Of all the Gospel accounts I like the way John starts out the most. There is not the listing of the relatives, there is not the complicated birth narratives, and there is some explanation about who Jesus is. All of these things are important and have their place in the big picture of who Jesus is, and why Jesus matters. Still, John tells the story in a way that opens the door for creative bluntness. He gets right to the story, but makes it poetic in the process.
Of the opening chapter I am drawn to the sense that Jesus is the One. For John the Baptizer, Jesus is the One who God had told him was coming. For Andrew and Peter, Jesus was the One they had been waiting for, the Messiah. For Phillip, Jesus was the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and who the prophets wrote about. It seems that whoever was interacting with Jesus saw him as the One. Well, maybe not everyone. Those who were seeking to find the One, and were open to how God would bring that One, were able to see.
It was not with fanfare, it was not with a royal pronouncement. No Jesus rather quietly moved into the neighborhood as Eugene Peterson likes to say it. Could you imagine Jesus being your next door neighbor? Then realizing years later he is the One. This is not simply something for the Bible and the first century. Jesus quietly moves into our neighborhood every moment. No matter where we are, we are in the midst of a neighborhood, and Jesus is in your neighborhood. the question is not whether Jesus is there, it is not whether Jesus is active. The question is do you see him as the One.