The Word before All Words - Part 5

Theme: Jesus as the Last 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 1-4

I began this week’s study of John’s version of the Christmas story by speaking of Jesus as the Word before all words, and I want to end by adding to that in this way. Jesus is not only the first word, that is, the Word before all words. He is also the last word in the sense that he will have the last word. His word where we are concerned is final. Or, remembering the hymn Silent Night, let me put it this way: Everything was silent when he spoke the first time, thus bringing everything we know and see into being. Likewise, all will be silent again when Jesus speaks the final word of judgment or blessing upon us.

In this life some people always seem to have the last word. Have you ever noticed that? Whenever you argue with them or even just try to tell them something they always seem to put their own final twist on it and seem to come out ahead. I suppose these people think—this is probably true of all of us—that they will somehow also have the last word with God. Whatever God says to expose their sin and condemn their unbelief, they imagine that they will always have something to add in their own defense to excuse their sin and shortcomings. That will not work when you and I stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. On that day, says Paul, “every mouth [will be] silenced and the whole world [will be] held accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).

Likewise, I have always thought that was what was being referred to in the book of Revelation where, in the midst of the opening of the seals that have to do with God’s unleashing judgment on the earth, we read, “When he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Revelation 8:1). On that day even the angels will be silent as the final word of God’s judgment sinks into the ears and hearts of every sinful soul.

One day every mouth will be closed, and you and I and the entire world will stand utterly speechless before God—either standing in awe of God’s great grace in Jesus, in whom we have trusted for salvation, or trembling in utter dismay and terror at the exposure of our sin.

May I suggest that you not wait for that moment of silence, which will be followed by your judgment if you have not believed in Jesus, but that instead you take a silent moment now and really listen to Jesus? There really is a silence to Christmas, if you will have it so. Therefore, if you will quiet your heart, forego your self-serving words and weak excuses and be silent, in that silence you may very well hear the divine Word of God that was before all words, speaking personally to you, calling your name and lovingly drawing you to himself.

Speak, Lord, in the stillness

While I wait on thee.

Hushed my heart to listen

In expectancy.

Study Questions:

  1. How is Jesus the first Word?
  2. How will he have the last word?

Prayer: The night of Jesus birth may or may not have been a silent night, but as we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth, we find that there is a silence to Christmas. Spend some time now to quiet your heart. Don’t bring a prayer list or mentally plan your holiday menu. Just be silent and rejoice in the glorious truth that the light has come.

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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.