This passage is one the most intriguing and doctrinally rich passages in all the Word of God. John introduces to us the Savior of the world. In doing so, we are brought to an understanding of who the Savior is. The theme of this passage of scripture focuses on the ‘Word’. What or who is this ‘Word’? What does the ‘Word’ actually mean? What does it mean for us today? These questions and more will be addressed through the following points.
First of all notice, the definition of the ‘Word’. The first phrase in verse one states, “In the beginning was the Word…” What exactly does the ‘Word’ mean? It comes from the Greek word, Logos. The term Logos basically refers to that by which we communicate our will; by which we convey our thoughts; or by which we issue commands to others. It is the medium of communication with others. For example, a letter written to someone is a Logos. It is a means through which we communicate with someone else. The Bible, for example, is the Logos of God. It is the means through which God communicates with us today. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. Logos can also be a person. If you send someone to give a command or a message from you to someone else, that messenger is, in a sense, you’re Logos. A preacher is, to some extent, Logos. When Paul instructed Timothy to ‘preach the Word’, he was telling Timothy that he was to be a ‘herald’ of God’s truth. The ‘herald’ is a person through whom a king would deliver a message to his people. The ‘herald’ is responsible to speak only the message from the king and nothing else. A preacher is a ‘herald’ of God’s truth. A preacher cannot ‘herald’ anything except for the message from God. Therefore, according to the definition of the term Logos, we find that the Logos is simply a means of communication or enacting the will of the one who sent the Logos, in this case in the gospel of John, the sender is God Himself.
Secondly let us consider the origin of the ‘Word’. Where did the ‘Word’ come from? Again it states in the first phrase of verse one, “In the beginning was the Word…” The ‘Word’ was ‘in the beginning.’ We are familiar with this phrase because this is how the Bible begins. In Genesis 1:1 it says, “In the beginning God…” The phrase ‘In the beginning’ refers to the time before the creation of the world. Therefore, if the ‘Word’ was ‘in the beginning’ then we would logically conclude that the ‘Word’ was not created. It is therefore, not a created being. Since the ‘Word’ was ‘in the beginning’ then it has always existed. However, there is but one being that is uncreated and eternal. That ‘being’ is God. Since there is only one being that is uncreated and eternal and that being is God, and the ‘Word’ was ‘in the beginning’, the ‘Word’ therefore, must be Divine.
The third thing we should consider is the relationship of the ‘Word’. Notice it says, “and the Word was with God.’ This expression denotes friendship or intimacy. The ‘Word’ was with God ‘in the beginning’ or before creation. This implies that the ‘Word’ is a partaker of the Divine glory. The ‘Word’ was in perfect fellowship with God and was happy and blessed. In John 17:5 Jesus says, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Is Jesus saying here that He is the ‘Word’?
This brings us to our next point of consideration: the revelation of the Word. In John 1:1 it is revealed that “and the ‘Word’ was God. The Logos, the means through which a communication or command is given, as shown by John, is in fact God. The communication of the will of God is Divine in nature. It is very clear here that John is telling us that the Logos is Divine.
The Logos, being God, is omnipotent. Notice the power of the ‘Word’. In verses three and four it states, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” The ‘Word’ is in fact the creator. The ‘Word’ is the power or the means of communication or the enacting of the will of God in creating the world. This ’Word’ is the creator of all things. Everything we see around us from the faintest star to the massive oceans to the complexity of the human body, all displays the signature of ‘the Word’. It is this creative power ‘the Word’ that brings life. Remember we mention that the ‘Word’ can be a letter or a person. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given my inspiration of God…” The word is ‘inspiration’ means, the breathe of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12 is clearly referring to the letter of God or the ‘written word’ or the scriptures. So, the ‘Word’ is the breathe of God and is living. In Genesis chapter two we find God breathing into the first man the ‘breathe’ of life. The word ‘breathe’ in Genesis is the same word as ‘inspiration’ in Second Timothy. This is very interesting indeed! Back to our text in John chapter one, we see the ‘Word’ as the giver of life. Here we find both a letter and a person (Deity: ‘the word was with God, the word was God’) that gives life. The letter we know of as the Bible, God’s ‘Word’. Therefore, the Bible gives life. But, what about the person? Who is the person that is described by the term ‘Word’?
Our examination of the ‘Word’ brings us to the final point to consider and that is the purpose of the ‘Word’. In verse 14 of our text it reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” ‘The Word’ that existed before creation, that is God, that is the means through which God’s will is enacting, became flesh. The ‘Word’ became human. Who is this Divine human? In this same context we see in John 1:29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ So, who is the ‘Word’? The ‘Word’ is Jesus. Wow! Jesus is the ‘Word’ (means of enacting God’s will) that existed before creation, was with God, is God, the creator, and the giver of life. The ‘Word’ was not always flesh. The ‘Word’ (Jesus) became flesh. He became one of us. But why? Look at verse 12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave the power to become children of God, to those who believe on His name.” Jesus became one of us in order that we may know Him, in order that we may know God. As we believe in Him, we become, not just a son of God, but as if we are ‘the’ son of God. We are joint-heirs with Christ. We become essentially logos! What is Logos? A means of communicating will or commands. Those who believe in Jesus (the ‘Word’) become a means by which God’s will is enacting. In other words, we share in the glory of God, the same glory He had with Jesus before the foundation of the world! Therefore our lives here on earth serve the purpose of bringing all glory to God as we are his logos to the world! Now we must be careful here. In no way is it suggested that we become a god. As we believe on Jesus who is the Logos, who is God and who existed before the foundation of the world, we become, like Jesus, the logos of God (the means through which God’s will is enacted). However, we did not exist before creation; therefore, we cannot be Deity though we can in fact partake in the glory of the Deity as we are joint-heirs with Christ as God’s logos. What an amazing truth!
So, how do we respond to all of this? We respond by ‘believing in His name.’ We respond by allowing God’s will for us to be enacted through ‘the’ Logos (Jesus). Just the fact of Jesus becoming one of us so that we could become like Him is an act of amazing love. His love for us goes beyond our sin and rebellion. He loves us so much that He allows us to share in His glory and take on His name! He loves us so much that He allows us to be an instrument of God’s grace to the world! This, my friend, is love. So, what about you? Will you believe on His name? Will you accept the ‘Word’?