Summary: Christmas 2: John the Apostle tells us WHO is the Christ Child; He tells us about Christ’s WITNESS; and He tells us about the WONDER of the Christmas story.
In our world today, the initials www are almost instantly recognized. They stand for ‘world-wide-web.” For those who surf the ethereal electronic medium called the Internet, www is well familiar. But today, I’m going to propose a different meaning for you. I hope and pray that we can use these three letters to form touchstones that will help us remember the final Christmas sermon of the year. I am going to redefine www for you today.
The first ‘w’ that I want you to consider stands for “Who.” Who is the Baby of whom men and angels sing? The first few verses from the Gospel of John form one of the best-known passages in Scripture. They communicate a great and awesome truth about the identity of the Baby of Bethlehem. They help us to answer the question of, “Who?” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
Jesus Christ is the Word. To the Greeks the term was the "Logos." When they used this term they meant several things. To them “logos” could mean the spoken word or the word still in the mind - the reason. But when the Greeks applied the term "Logos" to the universe, they meant that which governed all things.
The Jews, on the other hand, used the term ‘Word’ as a way of referring to God. When we look at the very beginning – at how God created the heavens and the Earth we see something very interesting. How did God create? There is a phrase that is used over and over again in the creation account: “And God said…” And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the firmament to divide the waters from the waters.” And it happened. For each day of the creation we see that the scriptures record, “And God said…” and it came to be. God created through the "Logos" - the Word.
Jesus, the Baby of Bethlehem is the Word – “In the beginning was the Word… and all things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Jesus has ‘been’ since the very beginning of time. God’s Word, his Logos, Jesus Christ is the power of God in the creation. Jesus – that Baby is God fully and completely. To the believer, Jesus’ identity as God is absolutely essential. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles identifies Jesus with the creating power of God as He writes:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)
As clear as the scriptures teach it, the deity of Christ is not an easy thing to really grasp. One day a good friend and I started talking about matters of faith. He asked me about Christianity. When we got around to the question: “Who is Jesus?” - I told him that I believed that Jesus was fully man and fully God. When he heard this, he got very angry with me. I’d never seen him that way before. He got up and stomped around and said, “How can anyone possibly believe that a man – a human being was God?”
You see, beloved, it doesn’t make any sense. But it’s not supposed to make sense. It is simply what God asks us to believe – and to believe it unto salvation. We confessed it today as we spoke together the confession: "[I believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made."
To us – to the believer - it is important to believe that Jesus is the eternal Word - God. It’s the part of our faith that brings us transcendence and salvation. Without it, our faith would be no better than any other pagan religion. We’d have a Savior who can’t really save. We’d have a Lord who could not have been born sinless. He could not have lived a sinless life. He could not have risen from the dead. And we’d be just going through the motions.
But because Jesus is God incarnate - the Word – He is able to offer us so much more. We receive from Him life and light and salvation. The Gospel lesson tells us that: “…[Jesus] was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity. The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.” (John 1:4-5) That is only possible because the answer to the first ‘w’ – who - is the Eternal Logos.