Summary: Jesus is God’s ultimate WORD to all humanity! But what does that mean?
Do you remember a time when your word was enough?Enough to enter into a contract? Enough to buy a car or borrow some money? Enough to enter into a marriage? I picture a time when my grandfather could walk into the local bank and tell Fred sitting behind his desk full of hand-written bank loans, that he needed to borrow some money. Fred would cut a deal, my grandfather could give his word; they’d shake on it. The deal was done.
I didn’t grow up in that world. Today, there is more paperwork over the most minute matters to devastate our national forests. I had to fill out more paperwork to get my water turned on at our house a couple of years ago than to buy our house.. (Or so it seemed). And I wonder... what has happened to the value of our word? Today in our society we have legal contracts, we have prenuptial agreements, we have waivers and ‘hold not responsible’ clauses ... Its as if our word isn’t enough. But there’s one whose word IS enough... or at least ought to be enough for us!
That is God’s WORD!
We’ve been looking at some ‘words’ over the last several weeks, some very important ones because they are words given to name Jesus and together they provide us a larger and fuller picture of who he is! The very name ‘Jesus’ means that “God is our salvation!” He is Christ– he is Messiah, the ‘Anointed One’, our King and we are his
subjects. He is Immanuel– or “God with us”, God’s promise to never leave us nor forsake us. He is our Righteous Advocate who stands before the Father in our defense. He is both Son of Man, identifying himself with our human weakness and brokenness... and Son of God with all the power to save us from that brokenness! Today I want us to look at the name given to Jesus in John’s gospel that was just read... That is: Jesus as God’s final, and ultimate WORD not just to his people, but for ALL people!
“In the beginning was the Word”... John is my favorite of the gospels and the most beautiful beginning of any of the books I think. But have you ever wondered what John means that Jesus is the Word? It does seem like a peculiar way to describe Jesus, but... I want us to see this morning that the WORD is a powerful name for Jesus because it is so rich and full in meaning... NOT just to Jews, but for ALL people! You remember in Luke’s announcement of Jesus birth to the shepherds out in the fields... “But the angel said to them "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news
of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 NIV)
John wasn’t writing just to Jews. Nor was he writing just to Gentiles. No. He wanted everyone to hear the good news and come to faith in Christ! That’s why he picked a word so rich in meaning to describe Jesus! He is the WORD.
The WORD had a such rich meaning for EVERYONE
For the Greeks... While we’re not Jews, we also didn’t grow up Greeks or Romans either, so we might miss the significance of what the Word was to those people. But it was full of meaning! I’m not a philosopher, but if you’ll indulge me for a minute, I think this is interesting. In terms of the Greek background, the Logos/ or Word goes back
at least 500 years before the time of Christ to a Heraclitus of Ephesus. His chief concern was to understand how order and symmetry could function in all the chaos of our world. He clearly saw that there was a certain order, but there also seemed to be a lot of chaos. His answer was that there is an invisible force of reason that sustains everything. He used the term Logos or Word as a technical term to describe the orderly function he saw in the universe; an impersonal force “by which all things are steered through all things” he said. It doesn’t seem that far off from George Lucas’ vision of the force. Plato, the greatest of all the Greek philosophers, further developed the idea of the Logos. He said, what we see here in this life isn’t real. Ultimate reality exists in some transcendent universe somewhere.. and what we see here are only ‘forms’ or shadows of the realities that exist in that other world. So, how can we know of those realities? Only through Logoi... or words that describe to us that reality. For Plato words