Friday, February 4, 2011

The Eternal Word

In the first few verses of his gospel, John makes the clear and uncompromising claim that Jesus is God
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. [John 1:1-3]
This was not written about some epic hero, or some ancient legend, but about a thirty year old carpenter out of Nazareth. A regular guy, by all outward appearances Who, sixty years before John wrote this gospel, had made headline news.

John was now saying that this man, this carpenter and itinerent preacher-healer, was God. You recognized how John tied in with Genesis “In the beginning...” – the first words of the Bible. Now John added more information to that – in the beginning, before Genesis, there was the Word, and the Word was with God and was God.

“Word,” the English word, comes from the Greek word Logos, which was familiar to the Greeks in their philosophy just as it was familiar to the Jews in their philosophy.

To the Greeks, Logos meant “First Cause,” the reason or the will behind the universe, an unknowable force. Plato once wrote that he hoped a Logos would come from God some day to make the meaning of life clear.

In Hebrew this word was called “Debar” and it was God’s expression of Himself, “Thus saith the Lord.” Logos, or “Debar,” was the word that proceeded from God’s mouth and accomplished what God intended to do, almost as a synonym for God Himself.

So this Logos concept incorporated the idea that this was God.

But John was saying that Logos, the Word, was another personality with God. The nuance of the word “with,” in Greek, meant that Logos looked God straight in the eye, did not kneel as a subject, or look down as a superior, but looked on as an equal. John was grappling with one of the deepest mysteries of God: the Trinity. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

How could one God be more than one Person? That’s impossible. Yet here is the mystery, that the Word was so intimately involved with God that their thoughts and purposes were one. The Word and God were one, as Jesus would later say, “I and the Father are one.”

But how could both Jesus and the Father be God? How could the Son be His own Father? Yet here John declared that the eternal Word was a Person separate from God, with God, and yet also was God.

There is no other way to translate these words without violating the laws of Greek grammar, though people have tried. John was taking great pains to make his point clear: There is only one God, and Jesus was one with that God, and Jesus is God.

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  1. Wow, such love.
    As a toddler, I can barely walk. The least little thing will cause me to trip.
    Inevitably, I do trip.
    But before I can hit the floor my father catches me.
    Of course it had to be him. No one else could do it!

  2. Really appreciate the nuance of the word rich, how true.

  3. Amen, GoRo, hallelujah, He is God!

    Hi Bonnie :o)


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