“The Word” as a name for Jesus might be a foreign title to some of us, and if not foreign, at the very least odd or strange.
However, John (one of Jesus’ closest followers) begins his account of Jesus’ life labelling Jesus as “the Word”:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This statement about Jesus is hugely significant for two reasons. Firstly, it makes a serious claim. Secondly, it lays the foundation for salvation!
Let’s start with the claim Jesus is making about himself. You would struggle to find a verse in the bible that more starkly makes the assertion that Jesus is God. Here in chapter one of his gospel, John is making that claim right from the outset. He goes on to clearly demonstrate that when he says ‘the Word,’ he is referring to Jesus Christ. The man. The historical figure who genuinely walked on this earth. Jesus is the one John calls ‘the Word’. That means that Jesus IS God!
The implications of this are both enormous and numerous, but I will stick with just one. It is that God became a man. Jesus Christ, the real person, was fully human and fully God, the all-powerful God. God became man to bring us into a relationship with God, so we can be saved!
This brings us to that second point. John’s statement lays the foundation for salvation.
Throughout the bible, God reveals himself to his people by speaking. It is by God’s words that his people know him and can relate to him. For example, God speaks the Ten Commandments to Moses, and then God writes them down on stone tablets so they could keep referring to God’s words, allowing them to relate to God.
John sums this idea up a bit later on in the chapter in verses 17 and 18:
“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only son, who is God himself and is in closest relationship with the father, has made him known.” (John 1:17-18)
Jesus, the Word, is the only way to know God the father. He is the only way to be brought into a relationship with God.
Do you know the Word? Do you know Jesus?