In the beginning was the Word

John 1:1-2
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.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

If you ever struggled to get your point across in a conversation, trying over and over again to explain something, rewording this way and that way, always in the face of a blank stare, then you understand the difference between information and communication.  What was in your head was the information, and in this example, you failed in your communication.  The result was that your information was never transmitted and your listener never “got it.”  The better scenario is when in the course of your communication struggle you see the proverbial “light bulb” flash on your listener’s face.  At that moment you know they “got it” and you have successfully communicated your information.

The opening chapter of the Bible shows God creating.  “And God said, ‘let there be light'” (Gen 1:3).  “And God said, ‘let there be a firmament'” (Gen 1:6).  “And God said, ‘let the waters …” (Gen 1:9).  And so on.  There is great truth in this beyond the basic fact that God created.  The manner in which He created is also revealing.  For example, if it were instead recorded, “God raised His right arm and there was light,” it would say something very different.  Still, it would mean that God created, but it would convey an emphasis on His might, that through a raised arm He brought everything into existence.  Instead we’re told over and over, “And God said … ”  You see, in the manner of His creation, He reveals to us a desire to communicate.  He has something to say to us.  He is mighty and holy and righteous and great and perfect and far beyond all we can ever imagine.  But in creation itself, God was communicating.  “And God said, ‘let there be light.'”

So then, if we’re listening, what does the Creation tell us?  Psalm 19:1-3 puts it this way, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”  Despite man’s defiance against the knowledge of God, all man needs to do is look into the night sky or, indeed, study a simple blade of grass to know there is a mighty and glorious God.  King David of Israel wrote of the Lord, “when I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him and the son of man, that Thou visitest him,” (Psalm 8:3-4).  And Romans 1:20 (with context) explicitly states that by the Creation itself, men know God’s “eternal power and Godhead” and will therefore be left without excuse in the judgment.

Indeed, God effectively communicates an enormous amount of information through His creation.  But He doesn’t communicate everything through creation.  There remained something far greater that God always intended to communicate to mankind.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).  We correctly refer to the Bible as the “Word of God.”  But this verse is not saying the Bible was God.  And we might hear a Bible teacher speaking the Word of God.  But John 1:1 does not say those sounds propagating through the air were with God in the beginning.  A book (even the Bible) and voices are only means of communication.  John 1:1 is talking about the “Word” or in Greek, the “Logos,” which refers not to the communication, but to the information.  The logos is the exact thought or idea you were struggling to communicate in that earlier example.  We learn from this passage in the book of John that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Logos of God.  Many like to think of Jesus as some great teacher or even a great prophet – and so He was.  But just be clear on this.  The Lord Jesus isn’t the bringer of God’s message.  He is God’s message!  He is the very thing itself that God has been communicating to us from the beginning.  Creation may speak its volumes, but it isn’t the message.  Creation isn’t the Logos God has been communicating throughout the ages.  His Son, Who “was made flesh and dwelt among us …” He is what God wants us to know!  And all of God’s written Word (all of it) is there to communicate to us God’s Logos.

After the Logos rose from the dead, He met two of His disciples on a road.  They didn’t know it was the Lord Jesus who met them and they expressed to Him their discouragement about the events of the cross.  “…we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel …,” they said (Luke 24:21).  Then the Lord Jesus spoke to them, saying, “‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:25-27).

Everything in this written Word of God we study is there to guide us in our understanding of God’s Logos.  What He communicates in His written Word is not simply the intricacies of the Creation, or end-times prophecy, or the Old Testament animal offerings or Israel’s history or any other specific thing in the Scriptures.  God has given us all those things with their intricate detail to communicate to us His Son!  Certainly, we need to be diligent in studying all the specifics.  But let us understand that whenever we study those specifics properly, a “light bulb” is going to flash in our minds as we gain further knowledge and insight into the very person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos of God.

-J. Wilbur

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