Don’t miss the book giveaway at the end of the post!The Jesus I Never Knew
Jesus has many names. Immanuel, God with us. Savior, The Good Shepherd, King of Kings. . . just to name a few.
But John calls Him The Word.
I’ve never tried to wrap my brain around this name. The other names, Savior, Shepherd, King of Kings, I can understand. But when trying to comprehend what it means for Jesus to be The Word, I’ve conceded and accepted it like I have calculus. When my brain can’t put the puzzle pieces together, I memorize it. The problem with this tactic is I never really understand. It never gets into me.
My memory is fleeting, but when I know something. . . really know something past my brain to my heart, it can’t be lost or forgotten.
Lately, God has been faithful to bring life into situations I had conceded as impossible–that’s another blog post, but as I type today, I realize that my concession to Jesus as The Word is yet one of those things God wouldn’t let die in my life. Maybe He doesn’t want you to throw in the towel on this either. Have you wondered about it before? Or have you like me just skimmed over it quickly because it was beyond understanding?
While studying John 1:1 the other day, I had an eureka moment. It’s amazing how you can read something over and over and completely miss clarity. I’ve studied with my Key-Word Study Bible for eleven years, but I don’t remember reading this explanation of John’s name for Jesus in the commentary under the verse.
The commentary explained that “Word” is our English translation of the Greek word logos. I knew that. But what I didn’t know was that logos was a term the Greeks used in reference to “the governing power behind all things.”
So, the 1st Century Jews and Greeks who read John’s words read:
“In the beginning was The Governing Power, and The Governing Power was with God” (John 1:1).
Let that sink in. The baby whose birth we are preparing to celebrate in a few weeks, that baby, John says was The Governing Power poured into skin.
But wait…there is more meaning to the ancient word.
Logos also means intelligence or the expression of that intelligence.
So Christ was God’s way to demonstrate His thoughts and wisdom. Tangible eternal wisdom that touched the broken. Wisdom wearing hands and feet. Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, a favorite commentator of mine, wrote: Jesus is “the eternal expression of the divine intelligence and the disclosure of the divine essence.”
Essence is that special, unique quality that makes someone or something who he is. A person’s essence lingers with you after she has left the room.[tweetability]Even two thousand years after Jesus’ birth and death, the essence of God lingers.[/tweetability]
Philip Yancey writes in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, “After reading the birth stories (of Jesus) once more, I ask myself, If Jesus came to reveal God to us, then what do we learn about God from that first Christmas?”
Unimaginably, the Maker of all things shrank down, down, down, so small as to become an ovum, a single fertilized egg barely visible to the naked eye, an egg that would divide and redivide until a fetus took shape, enlarging cell by cell inside a nervous teenager. (Yancey)
And that egg grew into a gentle, powerful, loving, sacrificial man full of grace and truth.
In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was God.
John was making a huge statement in the very first sentence of his book. The other gospels begin by telling the story of the humanity of Jesus–which is very important. But John begins with His Divinity.
If you wrote a gospel, which would you start with, the humanity or the divinity of Jesus? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below to win. . .
Book Giveaway! The Jesus I Never Knew.
Yancey is a favorite writer of mine, and I love this book. If you haven’t read it, you need to! Simply leave a comment answering the question above to enter into the giveaway. If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, I hope you will do so or invite others. Just let me know in the comments if you subscribed or who you’ve invited to subscribe to the blog. You’ll earn extra entries into the contest.
Swew! It’s been a busy week! Nothing like giving away two books in one week! But I LOVE this book and I want YOU to have it.
Winner will be announced Monday with the Bite of Bread here and on our Facebook Fellowship page.