“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Have you ever wondered why Jesus left heaven to live in this world clothed in a body of flesh? Why does the Bible call Jesus the Word? Of all the names for Jesus, the Word is probably the least understood.
Man communicates through symbols which represent words. A word is just a sound or a combination of sounds, in speech or writing, expressing ideas. These sounds send a message. For example, hieroglyphics are simply ancient symbols used to represent ancient words. The English alphabet uses twenty-six letters and ten numbers that we combine into words and ideas. I am trusting the reader will understand these concepts as I combine letters into words, words into phrases and sentences, and sentences into ideas.
Even with alphabets and letters as symbols, some concepts are difficult to grasp without a picture or a visual illustration. Jesus is God’s symbol. As the Word, he represents God in human form, so we can perceive God living in our human conditions and circumstances, and determine what God values in heaven.
The Old Testament unfolded God’s character in many circumstances. We can see evidence of His working, but he did not fully reveal himself. He worked through men. Moses found him in a burning bush when God was ready for him to take his people out of Egypt. He shared his plans for Sodom and Gomorrah with Abraham.
The common man, however, did not recognize God. People settled for what their ancestors had before them. At the synagogue, the priest intervened between them and God. They contentedly followed the crowd not caring about their destiny. Before the printing press, men had no access to Bibles, so people had no way to search the Scripture to discern God’s will.
Hebrews reveals Jesus, “. . . [As] the brightness of His [God’s] glory, and the express image of his person. . . “(Hebrew 1:3 KJV). Jesus reveals God’s character, so all men might glimpse him. We can now experience the thrill of a relationship with our Heavenly Father since Jesus communicated the Father nature of God to man. We can only be acquainted with God through Hia Son. He is the exact expression of the Father in human form. We cannot identify this character until w see it lived it out on earth. By knowing Jesus we can identify the Father.
Jesus declared, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14:7). He is the visible image of God lived out before a world that uses symbols or pictures to establish new or complex concepts.
Jesus is our letter to help us understand God’s glory as shown in grace and truth. Glory is simply the honor resulting from a favorable judgment. It describes the nature and acts of God as he reveals himself to the world. We beheld His glory; we observed the admirable qualities, nature of Jesus, as the only begotten of the Father.
What the religious leaders did not reveal to men, was clearly manifested in Jesus Christ. God used many people to fill roles and complete tasks. Only one, however, is the Son of God, whose blood can remove our sin.
Grace is the divine influence upon the heart and its expression in the life. Scholars call it the unmerited favor of God. Christ not only shows grace, he is its ultimate expression: grace in action. Grace gave Jesus the power to reject Satan. Grace gave him power in the garden to ignore his own will.
Through Christ, God’s grace is evident, for whosoever will take it. He did not just talk about, or teach about grace as others did. He lived grace. He embodied it in his own life. We also can have this grace. Grace gives us what we need when Satan tries to ruin our lives and witness.
Truth is more than information found in God’s Word. The Law of Moses was true. Truth, however, came by Jesus Christ. The Old Testament gave us shadows and promises; Jesus brought and gave the substance of those promises. Jesus Christ, as the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us, as the image of God, the Father, who is also full of grace and truth.
When we find Jesus as the Word, we understand why he entered the world clothed in flesh. Of the many names of Jesus, the Word is the pure essence of God, the Father, lived out in his life Symbol, Jesus, the Son.