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The Eternal Word


“A Japanese pastor wrote that the most important message of Christmas is that Jesus was born as a babe, weak and vulnerable to the world,” said artist Makoto Fujimura in his book, Refractions. “A baby is utterly dependent on a mother and a father, and others helping the baby to survive. Imagine, one who would claim to be the all-powerful Creator in flesh, becoming vulnerable and dependent on fallen human beings like us!”

“The Word became flesh” (v. 14) is one of the greatest truths and greatest acts of love the world has ever known. What does it mean to call Jesus the Word or Logos (v. 1)? To the Greek mind, Logos meant reason, order, and communication, both spoken and unspoken. To the Jewish mind, it meant the word of God, including both Scripture and God’s powerful word as seen in His creation (Gen. 1). The Word implied His sovereignty and represented the culmination of His plan and purpose. God’s word put into effect His plans and purposes. John surely knew and intended both meanings.

The miracle of the Incarnation certainly stunned both the Jewish and the Greek mind. Greeks would have been astounded to think of reason and thought as a Person, while Jews would have been staggered that the Lord of Hosts could become the man Jesus. Theologically, we too may have difficulty wrapping our minds around these truths, but John had seen it for himself (v. 14).

As a man, Jesus remained the eternal Son of God (vv. 1–2). And in yesterday’s devotional we read that He’s the Creator (v. 3). He came to give light and life, the hope of the gospel, to all who will receive it by faith (vv. 4–5). By believing and receiving, we gain the great privilege of becoming children of God (vv. 9–13)!

Apply the Word

Today’s reading is among the most beautiful and powerful passages in all of Scripture. In fact, we could say that about each of our first four Bible readings this month. Why not read them aloud? Perhaps you can read these passages in your small group or at the family dinner table or listen to audio Bible versions of each one.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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