The Word

Taken from the Illustrated Study Bible

John raises the curtain on his Gospel with a stunning description of Jesus Christ as “the Word” (Greek logos, 1:1). Both Greek and Jewish listeners in the first century would immediately recognize the profound meaning of this title. Greeks would have thought of the seminal forces that sustain the universe. Jewish minds would have thought back to God creating the world with his word (Gen 1:3‑28). In Jesus’ day, the Word of God took on creative personal attributes (Ps 33:6, 9). Jews viewed God’s Word as personifying divine wisdom. Through Wisdom, God extended himself into the cosmos, creating the world (Prov 8:22‑31).

In John’s drama, Jesus shares the same essence as God; the Son existed before time, and he was the agent of all creation. John anchors the divinity of Jesus in this ancient Jewish concept of Wisdom. The divine Wisdom that has existed from before time with God can now be known in Jesus Christ. In perhaps the most outrageous verse penned by an apostle, John writes that this Logos, this Wisdom, became flesh and lived among us as a human (John 1:14). What God is, the Logos is, and the Logos is Jesus Christ.

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