English: King James Version
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The first five verses of John 1 ("The Word Was God") show how the Lord’s infinite love flows out to us through his divine humanity in forms that can create and inspire, which the Writings call divine truth – and that as people repeatedly turned away He projected His humanity into physical form as Jesus to reach them one more time.
In this verse we begin to see how people can interact with that truth and turn themselves toward the Lord.
So why, you might wonder, does it start with John the Baptist? That’s because John represents the external, literal meaning of the Lord’s Word – the actual stories, laws and prophecies of the Bible. These externals form a container for the spiritual inspiration within, and we need to be able to hold the container in order to partake of the contents.
"Man" here represents truth, or expressions of love in the form of ideas, things conformed to our intellect. "God" represents the Lord’s externals, which is the power He projects in the form of divine truth. And "name" represents all the qualities of the whole spiritual element being described.
So we can see that the literal meaning of the Bible – and the external words and actions of Jesus during his physical life – were true projections of the Lord’s perfect love into the most external forms. And we need to embrace them to open ourselves to the deeper truths within.
Explanation(s) or references from Swedenborg's works:
Conjugial Love 129
Commentary (pdf)Bible Study Notes Volume 6