Made from the alphabet, it is the basic building block that creates language, a tiny piece in the flowing tapestry of speech. A milestone in a child’s life is when they speak their first word. Words are humans’ way of relating to each other. Without words, we have no way of getting anything done. As someone a long time ago decided, words are the most efficient way to use the voices and senses that God gave us to communicate. And now, we have dictionaries, these giant books that we use to define every word in existence. And we use other words to define words.
While the raw knowledge of words can perk some people’s interest, my interest is better perked by completely destroying and rebuilding my own definition of a word. In the right person’s hands, different words can be used to create beautiful or remarkable things. But in God’s arena, words are completely made new. He redefines them.
Savior. Spirit. Creator. Master. Love. Fear. Peace. Hope. Gentle. Justice.
The God of the universe cannot be completely defined by any amount of words, let alone the 10 listed here. It is my goal in writing this blog series (with the help of the Almighty) to encapsulate and begin to fathom the redefining of these average words by an above-average God.
Ironically, the first word I have been pondering over is Word. Not in a sense of the basic building block, but Word with a capital W. It originally sparked my interest from the opening verses of the Gospel of John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 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 all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1–5 NIV
From this we can not only derive that Word is a metaphor for Christ, we can say that the Word is Christ. For real though? Why did He choose Word to represent Christ? How does the word “Word” actually apply? And how, if Christ is the Word, was the Word there in the beginning, before time even existed? For starters, the Greeks term for Word is synonymous with “logos.” I thought I knew what logos meant from many years of hearing it in English class, but with God nothing is as expected.
I searched for the word logos online to further understand it. The word logos, by Google’s definition, means “the Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ.” So the idea of rhetoric I have been learning in public school ever since 7th grade or so that is the main focus of many units and even entire semesters is defined by the dictionary as identified by THE Jesus Christ? Whoa. Up until this point, I had just taken the definition that was given to me by my teachers, that is: in a persuasive speech or essay, the logos used is the logic. It is the glue that makes all of the writing make sense.
By the same standards, one could say that God places Jesus Christ (a.k.a. the Word) into his ultimate story. Without the Word, the entirety of the Bible would not make any sense! It would be a jumble of words that had no divine meaning whatsoever. A paper without logos is a bad paper. A Bible without the logos of Jesus Christ is a really long story of some absolutely impossible events. It is so hard for non-believers to believe the Bible because they literally do not see logic in it. They have not yet found the Word/logos/logic that the entire Bible rests upon. They don’t believe that Jesus is divine or that he came to Earth. But the Word came!
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 NIV
God sent his son the Word to save us, and by seeing in full his glory through Jesus, this crazy story makes a whole lot more sense. God absolutely had to send his son to not only die for us and grant us the unimaginable gift of eternal life, but to make us believe. Humans naturally want to figure out the truth, and for most that means there needs to be real concrete evidence. When asked for proof of God’s existence, I no longer have to be a deer-in-the-headlights Christian. I have the Word. “In the beginning was the Word” now hits me even harder. The ultimate truth and logic found in the Word, or Jesus, was not only there with God, it was with God and WAS God in the beginning. The Word IS GOD. So what John is saying is that the Word is almost an overarching purpose of the entire Bible. I completely agree and resonate with that.
In other words, WORD.