Jesus, The Word – John 1:1-3

Throughout this week I am going to share some daily encouragement (gems I have found in my studies) on the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, as we consider the biblical truths surrounding His birth, we can all slow down and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. As you are encouraged… please share with others the hope of Christ this Christmas season! (The running commentary is from The Incarnation in the Gospels)

John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made

Jesus, the Divine Word

John starts by reminding us that Christ’s life did not begin in the Bethlehem manger, but, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). This mirrors the way the Old Testament began: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). John places Jesus where we expect God: “In the beginning.” The subject of this gospel, the man Jesus who lived and died and rose again, is thus identified as the eternal God.

As A.W. Pink put it, “The One who was heralded by the angels to the Bethlehem shepherds, who walked this earth for thirty-three years, who was crucified at Calvary and who rose in triumph from the grave, and who forty days later departed from these scenes, was none other than the Lord of Glory.”

Jesus, the Saving Word

Jesus is the Divine Word. But John wants us to understand not merely Jesus’ person but also his work. He wrote this gospel “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31). Christ means Messiah, or Savior. Jesus, the Divine Word, came into the world to be the Saving Word.

This means that the babe born in a manger is the One who gives meaning to life in this world. People today are living without purpose or meaning, which is why our affluence fails to content us. We are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and it is only as we know God and do his will that we find meaning and joy. Speaking in Greek terms, John says that Jesus is the Logos, the Word who bears to us the mind and heart of God. Later in this prologue, John says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Life does not make sense until we meet Jesus. Peter realized this, and when Jesus asked whether he was going to go elsewhere, Peter replied for us all, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

God’s Word for Us

Jesus is the Divine Word and the Saving Word. But most important for us, Jesus is God’s Word for us.

Because Jesus is the eternal Word of God—and because, as John 1:14 tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”—we can know God. This flows from John’s description of Jesus as “the Word.” We all reveal ourselves through our words and, in Christ, God’s speech is most eloquent. Hebrews 1:1–3, giving yet another theological definition of Christmas, says that in the past, “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son … the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” This is Jesus’ own testimony in the gospel of John. He said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), and, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If you want to know what God is like—and this is the greatest of all questions—you need only learn about Jesus Christ.

Do you see who Jesus is and perhaps admire him, yet remain indifferent? Jesus, the Word, who “in the beginning was with God, and was God,” and who came into the world to be God’s Savior for us, calls for our faith. He calls us to believe not merely in him but on him. As one writer puts it, “We are called to worship him without cessation, obey him without hesitation, love him without reservation, and serve him without interruption.” “These things are written,” John tells us, “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).[1]

[1] Daniel M. Doriani, Philip Graham Ryken, and Richard D. Phillips, The Incarnation in the Gospels, ed. Daniel M. Doriani, Philip Graham Ryken, and Richard D. Phillips, Reformed Expository Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2008), 137–148.

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