The phrase, “Jesus is the Word,” is a powerful symbol that many books could be (and have been) written to explore. But I want to focus on what it means to us personally.
Of course, it’s important to consider both Genesis 1 and John 1, which explain that the entire world was made through Jesus, and that God made us capable of sin so that we could be reconciled to God through Jesus.
God was not ignorant of the evil we’d commit. He planned for everything before it happened.
But on a personal level, what makes the phrase, “Jesus is the Word,” meaningful to us?
Words and thoughts are inextricably connected. You can’t think without words. It’s impossible.
When we exchange words, we exchanged thoughts, concepts, personalities, likes and dislikes, and it is within the resonance we find between these elements that friendships form.
Because of this, all of our relationships are built on a foundation of words.
Without words, there can be no relationship deeper than animal closeness.
How can we conform our behavior to expectations that have never been defined?
It is through the proclamation or reading of God’s Words that we first have our focus aimed toward our Creator. Scripture echoes this countless times through the Old and New Testament.
“the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:9-10
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Even the Israelites in the Old Testament were told by God to be his spokespeople to all the nations, so that through Israel, all the nations would come to know and serve the Lord. “Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light.” -Isaiah 60:3 (For a longer, more passionate proclamation, read Isaiah 56:3-7, which still makes me emotional when I read it.)
From the beginning, God’s purposes have been consistent. Simply put, he created us so that we would come to know and love and obey him.
But because words and understanding are so deeply connected, our depth of understanding of God and our conformity to his person only go as deep as our understanding and application of his Word.
“Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.” -Deuteronomy 11:18
This is why we’re told to be hearers and doers of the Word. This is why every mature Christian is constantly reading the Bible and listening to God’s Word being proclaimed by others. This is why Hebrews says, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:25
Now, more than ever before, I feel a growing passion to immerse myself in God’s Words. And the Bible truly is God’s Words, given to us through prophets, apostles, and teachers filled with the Holy Spirit over a period of thousands of years.
The Bible’s remarkable consistency alone is mind-blowing proof of its authoritative original source in the Holy Spirit–not to mention the way it has transformed the countless souls who’ve read it.
It is through these Words to his former servants that he first revealed himself, and it is by those Words now recorded in Scripture that he continually reveals himself to us all.
There’s a style of preaching popular today that borrows heavily from secular motivational speakers with a few Scriptures thrown in here or there. This can be helpful, but it can easily devolve into compulsive opinion-sharing devoid of Scriptural basis.
The more immersed in Scripture we are, the stronger and more Godly our opinions will be.
“But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.” -James 1:22-25
What we need today is to turn away from spiritual tranquilization.
Christian consumerism has popularized and proliferated flaccid emotional encouragement over Scriptural truth. We would do better to become voracious consumers of the Bible, and to ask the Holy Spirit to let those Words sink into our very bones and guide our way of life.
Then go out and live it.
If we don’t know and live out God’s Word, we’ll face God on the final day and hear the most terrible words ever uttered: “Depart from me, you worker of lawlessness, I never knew you.”
I pray God will have mercy on us on judgment day. But praise God that he promises to do just that so long as we turn from sin and take up our crosses to follow him.