The Word before All Words - Part 3

Theme: The Deity of the Word

This is certainly a season to think about the birth of Christ. This week we’ll

focus in on who Jesus is—not a little baby in a barn, but the God of Creation.

Scripture: John 1:1-4

Jesus is the Word, and he was with God even before the beginning. But John didn’t stop with this. He goes one to make two very important points.

The “Word was with God.” To say that Jesus was “in the beginning” and that he created all things might be construed to mean only that Jesus is another name for God. But while that is true in one sense—Jesus is God—it is false in another, because the logos about whom John is writing is not simply identical with God, the first person of the Trinity. Jesus is a distinct person in the Godhead. Following the statement that Jesus was “in the beginning,” John has therefore added a phrase affirming the existence of the logos as one who was “with” God. In other words, John understood the doctrine of the Trinity, and he has given us a subtle but accurate statement of the doctrine of the Trinity here.

“The Word was God.” Yet there are not two (or three gods)! So the last phrase says, “the Word was God.” That is, Jesus was, is, and continues to be divine. Who is Jesus Christ? Who was that baby in the manger? One of our carols asks directly,

Who is this so weak and helpless,

Child of lowly Hebrew maid,

Rudely in a stable sheltered,

Coldly in a manger laid?

That is the question people asked all through Jesus’ earthly life. “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:10). “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41). “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” (Luke 9:9). And from his enemies, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?” (Luke 5:22). The carol answers rightly,

‘Tis the Lord of all creation,

Who this wondrous path hath trod;

He is God everlasting,

And to everlasting God.

The fact that Jesus is God means that everything that can be said about God the Father can be said about Jesus Christ, for in him, that is, in Jesus, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The Word is as eternal as God is. He is as self-sufficient as God is. He is as all-powerful, all-wise, immutable, omnipresent, holy, just, compassionate, loving, merciful, and good as God the Father is. Do you want to know what God is like? The answer is: He is like Jesus Christ. So study Jesus Christ. The way to do that is by studying the Bible.

Plato for all his brilliance could only speculate about God’s nature and hope wistfully that one day a Word might come forth from God to make all things plain. You are I are much better off, for we have heard and have come to understand that Word in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Study Questions:

  1. How does John 1:1-4 teach that Jesus is God?
  2. Why is it important to know that Jesus is not simply identical to God?
  3. What does this passage tell us about God’s nature?

Application: Who do you know who needs to learn about who Jesus really is? What steps will you take this Christmas season to teach them?

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Thinking and Acting Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Thinking and Acting Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.