1) Water and Spirit and Creation

Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I love the symmetry in the Bible because it’s a great indicator of one voice speaking through Scripture even though it was written over the course of 1500 years by approximately 40 writers.

In the case of John 1, I’m sure that John had read Genesis 1; indeed, he had probably memorized it.

Still, when you place John 1 alongside Genesis 1, it’s enough to give you goose bumps. While you read through the following table, go left to right and top to bottom, and you’ll see what I mean:

Genesis 1 John 1
In the beginning, God In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
created the heavens and the earth. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.


14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.


18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.  ESV

The part about the Spirit of God hovering over the water is especially descriptive. The Hebrew word, translated here as “hover”, could also be “moved” or “fluttered”; the same word is used in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe an eagle fluttering its wings over its young: ” Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions…” It implies a wind or a breath and eager anticipation. John 1 doesn’t mention water directly, but if you take the passages together, the presence of water is clear. You’ll also see that God, Christ, and the Spirit are working together in the Creation.

Genesis is the narrative of the first Creation; John expands on the Genesis account by making it clear that Christ pre-existed the creation of the world, that Christ is deity. John continues the story by talking about the beginning of the new Creation, when God came in the flesh to dwell with us.  The first thing God breathed into his Creation in Genesis was the blessing of light; the first blessing in his new Creation was Christ, come in the flesh, to light our way.

See also:

Water and Spirit Introduction

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3 thoughts on “1) Water and Spirit and Creation

    • Thanks! I kept being drawn back to the John 1 passage, and it always made me think of the Genesis 1 passage. Then, when I put them side-by-side, I kind of got a chill. There is only ONE VOICE that speaks through the Scriptures, even though they were written by so many writers.

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