A pastoral reading of John 1:3
All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made.
We shall concentrate on the three instances of the verb ginomai, translated in our versions as ‘made’. This word can also mean ‘happen’ and this is the reading we shall use today.
We find the verb ginomai or happen occurring three times in two different forms. The verb appears twice in what we call the aorist form, and once in the perfect form. Normally the aorist is translated as a past tense, but it needn’t be. The aorist form in Greek has a subtle flavour. Sometimes it can have what is called a gnomic present meaning, which is used to utter lasting truths, and it seems possible to read the first of these verbs as a gnomic present.
With this in mind, we translate the first part of John 1:3: “All things happen through him”.
Going on to the next part of the verse, John uses the aorist again, but here, with the liquidity of the form, it refers to past time: “Without him nothing happened”
And in the final part we find a straightfoward perfect tense, so we translate: “that has happened”.
So we read the verse: “All things happen through him; without him nothing happened that has happened”.
In other words, everything is under God’s control, and everything that has ever happened, even to us, happened through God.
God is there with us, in Jesus, at every moment of our lives past and present. Nothing happened to us that our God didn’t know about, and he has healed all the wrong we have suffered, and done to others. God has the whole world, including our whole lives, in his gracious, loving hands.