Our “Bite” Tuesday inspired a little digging into my archives. I think this post was first posted in 2013. Truth like this never gets old to me. Somehow the Bible breathes new life everyday I study it. Have you experienced this?
If you watched the Daily Broadcast you heard this too, but sometimes it’s good to see it in print. Come dig with me. Come find out about the birth of The Word.
Jesus has many names.
Immanuel. Bread of Life. Living Water. Good Shepherd. Savior. Counselor. King of Kings. (Just to name a few.)
John calls Him The Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).
I’ve never tried to wrap my brain around this name. The other names, Savior, Counselor, King of Kings, I could understand. But when trying to comprehend what it means for Jesus to be The Word, I just accepted it like the other things I can’t understand such as higher math. If my brain can’t put the puzzle pieces together, I just memorize it–thus my C in Algebra II my sophomore year.
But 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 my Key-Word Study Bible for 15 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).
John continues…”The Word (Logos) (The Governing Power) became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
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 and human flesh. .
But wait . . . there is more meaning to this ancient word.
Logos also means intelligence or the expression of that intelligence.
So Christ was the expression of God’s divine intelligence. Tangible, eternal wisdom like no other. 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.”
I love his words. Yet simply put: Jesus represents everything God is–God’s fundamental nature.. Therefore, everything that makes God who He is once walked the shores of Galilee, cried at Lazarus’s tomb, was crucified on a cross, and now reigns forever.
Paul writes of the same nature of Christ in Colossians 1:15-20:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
John was making a huge statement in the very first sentence of his book. Paul was making this same point in the first chapter of Colossians. The other gospels begin by telling the story of the humanity of Jesus–which is very important. But John doesn’t waste anytime claiming His Divinity.
If you wrote a gospel, which would you start with, the humanity or the divinity of Jesus? Why? There is no right or wrong answer.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.