Today’s Word

May I share a word with you?

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The Apostle John continued:

Through Him all things were made . . . . In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”  – vs. 3-4

John’s use of the Word in Hebrew Scripture is linked with Genesis 1. God created by speaking the universe into orderly existence. Hebrew thought also associated Word as the source of God’s message through His prophets (Hosea 1:2) and God’s law—His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11).

The philosopher Heraclitus (c. 535-475 B.C.) used the Greek thought of Word/logos as the divine logic, “an ordering principle for the universe.

John used the Word to describe Jesus as God–a guy he knew and loved, but at the same time was Creator of the universe who perfectly revealed God the Father’s character and holiness.

The educated Greek reader would have understood John’s summary as Christ being the truth; not only the guiding principle of the universe, but also of every person’s soul. Thus, by the person of Christ—the Logos—one may attain harmony with God and His creation.

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 When Christ became human He became:

  1. the perfect teacher who showed us how we should think (Philippians 2:5-11)
  2. the perfect example who showed us not only how to live, but also enables us to do so (1 Peter 2:21)
  3. the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s requirements for the removal of our sin (Colossians 1:15-23)

Jesus is not only our Creator and Sustainer, but He also holds our universe together (Colossians 1:15-17). If we try to live apart from Him, the purpose for which God made us will be void.

To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God–children not born of natural descent. . . but born of God.”  – John. 1:12-13, NIV

Anyone who welcomes Jesus Christ as Lord of their life is reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Just as being born physically makes you alive and places you in your parents’ family, being born of God makes you spiritually alive and places you as His child (John 3:1-6).

By trusting and receiving Christ, the Holy Spirit will dwell in you (Romans 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 13:5). God won’t force Himself on anyone, but He will breathe new life into the surrendered soul. He will also rearrange attitudes, desires, and motives.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you asked Christ to make you a new person? It’s not too late. This new life is available to all who place their confidence in Jesus Christ, ask for His forgiveness, and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:8-10).

Press On

I wonder when Jesus first realized He was God’s Son, and His purpose for living on earth. Growing up under the care of a carpenter, he likely hammered hundreds of nails. Did He ever cringe―knowing His earthly fate would end with sharp spikes piercing His own hands and feet?

Luke 2:40-52 gives an account of Jesus at the age of twelve. Jesus―strong and full of God’s wisdom and grace―remained behind in Jerusalem when his parents began journeying home from their yearly Passover Festival. Mary and Joseph were concerned. Where is Jesus?

After three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.”   – (vs. 46-47)

Joseph and Mary:  Relief … astonishment … parental anger

Jesus:  “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (vs. 49) “Or be about my Father’s business,” (NIV Bible’s footnote)

Joseph and Mary:  Fear … misunderstanding

Was this Jesus’ first experience of His identity and mission being misunderstood? It wouldn’t be His last. The gospels―Matthew, Mark, Luke and John―detail Jesus’ suffering. His blood brothers ridiculed Him. Many disciples turned away. Even those in His inner circle misunderstood many of His teachings, and then scattered upon Jesus’ arrest. His home town shunned Him. The Pharisees bombarded Him with false accusations…

But Jesus pressed on.

In ministry, Jesus didn’t have home comforts, but instead dwelt among throngs of people―many pursuing Him with selfish motives.

But He persevered.

Satan―knowing Jesus’ true identity and mission from the get-go―assaulted Him with temptations, seeking to steal Jesus’ worship, kingdom and glory.

But Jesus overcame (Matthew 4).

So what prompted Jesus’ strong resolve amid such opposition? He prayed often, plugging into His Father’s power source. Also, Jesus declared:

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”  – John 4:34

God’s grace to us led Christ to His death. Jesus―fully God and fully man―did not come to gain political power or status, but to suffer and die so we could have eternal life (Hebrews 2:9-10).

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Our sinless Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses (Hebrews 2:18). He is the answer to all our dilemmas and temptations. Through Christ, we too can press on (Philippians 4:13).