By Ron Bartanen
The apostle John began his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
The Bible, the inspired written word of God tells us of the personal living Word of God coming and dwelling among us. Jesus didn’t come into the world simply to deliver some message—prophets frequently had done that throughout the Old Testament period. The world was in need of someone greater than a prophet—one who would reveal to us the fullness of the glory of God, embodying totally His “grace and truth.” Jesus came as the living Word of God, “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), in Whom dwells “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9).
God, the Father, has not only “spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1) with oral and written messages, but also His Son is the message. He personally is “the Truth” (John 14:6). He is personally God’s greatest message to an alien world, conveying the love of God and offering hope to man. It is one thing to read God’s message (which is good), but it is another thing to be led by that word to see, by faith, that message embodied in a Person—Jesus Christ.
In Jesus we are able to see not only God above us, but also, as John declared, God “among us.” Or, as it was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14, and quoted in Matthew 1:23, “A virgin shall conceive and bare a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, that is, God with us.” He came among us, bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows (Isaiah 53:3). He, too, had to struggle with the same temptations to which we are heir , in that “He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). In our darkest hours we can take comfort in the words of one of my favorite hymns: in answering the question, “Does Jesus Care?” the reply is:
“Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares;
His heart is touched with my grief.
When the days are weary, The long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”
Have you put your trust in the Word among us?
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.