a scorecard

Nope. It’s not what you think.

When we hear the word “scorecard” and the topic on the table is “Bible” many of us start to think about how we’re doing, about who’s keeping track.

In this case, however, I’m thinking more about the phrase, “You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” The roster of players, the list of characters, the directory.

In the first sentences of the book called John, we see the Word, God, the Light, and now, in the sixth verse, we have a man whose name is John.

If you don’t know the story, you might guess that this is the introduction of the title character. As you read on, you might discover that you were inaccurate.

But you only discover that if you read.

Reading the first few sentences of this book can feel confusing, For the first time-reader, nothing here is obvious. It’s like walking into the middle of a conversation without knowing the topic. Everyone is really intense, really engaged and you can’t quite figure out where you are.

Word and Light are two metaphors the writer uses to talk about Jesus. That connection will become clearer later. The John of verse six is someone we know as John the Baptist. The John of the title, that’s going to be John, one of the twelve disciples, the person acknowledged as the writer of this book.

In these first sentences, rather than starting with the Baby Jesus, John (the writer), starts with theology. He goes to the beginning of time, then jumps to the overall life purpose of Jesus, explains that John (the Baptist) is an announcer, and then will start narrative work next week.

Why explain these obvious details? Because they aren’t obvious without a scorecard. And not everyone got one when you did.