THE INCARNATE WORD.
I. WHAT DOES JOHN TELL US ABOUT THE WORD?
A. That He was in the beginning with God.
1. This Greek word Logos translated "Word" has an interesting history in Greek thought.
a. In about 560 B.C. there lived a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus.
b. He taught that the world was in a constant state of flux, everything was constantly changing.
c. If you stepped into the river and stepped out, then stepped back in, you would not be stepping in the same river that you stepped in a moment ago. The current is constantly flowing.
d. If things are in the state of constant change, then how can you avoid chaos? His answer was the logos. The word or reason. The logos was the mind that kept order in the universe.
e. He taught that in our lives there is also a pattern, that nothing really happened by happenstance, that there was an order and pattern in all things. This order and pattern he also called the logos.
f. He taught that in each man there was a sense of what is right and wrong, and that the logos was that which dictated to us the sense of right and wrong.
g. Later the Stoics looking at the order in the Universe, the fact that the stars were not colliding with each other, the ebb and flow of the tides, the seasons of the year, all spoke of order which they called the Word.
2. John was writing his gospel to the Greeks. He was living in the city of Ephesus, the same city in which Heraclitus had lived some 600 years earlier.
a. That John was writing to the Greeks was evident from the fact that whenever he used a Hebrew word, he always translated it into Greek. Verse 38, Rabbi which is interpreted Master Verse 41, Messias which being interpreted is Christ.
b. To the Greek who thought of the logos as that order behind the universe, that which gives meaning to life, that which tells us what is right and wrong. He declares, In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Word was God.
3. The Bible opens with these words, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
a. The word God here, in Hebrew, is Elohim which is the plural form of the word El which is God, singular.
b. The Jewish Rabbi's in seeking to offer an explanation why a plural noun is used for God, declare that the plural form can also indicate emphasis. It can also mean more than one, as in the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
c. I choose to believe that God is giving to us in the very beginning the hint of the triunity of the Godhead.
d. This would certainly be confirmed by John declaring, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
B. The second thing that John declared about the Word was that He was God.
1. Here is where the Jehovah Witnesses get very confused in their seeking to maintain that Jesus was not God, but a created being of God, known as Michael the arch angel.
2. They try to solve their dilemma by mistranslating the verse to read, and the Word was a god, inserting the article "a" before god. Saying that Jesus was a god. That really does not help their cause, for their main contention is that their is only one God and that is Jehovah. If Jesus is a god, and Jehovah is God, then you have two gods.
3. Their real problem is one of mathematics, they seek to add, one plus one plus one equals 3. However one times one times one equals one.
C. He tells us that all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
1. Go back again to Genesis 1:1
, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." "All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made."
2. Paul confirms this in Colossians as he declares concerning Jesus,
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
D. John speaks further concerning the Word and tells us that in Him was life and the life was the light of man.
1. Jesus said, "I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly." John 10:10
2. Jesus said, "You do search the scriptures because in them you think you have life, but they testify of Me, but you will not come to Me that you might have life. John 5:40
3. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." 14:6.
4. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
5. Jesus said that the Father did not send Him in the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He said that He that believeth is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, seeing he has not believed in the only begotten Son of God, and this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than life because their deeds were evil.
6. John tells us several things about the Light.
a. That the light shone in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not, or did not put it out. They tried to put it out, they nailed Him on a tree and thought they had put it out for two days, but on the third day the light began to shine brighter than ever. It seems that men who love the darkness more than the light are constantly trying to put the light out.
b. That the Logos is the true light that lights every man that comes into the world.
E. That the Logos was in the world, and the world was made by Him but that the world knew Him not.
1. Think of Jesus walking on the earth that He had made.
2. He often called their attention to the wonders of creation.
a. Consider the lilies of the field.
b. Consider the birds of the air.
3. The tragic words, "But the world knew Him not."
4. But even worse;
F. He came to His own, and His own received Him not.
1. His own would refer to the people of Israel who received Him not.
2. The prophecy concerning the Messiah was fulfilled, "He was despised and rejected by men."
G. "As many as received Him to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name."
1. John wrote in his first epistle,
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
2. This power to become a son of God comes by believing on His name.
3. Peter said, that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
H. But finally He tells us that "The Word (Logos) became flesh and dwelt among us."
1. Again in the first letter of John, he begins with these words:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2. When they saw Him with their eyes, what did they see?
a. They saw His glory.
b. The glory as of the only begotten of the Father.
c. They saw grace and truth.
I. Conclusion: Jesus was the eternal God incarnate, the creator of the Universe who came to this world which He had created to bring light to those who were perishing in the darkness. Those who believe in Him will receive the power to become the sons of God, by being born by the will of the Father into the family of God.