel must not be used to incite anti-Jewish sentiments. John is making a differentiation between the Jews who believed and those who did not believe (cf. John 8:31-32).  John’s Gospel included a promise of eternal life for whoever (Jews and non-Jews) believed in God’s Son (John 3:16) because of God’s love.

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