The Word of God (3)

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That scene was from The Chosen, Season 2 episode 1
Season 3 is out soon! And Season 1 is on Netflix… watch it!
Depicts the Apostle John deciding on how to open his gospel
What he decided on was profound, powerful and from his direct relationship with Jesus
John 1 provides us a less common Christmas story
Yet one that supplies tremendous lessons

The Word is Divine

The Word is eternal
“He was in the beginning” (v. 2)… BEFORE the beginning
Exists outside of Creation; exists outside of time (eternal)
This is (partly) what Jesus means when He declares Himself the “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation
He is the beginning and the end, everything in between and everything that will continue
Of course, a claim to being eternal would also be a claim to divinity
The Word was with God (v. 1b)
Reveals close interpersonal relationship with the divine
Gospel of John highlights the relationship between the Father and the Son
The Word was God (v. 1c)
Takes everything a step further: Not only was the Word with God (relationship), but IS God (divine essence)
This is a crystal clear claim of divinity for Jesus Christ
Don’t want to translate this wrong! (i.e., JW’s “a god”)
The Gospel of John helps us understand the Trinity much better
Here is a great example: The Word (Jesus) was both with God (in relationship) but also God Himself (essence); both are true
So yes, Jesus is the Word, and the Word is divine
But how do we understand “The Word?”
Greek word = logos
Stoicism = The Logos was seminal reason, through which all things came to be and were ordered (world is goverened by reason)
Philo was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and contemporary of Jesus who taught that the “logos” was an intermediary between God and the physical world
Influenced by Plato (spiritual/divine = good; material = bad)
The Word in John 1 reflects these ideas (creation and bridge) but also goes a step further
“Logos” is not merely Reason, but a person
Jesus is not just an intermediary; He came down to earth
More than that, there are other OT paralells that demand our attention
The Gospel of John is full of OT quotes and allusions (just like Revelation)
Commentator D.A. Carson points out that in the OT, The Word of God is displayed through God’s Creation, revelation, and deliverance
As we unpack each of these aspects of the Word, our understanding of Jesus becomes more… right

The Word as Creator

“In the beginning” is designed to take us as readers back to the Creation story
Read Genesis 1:1 - 3.
Interesting note: The “Spirit of God” is also present in Genesis 1, so both passages give us a picture of Father, Son and Spirit
Another important detail = light being the first thing created, also how John continues in verse 4ff
How did God create everything? Through the Word
In Genesis, God spoke everything into existence
He didn’t require help, didn’t require sacrifices, didn’t need anything other than His Word
Cf. Psalm 33:6.
As the Word, Jesus was (and is) part of this creating activity
John reminds us that all things were made through him (active participant in Creation)
Cf. Colossians 1:16-17.
Paul adds another level; not only were all things made through Jesus, but for Jesus
He is at the centre of it all, from the very beginning… does that not change the way we view the baby in the manger?
Not only that, but Jesus continues to hold the universe together (refer back to Colossians 1:17).
The author of Hebrews explains it that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3)
This means that God has never been disinterested in His Creation, even after the Fall
But we know this to be true, because we have learned from the vision of the Lamb that was slain and God on the throne
The Christmas story takes on cosmic significant when we read from John 1.
Especially as we get blown away by the pictures taken by the James Webb telescope *show pictures of Southern Ring Nebula, Cosmic Cliffs in Carina and Stephan’s Quintet*
Jesus holds all of this together through the power of His Word

The Word as Revelation

Elsewhere in the OT, the Word is connected to revelation
How it is often described in the prophets: “The Word of the Lord came to… Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.”
Cf. Jeremiah 1:4-5.
“The word of the Lord” is almost personified in these instances; like Jesus was already active and anticipated
Through the Word to the prophets, God revealed His nature, character, desires and promises to His people
If you wanted to know God, it was revealed through the prophets… but that changed with Jesus entering human history
Cf. Hebrews 1:1 - 2.
Do you want to know what God is like? He has revealed it all in the Word, in the Son, in Jesus Christ
We will talk about this at length in John 1:18 (Jesus has made God known)
*Talk about meeting John Wetteland (legs were MASSIVE; going down courtside at the Mavs game)*
Here we find some tension:
On the one hand, the Jesus that entered human history as a baby is able to uphold the vast universe by the word of His power
On the other hand, the Jesus that entered human history as a baby is the personal revelation of the character of God
Both are true; both are to be celebrated

The Word as Deliverance

Lastly, the Word of God in the OT is often referred to in acts of deliverance
Cf Psalm 107:19 - 20.
Just as God’s Word is powerful enough to bring all of Creation into existence, it is powerful enough to deliver His people
*Like a parent saying “Stop!” when kids are crazy*
Once again “the word” is personified; God “sends it out;” all of this anticipates Jesus coming down to earth
Surely, Jesus as the Word is also our deliverance
John describes this as deliverance from our sin and the right to become children of God (John 1:12)
We were given a powerful picture of the Word as God’s deliverance in Revelation 19:11-13.
This is our ultimate picture of deliverance; that all of our enemies would one day be removed from us forever
Even that great enemy of death (a consequence of our sin)
Jesus saves us, delivers us, from sin and death


To believe rightly about Jesus is to know that He is the Word; the Son of God; He is divine
He carries out this divinity by holding Creation together, revealing the character and the nature of God and delivering us from our sin and brokenness
This is good news! This is to be celebrated because the Word became flesh
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