In John 1:1-18 we are introduced to Jesus as the Word: He is the eternal, personal, communication, revelation, and activation of God. In other words, Jesus is the means through which the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) communicates. This familiar passage teaches us three theological points about who Jesus is. First, we learn that Jesus is the preexistent Word of God. Verse one declared that “In the beginning was the Word of God,” meaning that Jesus’ existence predated the beginning of all life. This fact negates any idea that Jesus Himself is a created being since He always has and always will exist. Next, we find that Jesus is the coexistent Word of God because He was “with” God. The concept of coexistence between the Father and the Son demonstrates that the eternal community within the Godhead has always existed face-to-face in absolute perfect communion with one another. Lastly, this passage unlocks a deeper understanding of the Trinity as we find that Jesus is the self-existent Word of God. It is important to note that verse 1b clearly states that the “Word was God.” Therefore, we have a clear biblical statement that Jesus is God. Not only do we know that Jesus is the referent of the title “the Word” by glancing at the context found in verses 6-18 as well as at Revelation 19:13, which also refers to Jesus as “the Word of God.”
Our Scripture text also helps us understand the power of Jesus “the Word.” John 1:3 tells us that Jesus is the creative Word of God, in that He created all things (Col 1:16-17). While all three members of the Godhead are equally God, they do serve three different functions. Here we find that God the Son – the Word of God – operates as the communicating mechanism for God the Father. Therefore, in Genesis chapter 1 when God spoke over the earth and said “Let there be light,” Jesus, the “Word” was the operative agent of creation that brought about visible change in the world. In this way, Jesus is the animating Word of God who brings about physical and spiritual life (Eph 2:4-6). Lastly, this passage speaks to the power of the Word of God as the illuminating light (John 1:4-5). Jesus the Word, is like a flashlight or a candle in a dark place: He is to bring light and illumination to whatever situation He is in.
Although John chapter 1 is rich with theological content, it also demonstrates the tangible personhood of Jesus Christ who became flesh for our sake. Jesus the Word entered into human history, in human form, in order that the world might see God in terms that we could understand (John 1:14). In this way, Jesus the Word became uniquely revelatory, because He is the only one who has seen and known the Father (John 1:18). However, the Word becoming flesh gives us the unique opportunity to know God the Father through the Son. In John 14:9 Jesus tells His disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” This is good news for the believer because we have no need to look any further; God the Father has revealed Himself to mankind through the Word, His Son! For those who have received Him, we now have the right to become God’s children through identifying with Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:12-13).
- How does this understanding of Jesus the Word affect your thinking about Jesus?
- Did this message about Jesus as the Word help clarify your knowledge of God as the Trinity, existing eternally as three unique persons yet one Holy substance which is the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit)? How can you better explain the Trinity to those who may not understand using this passage?
Let’s Get Personal
- How does this truth affect your approach to the written Word of God? If Jesus Christ is the communication of the Godhead, how should we respond to the Word of God?
- John chapter 1 shows Jesus as light that illuminates the darkness. How have you seen Jesus be an illuminator in your life? Have you ever witness Jesus as light overcoming darkness in your life or the lives of others?
- The Word became flesh in order to demonstrate Himself to the world in a way that we could understand. What does this tell us about the Love of our God? How should we respond to God who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7)?
Take the Next Step
- Meditate on Jesus the Word as the Creator of all things in your life this week. Are there certain areas of your life that do not reflect its true origin in Christ as the Creator? What can you do this week to ensure that all that you are falls under the plan and purpose of our Creator, Jesus Christ?
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Gen 1:1-5; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:1-8; Col 2:9; Isa 55:11; Acts 17:28; Rev 19:13; Ps 33:6; Phil 2:5-11
Renew Your Mind
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” – John 1:3