Was Jesus God because he was “The Word”?

John used a term for introducing Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles that didn’t have them accusing him of saying there were two Gods. That term was “the Word” (John 1:1).

And even though John stated clearly that “the Word was God” and was “with God” from the beginning, neither Jew nor Gentile took it to mean he was saying that Jesus was also God. That’s because “the Word,” or Logos, in both Jewish and Greek meanings did not refer to God himself, nor to the great invisible force that made life, the universe, and the power of human thinking possible.

The Word, instead, was the mediator between God and the world, or the agent acting on behalf of God, or as John phrased it in John 1:3, the Word was the means “Through” whom “all things were made.”

So before John said that “The Word became flesh” in verse 14, he put in place who and what the role of the Word had always been first, so that people would understand who and what the role of Jesus was.

The Word was the Logos, the logo of God, and just like a company uses a logo today on signs and business cards to represent and communicate what it stands for and does, the role of the Word, or the logo of God, has always been to represent and communicate what God stands for and does.

By saying, therefore, that Jesus was the logo of God, John was using a term very acceptable to Jew and Greek, and hopefully to us today too, to get the point across that Jesus represented God exactly, and was the means by which God communicated his purpose, put that purpose into action and enabled human minds to understand it.

To a Jew this was perfectly understandable, because all through their history they’d understood God and his purpose through “the word of the Lord.” The word was the agent of the Lord, perfectly expressing what God wanted said and done. To hear John, then, calling Jesus “the Word” of the Lord (or the logos of God), was simply a familiar carry over for the Jews of what the Word had always been in their experience.

As Jesus himself said, “See me, and you see the Father.” To hear and watch Jesus was the same as hearing and watching God, because that was the role of the Word, and always had been.

It wasn’t John’s purpose, then, to prove that Jesus was God. But it was his purpose to show what Jesus’ mission was: It was, as always, being God’s Word.


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