“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV).
I’ve always found the words of this first verse in the Gospel of John to be interesting. As a kid, it was one of the easier passages of Scripture to memorize for my church’s Wednesday night Catechism class. The verse had a certain rhythm to it. It didn’t have any big words, and it was relatively short. I could recite John 1:1 in short order to my teacher and receive my sticker on the memorization chart. I suppose, at the time, I didn’t realize the significance of the words I was articulating.
One of the things to notice about John 1:1 is that the “Word” is capitalized. John comments that this “Word” was present in the beginning, that it was with God, and actually was God. The “Word”, you may know by now, is none other than Jesus himself.
Yes, Jesus, was present at the dawning of all Creation. We don’t always think about the Jesus of the Old Testament, but he was there. In the New Testament, of course, Jesus would take on human flesh and live among people. Still, Jesus made his first appearance at Creation.
John says that the Word was with God and was God. If you’re like me, you find the concept of the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – difficult to understand to say the least. Jesus was, at the same time, God, but he also had his own identity as one-third of the Trinity. Again, such understanding is challenging and doesn’t ultimately save us from our sins. It just makes us look smarter than we probably are.
Perhaps you find additional difficulty in referring to Jesus as the “Word”. I, too, have struggled with this concept, intellectually wrestling with it, and have come to the following conclusion. I think John calls Jesus the “Word”, because Jesus is the ultimate message, the word, of God to mankind. Jesus is the Gospel message of God’s goodness and grace personified. In fact, if we want to truly understand the character of God, his justice and mercy, his love, and his kindness, we need not look any further than the “Word” that is Jesus.
Yes, Jesus is God’s Word to mankind. He has freed us from our sins and has given us the promise of life, both here on earth and eternally in Heaven. God is for you, not against you. He loves you. He forgives you. He sets you free.