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Friday, March 23, 2018

Do you hear what I hear in the word of the Lord?

Look Deeper by Jim Squires

The gospel of John begins with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this text, the Greek word ‘logos’ is translated ‘Word’ three times.

Philosophers from Heraclitus in the 6th century B.C. to Plato in the 4th century B.C. addressed who they thought and believed the Logos to be.

Heraclitus said the primary element from which all things rise must be “not water or air as previous thinkers had conjectured, but something more subtle, mysterious and potent —fire.” Plato referred to this principle as ‘mind’ not ‘reason’. Important from Plato is that he recognized God as the intelligent power who made the world.

It was the Stoics who were the first to have a systematic theory about logos. They are spoken of in Acts 17:18. 

The logos existed in Jewish thought. ‘Word’ as revelation of God is recorded in the Old Testament. The Word is the creative principle, Psalm 33:6 says: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”

The gospel writer John explains in detail who the Logos is. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

John then goes on to explain that the Logos is not an “idea or thought expressed” but is a person.  “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men,” John 1:3-4.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14.

In John’s gospel he plainly states a reason for his writing: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But 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 20:30-31

John uses three key words in his gospel: ‘Signs’, ‘Believe’ and ‘Life.’ With these he writes of three signs which eyewitnesses testify to. 1. The loaves, 2. The man born blind, 3. The raising of Lazarus. He then uses ‘believe’ in the sense of being convinced of something, to trust and have confidence in. The result is life which is defined as life in the physical sense and supernatural life belonging to God and Christ. This is the life which the believers will receive in the future but which they also enjoy in the here and now.

The entire gospel of John is an attempt to bring the reader to belief. The Scriptures never demand belief without furnishing adequate reason for commitment.

The season’s activities in our culture and throughout much of the world relate to Christmas. It is celebrated as the birthday of the Christ, the Logos who John identifies as eternal, Creator of all things, and God Himself. The one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist recognized him as: “Look, the Lamb of God!” in John 1:36.

That is what is important! Do you recognize Jesus of Nazareth for who He truly is? The promised Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings? 

The date of His birth is not clearly identified in Scriptures. The most likely date is late September, not December when the shepherds were not out in the fields watching their flocks by night.

Are you willing to consider the evidence that John writes of? Evidence given by eyewitnesses. Are you willing to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ?

He commanded His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Paul was inspired to write in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Jim Squires preaches at the Glendive Church of Christ. He can be reached at  csquires@midrivers.com.

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