"... these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20:31 (NIV)With this in the front of our minds, we look at the first chapter of John. He starts by introducing Jesus, clearly telling us who he is -- God himself; then he provides the eye-witness testimony of John the baptist and the disciples to confirm this identity, so that we may believe and have life.
So, who does John say that Jesus is?
- 1:1 - Word - the one through whom God has always expressed himself
- 1:1 - God - in the beginning, with God, is God
- 1:2 - Creator - all things were made through him
- 1:4 - Life - revealed God in the unique gift of life that transformed a barren universe
- 1:4 - Light - enlightens everyone
- 1:14 - Flesh - human, God with us to redeem us
- 1:29 - Lamb - the sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world
- 1:41 - Messiah - the Christ, the one anointed by God
- 1:12 - he gave the right and ability to become God's children
- 1:14, 17 - he is full of grace and truth
- 1:16 - we have received grace upon grace from his fullness
- 1:18 - he has revealed God to us, made him known
Word / Logos - This term was commonly used in Greek philosophy. In reference to Jesus, it is unique to John, used only in this gospel, in 1 John 1:1, 4 and in the book of Revelation 19:13 - his name is Word of God, (You can debate amongst yourselves whether Revelation was really written by John).
'Logos' means so much more than it that it does when translated 'word' in the English language. It contains the expression of a thought, not merely the name of an object. It embodies a concept or an idea. In the Old Testament, the Word of the Lord is the revealed will of God and the sum of God's utterances.
But John takes it a step further and tells us that Jesus himself is the Word, the will of God, the revelation of God, all that God has said and ever needs to say.
I am looking forward to the unfolding of this description of Jesus that John has given in chapter one. As we proceed through this book, we will see the continued revelation of who Jesus is and what his life (and death) means for us -- that we may believe and have life.