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Who is the Word, and is it Important?

28 Jan
The Tetragrammaton Yahweh intended to be prono...
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Probably John 1:1 is the most controversial verse in the Bible. I grew up Roman Catholic and never doubted that Jesus was God. When I grew up and entered the military, I found several people who not only didn’t believe Jesus was God, but didn’t care. And, it didn’t stop there. Later, I would be visited by people who appeared very sincere in their beliefs, but they believed Jesus was either a mere man chosen by God or that Jesus was a god, but not the God. I have several blogs on the theology of the first chapter of John, but, for now, I just want to talk about what is on my heart as it pertains to this idea.

What does the term “Word” mean to you? For me, it has the meaning of expression. If I wish to express myself, most often I use words, and Jesus said that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When God speaks Jesus comes forth. That is how I see it. I have read that the ancient Jews often used the title “Word of God” to translate instances when God seemed to appear to folks in the Old Testament. These writings were called Jewish Targums or Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they represented authentic Jewish understanding or interpretations of the Scriptures. Some targums would have Abraham trusting in the “Word of God” in the targum, but in the Hebrew Scriptures it was YHWH rather than the Aramaic Word of God.

What I see here is that when God wished to communicate to men, it was through his Word, the very One who became Jesus. Do you see what this means? It means that the very One, whom the Jews referred to as God, is the same One John speaks of in John 1:1, and who became man in John 1:14. I’ve tried to look at this differently and see the logic behind other points of view, but I simply cannot. I see John painting a very clear picture of who the Word/Jesus really is. John calls him God, says he is our Creator and claims that we owe our very lives (light) to him. How else should I see this? Is there another way? I don’t see one. I have to be honest about this; I simply do not see the argument other folks have that Jesus is not God. The Scriptures are very clear.

Does this mean that I think folks who don’t share my theology, that they aren’t Christian? No, I don’t believe that. Some brethren see this as a litmus test of who is a Christian and who is not, but I don’t think that is so. For one thing I am someone who loves theology. I eat that stuff up. It’s great. I thank God every day for giving me a hunger for his word and a desire to know what it all means. I am a Sunday school teacher, and I know many folks simply do not have the gift I have. They are able to see the meaning of a difficult Scripture once I show them, but often they cannot see it on their own. Their gifts lie in other areas, and believe me, they have a lot they could (and do) teach me, especially as it pertains to helping others. At times I simply do not see the need others have, until it is made plane to me by someone else. Then I see! I think it is like this with theology for lots of folks. So, if someone who is not theologically inclined is told Jesus is not God and are given a few Scriptures that seems to back up that idea, and they believe what they are shown, how can I say these folks aren’t Christian, especially when they would probably wrap rings around me when it comes to seeing and expressing the love of God through satisfying the needs of others? Doesn’t Jesus say his followers are known, not by what they believe, but by their fruits—i.e. of the Spirit? Sure, “knowledge” is one of those fruits, but what good is knowledge without the application? I might be able to point someone in the right direction theologically, but I need a lot of guidance when it comes to recognizing the needs of others.

So, is it important to know the truth, if Jesus, who is the Word, is really God as John seems to claim? Yes, I believe it is very important, simply because it is the truth, and Jesus says the Truth (Jesus) shall set me free. Nevertheless, do I believe that the knowledge of this truth is important enough to keep me from being a Christian or a child of God, if I don’t understand it properly? No, I do not. Frankly, I believe my Jesus is bigger than that. He is my Savior even when I don’t completely understand the Scriptures correctly! What do you think?

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Christianity, Godhead, Religion

 

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2 responses to “Who is the Word, and is it Important?

  1. Jerry Clifford, the Word Guru

    February 6, 2011 at 11:44

    Good points. It’s like one who is totally trustworthy saying, “I give you my word…” Jesus is a full and complete embodiment of God’s integrity as well as other significant things.

    One aspect that many Christians do not know and their leaders hinder or prevent their knowledge of, is the fact that as the book of Hebrews states, “… He, for a short while, became a little lower than the angels for our benefit…” and in Philippians, “He emptied Himself and became a man humbling Himself as such before God…” And yes, “…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Flesh, not divinity!

    And why? Because only as fully a man without the automatic advantages of being God could Jesus live the life being led by the Holy Spirit as an example to those who would believe. Moreover, it would be easy for a god to endure torture and give his life, but He set another example by sacrificing as a man. He said in the scriptures that all that He did, we could do also because of the indwelling Spirit in Him and would be in us.

    We do have the power to be like Jesus; He showed us how, but most do not believe this because it appears that this view denies the deity of Christ, yet Jesus denied His own deity for the sake of bringing mankind to salvation. Moreover, it was only for 33 years that he devoted to complete manhood. After his resurrection God restored his full God nature and had an even greater status than before he gave up His posh position in heaven to come down here and slug it out along with us and experience all that we feel and endure.

    Keep up the good work. We strive to hear Him say at the last day, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter my rest.” What a fantastic day that will be!!!

    Best regards,
    Jerry Clifford, the Word Guru
    jclifford@word-guru.com
    http://www.jerrycliffordwordguru.wordpress.com/

     
 
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