- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
The Word Made Flesh
The Word Of God That Goes Out Of Hs Mouth
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known (John 1:1-18).
When our family first moved to San Diego, we took up residence in an unknown rural mountain community in the North County. We lived along a dirt road that didn’t even have a signpost with a street name. If anyone ever ventured to visit us we would have to issue specific directions: From the city of Escondido, take the two-lane Valley Center Road up the mountain for about 5 miles. When you come to Cole Grade Road, the only intersection with a stoplight, turn left. Go 3 miles up the road and turn right on Cool Valley Lane. Go another 3 miles and you’ll come to a fork on the road. Take the left road that will veer to the right going up a steep incline. At this point you will probably feel that you have lost your way. Take courage, trust me and go further. You are still on the right path. Pass 2 speed bumps and one dip before you come to an unmarked dirt road on the left. If it happens to be muddy, don’t forget to engage your vehicle into four-wheel drive. Take this dirt road all the way the past an abandoned and beat up light blue truck with bullet holes in the windshield. Don’t you worry none, the drive-by shooters are long gone. Then make a sharp right turn up a short stretch of gravel-laden winding road toward the house at the very top of the hill.
It was quite the odyssey to pay our family a visit in this one-stoplight town in the middle of nowhere. A friend who was adventurous enough to visit arrived at our home in one piece and said, “Gicky, you live at the end of the world!” You can best be sure, he wasn’t kidding.
Approaching John’s gospel is a bit like arriving at a most remote house located in the farthest frontier one could possibly imagine. Many Bible readers have attested that this book is not quite like the other gospels. Like the directions to reach my home, hidden in the mountains, they too come to discover the book’s hidden depths of meaning along the way. According to a well-known saying, this book is like a pool that’s safe for a child to paddle in, but also deep enough for an elephant to swim in. At first glance, the gospel of John may seem imposing or, at best, impossible to comprehend. Don’t lose heart and give up, but read on. The story is not suppose to scare you away from its pages, but lead you to a person. In fact, our initial passage of introduction is likened to a welcome mat. If you happen to be a wary visitor who is drawn closer to the door, rest assured a ‘Friend above all friends’ will open the door to meet and welcome you in.
The unforgettable opening words, “In the beginning was the Word,” is like the entryway into the unmarked road leading to our hidden home. At once we know that we are traveling on a very strange yet familiar terrain. We’ve been here before. The word phrase, “In the beginning,” is unmistakable. It brings us back to the Genesis account when God created the heavens and the earth. The author wants us to grasp the greater story wrapped within the story of a long-awaited visit in one place and time. John wants us to see his book as the continuing saga of God and the world He created. This book is about the Creator coming close to His creatures in an intimately new and living way. The grand story that began in Genesis is finally arriving toward its exciting conclusion. And the Creator will do this through ‘the Word.’ In Genesis chapter 1, the climax is the creation of humans beings made in the image of God. In John chapter 1, the climax is the incarnation of God in a human being, the Word made flesh.
In the Old Testament, God not only created the world by the power of His Word, but also continues to act in and through His Word bringing divine order from chaos. Whenever or whatever God says, happens. The psalmist said, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth.”[i] There are only two things in this world that will last forever—God’s spoken word and every soul He created. Our souls are made of the stuff that will last forever. In light of the physical fact that people will perish and plants will wither and die,[ii] God’s eternal word will go out of His mouth and bring back life to the whole creation.[iii] In Isaiah 55:11 the prophet is God’s appointed mouthpiece saying, “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
As it was in the beginning, God sent His Word, His one and only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. And based on what He spoke through the prophet Isaiah, the Word of God, sent into the world, will not return empty-handed. The ultimate goal for which the Word was sent forth, was to rescue and redeem a great multitude of lost souls in dire need of a Savior. We need to be mindful of the fact that whatever purpose God sets His Word on accomplishing, it will be done—it will succeed in the very thing for which He sends it. John wasn’t mincing words when he wrote ‘Word’ with a capital ‘W.’ He is saying, in effect, this is who Jesus Christ is, the Word of God made flesh, and this is what he will do for the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”[iv]
In the gospel of John, God gives us specific directions as to how to get to His new home in the new world He is creating through His Son. From the beginning of creation in Genesis to the conclusion of the story in John, we are God’s appointed trail guides, His holy storytellers if you will. There are those of us today, who have dared to answer the call of God upon our lives and travel toward the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.[v]
We are every bit as qualified to point the lost people in this dying world in the right direction of the new world to come. We guide other travelers heavenward with divine warnings and wisdom drawn from the scriptural map: “Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it.[vi] Beware of those that tell you to take the wide and easy road.[vii] Even though it’s a dead end road leading to destruction, there are many who insist on taking it.[viii] There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.[ix] When we come to a fork on the road, we are to strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, be warned, will try to enter and will not be able.[x] Like Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,[xi] the cross that we bear will save our lives along the way.[xii] Disregard the worldly shame of the cross, but rather consider it all heavenly joy to bear it as you head toward God’s ultimate destination.[xiii] As fellow travelers following after Jesus, we set our face[xiv] toward the new heaven and the new earth,[xv] the holy city, the new Jerusalem.[xvi] And just when you think you are lost and off the beaten path, remember Jesus’ words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”[xvii] Rest assured, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, will not return to the Father’s holy house empty-handed, but will populate the many dwellings He has prepared for us well in advance.[xviii] Amen.
[i] Psalm 33:6.
[ii] Isaiah 40:6-8.
[iii] Isaian 55:10-11.
[iv] John 3:16.
[v] Hebrews 11:10.
[vi] Jeremiah 6:16.
[vii] Matthew 7:13
[ix] Proverbs 14:12.
[x] Luke 13:24.
[xi] Hebrews 12:2.
[xii] Luke 9:23.
[xiv] Luke 9:51-62.
[xv] Revelation 21:1.
[xvi] Revelation 21:2.
[xvii] John 14:6.
[xviii] John 14:2.
© 2010, Gicky Soriano. All Rights Reserved.