The Living Word

The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the Logos, the “Word” by which God made all things. This is a key theme presented in the body of the Book. By describing him in this way, John is not engaging in metaphysical speculation about his nature. Instead, he builds on traditional ideas from the Hebrew Bible about Yahweh creating the Universe and life itself through His spoken Word.

In his words and deeds, and especially by giving his life “as a ransom” for the world, Jesus manifested the truth, grace, and nature of God. Though abandoned by his friends and put to death by his enemies, the Father vindicated him by raising him from the dead and installing him as the “Lord of Glory” who now bestows life and the Spirit on his people. In every sense, Jesus of Nazareth was, is, and remains both the Living and Life-Giving Word.

Sun Mountain - Photo by Felipe Giacometti on Unsplash
[Photo by Felipe Giacometti on Unsplash]

Similarly, the 
Letter to the Hebrews declares that the “ages have been fitted together by the utterance of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things which appear.”

Thus, John did not break new ground in his Gospel. What is revolutionary was his claim that this Life-Giving “Word became flesh” and was manifested for all mankind to see in Jesus, the man from Nazareth - (Hebrews 11:3).

For example, the Psalmist wrote, “BY THE WORD OF YAHWEH WERE THE HEAVENS MADE, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth For he spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” - (Psalm 33:6-9). Moreover, per the creation account in the Book of Genesis:

  • Yahweh “formed the man from dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature” – (Genesis 2:7, Hebrews 11:3).

In the Greek text of John, the opening clause echoes the first words of Genesis – “IN THE BEGINNING.” Likewisein Genesis, we read, IN THE BEGINNING, GOD SAID, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” So, also, in JohnIN THE BEGINNING, ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM…  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. Just as His “breath” or “Spirit” gave life to Adam, so the “Logos become flesh” is BOTH living and Life-Giving.

God created all things by His spoken “Word,” and in the Gospel of John, we meet this very “Word” face-to-face in the flesh and blood man, Jesus of Nazareth. “In him, the Word became flesh,” thereby revealing the glory of God to humanity and the Universe.

In John’s writings, the term “flesh” is used in the same way as in the Hebrew Bible to refer to men in their weakened and mortal state. Thus, Jesus was a genuine human being who participated in the same mortal nature as the rest of humanity, and in this man, the “Word” and glory of God were and are manifested for all men and women to behold.

In the truest sense, Jesus is the Logos, the “Word of God,” and we find this idea expressed in several different ways elsewhere in the New Testament. For example:

  • Since the children are partners in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death, he might bring to nothing him that had the power of death, that is, the deviland might deliver all them who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage… Wherefore, it behooved him in all things to be made like his brethren that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God” – (Hebrews 2:14-18).
  • For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” - *(Hebrews 4:15.  Compare Philippians 2:7-8).

This is why the “words” of Jesus are living and Life-Giving. They determine whether a man receives “everlasting life.” He was not just another philosopher or religious teacher. In his teachings and actions, men heard and experienced the very creative “Word of God,” and they beheld His glory. Jesus was and is the ultimate expression of the Father. Thus, just as God “quickens” or “makes alive,” so “the Son makes alive whom he wills,” imparting life where there is none.

LIFE-GIVING WORD


The words of Jesus are Life-Giving, a theme developed in John’s gospel account. “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even though he dieshe shall live.” Likewise, “I am the light of the world. He that followme shall not walk in the darkness, but he shall have the light of the life.” – (John 5:21, 8:12, 11:25).

Those who heed his words will inherit “everlasting life.” As Jesus declared, “He who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me, he has everlasting life, and has passed from death to life.” Every man who “keeps my word will not see death,” and those who are his true disciples will “abide in his word” - (John 5:24, 5:38, 8:31, 51).

Not only does his “word” give life, but more ominously, on the “last day” it will judge the man who rejects it. But if anyone loves Jesus, he will “keep my word, and my Father will love him” since his “word” is not his, but his Father’s, the One “who sent me” - (John 12:48, 14:23-24).

Moreover, the Word made flesh” is “full of grace and truth.” Not just more truth or the reaffirmation of the Mosaic Law, but the Law was “given through Moses, however, GRACE AND TRUTH CAME TO BE THROUGH JESUS.”

Sunrise Scotland - Photo by Raphael Andres on Unsplash
[Photo by Raphael Andres on Unsplash]

Thus, the fullness of God is revealed in His Son. The Father cannot be known apart from him. “
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one cometo the Father but through me… From henceforth, you know him and have seen him.” Like the living waters of the Earth, his words impart life - (John 14:6-7).

Jesus was not identifying himself as the Father. Instead, God has (and is) been manifested fully in in his life, words, and concrete acts of mercy, therefore, if anyone has seen or heard him, he has seen the Father. Only in Jesus can we begin to understand the Living God who created all things.

There is no third way. All that God did in the past was in preparation for His complete revelation in His Son, the Living and Life-Giving Word. As Paul wrote to the Colossians, Jesus is the one in whom “all the fullness dwells bodily.”



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