Living Word

Jesus is the “word made flesh” in whom the glory, light and life of God are revealed fully, the same “word” by which He created all things  John 1:14

Light under the stars - Photo by Anthony Cantin on Unsplash
The Gospel of 
John identifies Jesus as the Logos, the “word” by which God made all things. This is one of the central themes that is explicated in the body of the book. In doing so, John was not engaging in metaphysical speculation but building on traditional ideas from the Hebrew Bible about how Yahweh created the universe and gave life by His spoken word - [Photo by Anthony Cantin on Unsplash].

For example, the Psalmist wrote, “By the word of Yahweh, were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth For he spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” And according to Genesis, Yahweh “formed the man from dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature” - (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 33:6-9, Hebrews 11:3).

Similarly, the author of Hebrews declared that the “ages have been fitted together by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things which appear.” John was not breaking new ground by declaring that God created all things by His word. What was new was his claim that this life-giving “word,” the Logos, has been “made flesh” and manifested in all its glory in Jesus Christ - (Hebrews 11:3).

In the Greek text, the opening clause of John deliberating echoes the first words of Genesis – “In the beginning.” Thus, “in the beginning, God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Likewise in Johnin the beginning, all things were made through him…  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. Just as His “breath” or “Spirit” gave life to Adam, so the “logos made flesh” is both living and life-giving.

God created all things by His “word.” And in John, we meet that “word” in the flesh and blood man, Jesus Christ. “In him, the Word became flesh” and revealed the full glory of God. “Flesh” in John’s writings is used in the sense found in the Hebrew Bible to refer to man in his weakened state, to man in his mortality. Thus, in Jesus, the “word” and the glory of God were manifested for all to see, in the truest and fullest sense, he was (and is) the Logos, the “word of God” – “And we beheld his glory!

That is why the “words” of Jesus are life-giving and determine whether anyone receives “everlasting life.” He was not just another philosopher or religious leader. In him, men heard and experienced the very “word of God” and beheld His divine glory. Christ was the ultimate revelation of the Creator of all things.

Milky Way - Photo by Denis Degioanni on Unsplash
Photo by Denis Degioanni on Unsplash

In him was life…the light of men”; that is, in the Logos, the “word made flesh.” The same “word” that created the Cosmos resides fully in Jesus. Thus, just as God “makes alive,” so “
the Son makes alive whom he wills.” And just as the spoken word of God created and quickened all things, so the words of Jesus are life-giving – “'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even if he may die, he shall live.” And the “word made flesh” is the “light of life” that shines in the darkness - “I am the light of the world. He that followme shall not walk in the darkness, but he shall have the light of the life” - (John 5:21, 8:12, 11:25).

Those who hear and heed his words will inherit “everlasting life.” Just as Jesus declared - “He who hears my word and believes in Him that sent me, he has everlasting life, but has passed from death to life.” Every man who “keeps his word will not see death.” Those who are truly his disciples “abide in his word” - (John 5:24, 5:38, 8:31, 51).

Not only does his “word” give life, more ominously, on the “last day,” it will judge the man or woman who rejects him. But if anyone loves Jesus, he will “keep my word, and my Father will love him,” for the “word” of Jesus is not his, but his Father’s, the One “who sent me” - (John 12:48, 14:23-24).

And the Logos, the “word made flesh,” was “full of grace and truth.” Not just more truth or the reaffirmation of the Mosaic Law. The Law was “given through Moses, but grace and truth came to be through Jesus.” The fullness of truth, the nature of God, is revealed in him, for the Father cannot be known apart from the Son. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one cometo the Father but by me… From henceforth, you know him and have seen him” - (John 14:6-7).

There is no alternative or third way. The Maker of all things cannot be known apart from His “word made flesh” in the man, Jesus Christ. All that God did in the past was in preparation for His full manifestation made in His Son, the living Word. As Paul wrote, he is the one in whom “all the fullness dwells bodily.”


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