In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 ESV)
This verse is usually brought up with reference to the high Christology of John’s gospel, the Genesis background, or the philosophical background of λογος. These are all legitimate. But what intrigues me is that this verse was written after the gospel of Jesus was being preached and after the stories contained within John’s gospel were already in circulation. But so then were the stories of the synoptic gospels as well as the moral teachings of Jesus which we find in the Sermon on the Mount.
If the stories of John’s gospel were in circulation, then the idea that Jesus’ words were life were circulating about. Similarly, we know from Paul’s letters that the gospel message itself was often referred as “the word of [insert synechdoche for Christ here].” The point being that one of the important background factors in John 1:1-18 is the background of the gospel message and the language about it.
If this is true, then part of the idea in John 1:1 is that the gospel message about Christ is reflective of God’s ideas from the very beginning. Similarly, it is reflective of the idea that the words of Christ then in circulation were superlatively the word of God. What this means in the context of the canon of Scripture is that the message of the four gospels is God’s word in a very special way because they are about the person of the Word of God in human flesh.