“In the beginning was the Word…”
In the opening sections of John’s gospel, there are a number of staggering claims made about or by Jesus Christ. John the Baptist, for example, makes the soaring claim, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). A short time later, still in chapter 1, Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Philip. He says simply, “Follow me,” and he does! Only the voice of God can generate such a response. Soon in chapter 3, John the Baptist will again exalt Jesus and say, “I am unworthy even to untie His shoes!”
But of all the lofty things said of Jesus, none is more so than the very first words of John’s gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The original readers of this gospel might have expected John to simply quote the opening words of the Hebrew bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Instead, John surprises them and advances the Lordship and the preexistence of Christ. “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus is the eternal Word of God.
Hebrews 1 picks up this theme and advances its clarity even further, “But in these last days (God) has spoken by His Son whom He appointed heir of all things through whom also He created the world.” (Heb. 1:2)
The witness of the scriptures is that Jesus is the eternal son of God, through whom God not only made the world, but also meets mankind in his (our) condition.
The theologian Andreas Kostenberger reminds us that here in the opening of John’s gospel is the only time the word “Logos” is used in such a clearly Christological sense. In other words, God wants to communicate that Jesus is the ‘divine self expression’ of God.
For that reason, the designation of Jesus as the eternal, divine ‘logos’ (self-expression of God) encompasses the entirety of Jesus’ life and mission.
The Logos became flesh and made His dwelling among us (1:14). The light shined in the darkness and the darkness did not (could not!) overcome it (1:5). He came to give those who receive Him the right become children of God (1:12). He came as the only Son of God, full of grace and truth (1:14). All of this ministry of Jesus Christ is summarized in that remarkable opening verse of John’s gospel: In the beginning was the Word (logos) and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.
This divine Logos of God knows you by name. He knows your frame, that you are but dust. He lays bare the deepest recesses of your heart and soul and examines you as a Physician. He also knows your doubts and fears, hopes and failures. He knows your sin. He lays that bare, too. But His grace is sufficient for all these things, and indeed abounds all the more. And He communicates this all-sufficient grace to you through His Word. The Logos of God.
My brethren, take your place among the saints and adopt a posture of worship and adoration for the divine, eternal Logos of God. Let your life reflect His lordship over you, because His love is perfect and delightful. Let the Logos of God dwell richly within you today, that His power may be made perfect in your weakness.