The Word

The Apostle John described Jesus as the “Word” and said of him, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). There is much that can be gleaned from these three brief statements, but the most important point I believe John wanted to make was that every word Jesus spoke came directly from God. The prophets in Old Testament times were thought of as the mouthpieces of God. In other words, they were given messages from God through divine revelation that they were to deliver to his people. The problem with this method of communication was that there were false prophets that claimed to speak for God, but were actually liars that tried to deceive the Israelites in order to keep them from believing what God said.

John’s first statement, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1) established the existence of Jesus before he was born as a man. Like his father, Jesus existed before there was time and he was present at, as well as involved in, the creation of the world. John’s identification of Jesus as the Word indicated that the words that were spoken by God at the creation, such as, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), came from Jesus or were able to be vocalized by God because Jesus’ existed and was present with him. This may be difficult for us to comprehend because Jesus had not yet been born, but from God’s perspective, Jesus was there. John said that Jesus was both “with God” and “was God” (John 1:1). What this meant was that Jesus was separate from, but equal with his father. Jesus and Jehovah, or God the Father, are not the same person, and yet, they are both one and the same, as far as we are concerned.

John said, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). A way of describing Jesus would be to say that he is God with skin on. To be “made flesh” meant that Jesus took on the form of a human. Jesus was completely human, but that did not make him less than God. Another way of saying it would be that when Jesus was born, God became visible to the world. John distinguished Jesus by saying that he was “full of grace and truth.” Grace and truth are characteristics of God that differentiate him from man. When Jesus became a man, humanity was altered so that it could conform to God’s standards and be able to exhibit the same characteristics that he has. John said of Jesus, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). In the same way that Jesus took on the form of a man and became like us, we can take on the form of God through the Holy Spirit, and become like him.

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