Biblical names are very significant—they always have meaning. That is particularly true of the names or titles of Jesus. Listen as we hear Derek explain the role of Jesus as “The Word of God.” Jesus is not just the spoken Word of God, but the whole mind and counsel of God. Listen in to hear Derek explain more fully.
It’s good to be with you again as I continue to share with you on our special Christmas theme, “Titles of Jesus.” I’ve chosen this theme at the Christmas season for a special, practical purpose—to help you focus your heart and mind on the one without whom Christmas has no real meaning, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, so many people today leave Christ out of Christmas and so miss its real and permanent significance.
Have you ever noticed how many people can no longer find time to write Christmas in full so they just write Xmas? Really, that’s very revealing. Conventionally, the letter X is used to represent an unknown quantity. So, when people write Xmas instead of Christmas they are really acknowledging that for them Christ is an unknown quantity.
One practical way to become better acquainted with Christ is to study the titles of him that are used in Scripture. Each title reveals some important aspect of his wonderful, many sided nature. The two titles of Christ that we’ve looked at so far were both taken from Isaiah 9:6, Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace. The title that we’re going to study today is found mainly in the writings of John. It is the Word of God.
Let’s look, first of all, at the opening verse of John’s gospel. John 1:1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Notice in that verse the phrase “the Word” is used three times. The one so designated is Jesus in his eternal nature, not Jesus the son of Mary but Jesus the Son of God. The one who was eternally before creation with God. The one who was Himself God, the second person of the Godhead. And then, again in John 1:14:
“The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Again, “the Word” is a title of Jesus. He is the one and only Son, the eternal begotten Son, not created but begotten. Eternal, of one nature and being with the Father himself. And as such he, the Word, became flesh [that’s the incarnation, that’s what we celebrate at Christmas] and lived for a while among us. But, it was the eternal Word that came into human history in the person of the little baby who was born in the manger at Bethlehem and grew up to be the carpenter’s son.
Now, Jesus not only came once as a baby but the Scripture makes it clear he’s coming back again in power and glory to judge and to reign. And there’s a very vivid picture of this, his future coming, in Revelation 19:11–13. And once again, in this context he is called the Word of God. John says this:
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True [that’s Jesus]. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one but he himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.”
So there he is again in his glorious majesty, coming to judge and to reign, wearing many, many crowns, diadems, kingly crowns; dressed in a robe dipped in blood [speaking of his sacrifice of himself on the cross] and his name is the Word of God. That Greek word that’s translated “word” is logos, a word that is quite frequently used today in various contexts. We need to understand a little about logos.
I remember meeting an orthodox Greek priest who is a friend of mine now and whose native language was Greek. I’ve also studied Greek myself since I was 10 years old. And this friend of mine, he gave me a lecture on the meaning of the word logos that I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Logos isn’t just a spoken word,” he said, “Logos means mind, it means counsel, it means a whole understanding.” And that’s what Jesus is. He’s not just a spoken word but he’s the total mind and counsel of God. Everything God knows, everything God wants to say, everything God wants to do is all wrapped up in Jesus, the Word of God.
And then we need to understand also the unique function of words. Words are the supreme medium of communication. Without words we can use signs and gestures, we can express certain basic feelings, we can communicate certain basic needs; but without words we can never communicate to one another the true content of our heart. We cannot really say what we want to say. We cannot express deep and intimate feelings and longings and talk about the things that are really worth talking about, interesting, stimulating, enriching. And so, Jesus is the Word of God. God reveals himself in may ways, in creation, in history and in other ways. But when God really wants to say what is in his heart he’s only got one way to say it, he says it in Jesus. Jesus is the full and ultimate revelation of God. Only he totally knows God.
Let’s look at the description in Hebrews 1:1–3 of who Jesus is in His eternal nature.
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...”
There’s a significance in the word “last.” Jesus is the last Word of God. The prophets had much to say but when God wanted to say everything, sum it all up, he sent his Son. This is how the Son is described:
“...whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
There’s seven statements there about the Son. He’s the heir of all things. Everything is going to come to fulfillment through him. He made the universe, through him God created the universe, He Himself being uncreated. He’s the radiance of God’s glory, the way God’s glory comes into our lives. The exact representation of his being, the way that we get to know God exactly as he is. You remember Jesus said at one point, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” He sustains all things by his powerful word, he’s the one who upholds all creation. And then two facts about our redemption. He provided purification for sins through His death on the cross. Having done so, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, at the place of all authority and power and glory.
So, Jesus is the Word of God. The full, complete revelation and unfolding of all that God is, of all that God wants to say. And let me emphasize that without revelation man cannot know God.
I was at one time a professional philosopher, a teacher of philosophy and I studied many philosophical systems in which philosophers tried by mere natural reasoning to arrive at an understanding of whether there is a God and if so, what God is like. And do you know what I discovered? Each one of them came to a different conclusion. What I learned from that is this, that mere reasoning and human intelligence cannot give us a true or an accurate picture of God. So, we are dependent on God’s own sovereign revelation of himself is we’re to know who God is and what he’s like. And it pleased God to give us this total revelation of himself in the person of his Son, the Word made flesh, the one in whom God has said all he has to say. And so, Jesus is that revelation of God, the Word of God, the one who shows us what God is really like, the one who pens up the very heart and nature and being of God, the one who reveals to us the mercy of God, the faithfulness of God, the wisdom of God, the one who gives us a true picture of God.
Oh, it’s so pathetic to see people with false pictures of God. Recently I was in Egypt and I saw the remains and the relics of the pharaoh’s empire. And I was just shocked and horrified by the different pictures they had of God, some so debased and horrible. Two of their main gods were represented by the cobra and the vulture. Another god was the jackal. Fancy picturing God like that! Jesus tells us and shows us what God is really like.
And then there’s one more important conclusion and that is this, that Jesus is God’s last word. He’s the full and final revelation. If you reject that revelation you cannot expect to hear from God in some other way. There is no other way. Jesus said, “I am THE way. No man comes to the Father but by Me.” You cannot reject Jesus and come to the Father. Receive him, believe in him, open your heart and mind to him today. And He’ll show you the real nature of God. You won’t be groping, you won’t be wondering, you’ll have a clear understanding, an ever increasing and brighter revelation of the true nature and person of God.
May God help you to do that today if you’ve never done it before.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about another beautiful title of Jesus, the Lamb of God.