The Divine Word

The Deity of Jesus
John 1:1-5, 14-18
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory.”

In his opening statement, John wants to dispel any doubt about who Jesus was. In his first statement, John takes us back to the opening words of the Bible to connect Jesus to the God of creation. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself through His word as He spoke through the prophets.  It is through His divine word that we come to know God.  But the “word” speaks of more than mere self-disclosure; it also carries the concept of active power.  This was revealed in the creative works of God, where He brought the universe into existence merely by a spoken word.  For God to speak becomes synonymous with Him acting. This connection with the word of God and His power to create and order reality was also closely connected with His power to save His people.  When God speaks, He also acts to bring salvation and deliverance to His people and order to the universe.  Thus, we find that by God’s word, the heavens were created (Ps. 33:6), and by His Word, salvation comes to His people (Is. 55:11, ps. 29:3).   So when John states that “In the beginning was the Word” John is not just pointing us back to the creative work of God or his past acts of salvation.  He is pointing out that a new activity of God is beginning.  When Jesus appeared as the Word, the prophetic voice was again present to bring salvation.

With Jesus's appearance, the divine voice of God was once again heard. John, with utmost reverence, wants us to understand that Jesus is not just a prophet but God himself. John's words affirm the deity of Christ in the most profound way. He doesn't just affirm that Jesus possessed the nature of God (the word was God), but he makes it resoundingly clear that Jesus was the same God who spoke in the opening moments of creation, a fact that should fill us with awe and wonder.

The 400 years preceding the birth of Jesus are commonly referred to as the “silent years.”  When Malachi spoke the last message of God, the prophetic word went silent.  But now the silence was broken with a new divine word.  But this word was not coming by the mouth of a prophet. Jesus was much more. John points out that the one coming with this new prophetic word was none other than God Himself came in the flesh.  Not since the garden had God dwelt among His people and spoken with us face to face so we might see Him in His glory.  While He had spoken through the prophets and was present in the Tabernacle, His presence was always veiled behind a curtain that only accessible to the High Priest could enter once a year on the day of Atonement. With the appearance of Jesus, once again, God would dwell with His people, no longer behind a curtain but face to face. In Jesus, God reveals himself directly to humanity, just as He did with Adam and Eve.  While Matthew and Luke provide us with the physical description of Jesus’ birth, John gives us the theological description.  The baby in a manger was the Son of God, come in the flesh to communicate God’s power again and bring redemption to his people. With Adam and Eve sinned, they brought death into the world; when Jesus appeared, He brought redemption and salvation into the world.

Verse five reveals a tragic reality. Like Adam and Eve, we often fail to recognize Jesus's divine glory, instead humanizing Him to fit our limited understanding. We try to make Him manageable and conform Him to our expectations rather than fully and unconditionally surrendering to Him. It's crucial to remember that Jesus is God come in the flesh. We must ask ourselves this: Are we truly willing to accept and surrender to Him, acknowledging His divine nature and authority? Do we see Him in His glory? This is a question that demands our immediate attention and introspection.

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