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And the Word Became Flesh

I remember when I was in Sunday School back in the sixth grade (that was quite a few years ago) we memorized many passages of scripture. John 1 was one of those passages. Verse 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” I memorized verses one to fourteen, but I am not sure I knew or understood this passage. I would be foolish to think that 40 some years later, I now understood all of the passage. However, as I revisit the passage what strikes me is how the scripture describes Jesus as “the Word”. I thought of Jesus as the “Word” as a title applied to Him rather that an expression of Jesus. I have never really thought through this description of Jesus as “the Word”. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” verse 1. “The Word became flesh,” verse 14. It seems like a strange description of Jesus. He is “the Word”. What does that mean?

“Word” in Greek is from “logos” which comes from the root word “lego” meaning to say or speak. Merriam Webster defines “word” as “something that is said, the act of speaking or of making verbal communication, a declaration or a promise, such as ‘putting one’s feelings into words.” When a person gives “his word” he is either giving his account of the truth of what was done or he is giving his promise of what he will do. It is his testimony of what has happened or what will happen based on his promise.

When Scripture says Jesus is “The Word”, that He was in the beginning, He was with God and He was God; it is saying that Jesus is God’s act of speaking or making verbal communication of and about Himself with mankind. Jesus is God’s declaration of Himself. Jesus is God putting his feelings into fleshly, bodily form. God became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is God expressing His very identity to us. He is the verbal, visible, fleshly expression of the very nature of God. Jesus is God’s expression and He is God’s promise of God’s true character. Jesus did not come to save us from God. He is the very expression of God’s love. He came to draw us to the heart of God.

In the ages past, before the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus, God spoke to man. He spoke to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham. He gave the Ten Commandments (and many more) to Moses in order to try to express Himself to Israel. It was insufficient though to really express God. So God said my spoken word will become a living word and Jesus became “The Word” and dwelt among us. He became the ultimate spoken word of God. Jesus is the promise that God is for us and not against us. Jesus said, “he who has seen me, has seen the Father.” John 14:9

I was recently in South Korea and the Philippines sharing with pastors. I heard different languages that I did not understand. Words were being spoken but they were just gibberish to me. The words had meaning to others but they had no meaning to me. Words must have meaning to truly be words. Before the Living Word became flesh the written words were just gibberish to man. Oh, man had an understanding intellectually of the words but there was no life in the written words. Jesus confronted the Pharisees in John 5:39, 40 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” The Pharisees read the written word but it was gibberish to them. Jesus became the Living Word in order to draw man into intimacy with the Father.

Words tell stories, they paint pictures, communicate ideas, concepts. Early civilizations told stories to carry on their history and explain their national identity. Jesus is the story of God, of His love for mankind; His compassion and desire to give and share life with us. He is the expression of God’s desire to be so intimately connected to us that He would become one of us and die for us in order to live in and through us. He is truly the Word of God become flesh.

It is my hope for you this New Year that you will experience the Living Word, not just the intellectual knowledge of the written word.

Scott Brittin

About the Author

Scott joined Grace Ministries International in 1984 and now serves as its President providing oversight and direction for its national and international ministry. In addition to leading GMI, he teaches conferences, leads internships, and does one on one discipleship counseling. Scott and his wife Darlene have been married since 1976, have two grown sons, and live in Woodstock, GA.