Grace and peace be yours, from God our Father, through our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Brittany Spears. Martin Luther. Stephen King. Barack Obama. Mother Teresa. Elvis Presley.
Don’t try to find a connection between those names, there isn’t one. They’re just names we know. What did you think of when you heard each of those names?
There are some names you’d never choose for a son or a daughter simply because you knew someone with that name that you didn’t like.
But there might be another name that is very special to you. Not because it’s a pretty sounding name, but because someone with that name was dear to you. Maybe they helped you through a hard time in your life.
A name is more than a label. A name carries with it a person’s history. What they’ve said and what they’ve done.
The Bible uses many different names to describe the Son of God. For the past couple Sunday’s we’ve been examining some of these names for Jesus through a sermon series called, “The Name Which is Above Every Name”.
Tonight we consider another name for Jesus, “The Word”.
You can turn to John 1, verse 1. The book of John was written by John the apostle. John worked as a fisherman along with his brother James. He was a follower of John the Baptizer until Jesus was pointed out to him. John was chosen to be one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, and he came to be a close friend of Jesus. So close in fact, that before Jesus died, He asked John to take care of His mother as if Mary was John’s own mother.
The following is how the Holy Spirit moved John to describe Jesus. John 1, verse 1…
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:1-5 NIV).
The Greek that this part of the Bible was translated from has different ways of expressing action. If an verb is in the aorist tense, that action is expressed like a simple dot.
(Pastor holds up a sign with a dot on it)
“He MIXED the batter for the cake.”
The perfect tense, expresses action like an arrow pointing forward. This action was completed in the past, but has on-going results.
(Pastor holds up a sign with an arrow on it)
“He WON the Chicago marathon.”
He finished the race in the past, and the result is that he is the champion now.
The imperfect tense, expresses action like a line. This action is on-going in past time. Now, I know you didn’t come here tonight for a Greek lesson, so here’s the point. Look again at the first to verses of our reading from John one. Every time you see the word “WAS”, think of on-going action in past time. Each occurrence of “was” in these first two verses is in the imperfect tense.
“1In the beginning WAS the Word, and the Word WAS with God, and the Word WAS God. 2He WAS with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2 NIV).
In other words, John is saying, When the beginning happened JESUS WAS ALREADY EXISTING. He was existing BESIDE GOD THE FATHER, and He was not a created thing, HE WAS IN SUBSTANCE – GOD.
Then John goes on to describe Jesus in two other ways. Verse three…
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3 NIV).
There’s nothing that exists that didn’t Jesus didn’t touch. Wow. That’s amazing. That puts Jesus on a different plane doesn’t it? He’s not a CREATED THING, He’s the channel through which the Father created EVERYTHING.
And this isn’t the only place that the Bible mentions this fact. In 1 Corinthians 8, verse 6 it says…
“6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6 NIV).
And in Hebrews 1, verse 1 it says…
“1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV).
John says one more thing about Jesus. Verse four.
“4In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4 NIV).
That’s poetic. But what in the world does it mean? In Jesus was existing “life” and “light”? If I were to say that about someone, “I met Rick the other day, and he is just full of life and light”. First you’d think I was a little odd. Maybe you’d think that I meant Rick was an upbeat and positive person. But John is saying more than that.
If you looked at the rest of John’s Gospel you’d see that he talks about “life” a lot. Eternal life. But he’s obviously not just talking about mere biological life. When he talks about LIFE he means a relationship with the Creator God.
We are all going to exist forever. But not all will LIVE forever. Only those who have a right relationship with God will truly LIVE forever.
In John 17, verse 1 Jesus prays…
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:1-3 NIV).
A relationship with God enables people to see things they never couldn’t see before. In this relationship God communicates through His Bible, explaining the world around us. How it works. Why it’s like it is. In this relationship, God teaches us about spiritual things. Things we couldn’t know or understand without His explaining. He even teaches us things about ourselves.
John calls Jesus life and light, because He creates this relationship between us and God.
And here is the reason why all this stuff about “the Word” matters to us. We can admire amazing things from a distance, but if they never actually impact our lives, they’re nothing more than trivia. But the Word which ahs always existed with God the Father, and through whom all things were made isn’t merely something to be observed from a distance.
Look ahead to John 1, verse 14…
“14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NKJV).
The Word became Human 2000 years ago, to change human life forever.
When sin separated mankind from God, God the Son came to separate us from sin. He did so by becoming human Himself. He placed Himself under His Father’s Law, and then kept that Law without sinning once. Then He offered His body and soul to be sacrificed in our place. He suffered and died, experiencing the punishment for our sins, in our place, in order to create a bridge between us to the Father. Jesus says,
“…whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV).
When you think of the little Bethlehem baby, remember that His is the Eternal Word. Existing from eternity. In glory at the Father’s side. Through whom all things were made, but who stepped down to fix your life. To die in your place. To give you forgiveness and eternal life.
That’s who He is and what He does. The Word.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.