These opening verses of John’s gospel are like an overture of a grand symphony. The themes and images and theology that will make up the twenty-one chapters of John are introduced, the most important being the nature of the Word who was before anything began. My friend, Dr. Bob, calls the Jesus in John the magic Jesus. That’s because John’s Jesus always knows what people are thinking and what’s coming next and makes things happen like magic, especially in the end when he lays down his life and picks it up again all by himself. Of course magic Jesus is just a fun way of saying John has a high Christology which is the point John makes in the beginning. This Word that was before anything was brings light and life into the world by becoming flesh as a Son so that the Father can be revealed. If you have seen the Son you have seen the Father. To tell you the truth I prefer a less magic Jesus like the one in the Gospel of Mark and yet there is something compelling about this Word revealing the mystery of the God beyond knowing. I think it is because this Jesus retains so much of his eternal beginning in his earthly end that he really could have blinked his eyes and legions of angels would have done an Armageddon on those who did Him in. But that would have been darkness overcoming light because given the choice God choosing to die as Jesus is how God so loves the world. That’s the twist the world couldn’t see coming. God’s dying is how we are born into grace and truth, the life of God. And like all good magic tricks the only thing you can do is be surprised and amazed and ask to see it again.