“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
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.
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 meant for Jesus to be The Word, I just accepted it like the other things I couldn’t understand such as higher math. If my brain couldn’t put the puzzle pieces together, I just memorized it.
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 11 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.
But wait…there is more meaning to the 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 essence. 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.
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 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.