Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why is Jesus called "The Word"?

I felt bad about how little I've posted this week, so instead of just a Bible study tip and song, I thought I'd share a bit of information about one of the Names of God.

John 1:1-3 famously states:
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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:14 continues:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Revelation 19:13 (also written by John) says:
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God.

I see three significant meanings behind this name: Greek philosophy/theology, prophecy, and the world's creation.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and the word for "word" is logos.  Logos had well over 100 different variations in meaning, but one of the most significant is that the Greeks believed logos was some sort of ultimate wise force in the cosmos that had authority even over the gods themselves, and that the purpose of life was to live in synch with logos.  So, when John chose to call Jesus "the Word," original readers would have caught the reference to that *different* meaning of the word "logos," and understood that John was saying: (1) Jesus Christ is the ultimate wisdom, (2) Jesus Christ is superior to Greek gods, and (3) the purpose of our lives is to follow after Jesus Christ.

In addition, "logos" references what has been spoken, i.e. prophecy.  Therefore, calling Jesus "the Word" communicates that He is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies.

Finally, if you look at the creation account in Genesis 1, you'll find that God merely speaking is what brought everything into existence.  So, John calling Jesus "the Word" identifies Him as the powerful member of the Trinity who actively created the world.

I am absolutely convinced that there are plenty more significant meanings to Jesus's title "the Word."  What other meanings can you think of, or have you been taught by others?

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