Considering Jesus as the Word of God Shines New Light on Some Verses in the Bible
The book of John, which is a biography of Jesus, opens with a most poetic passage. It calls Jesus the Word. It confirms Jesus’s presence at creation and that he took part in it. In fact without Jesus creation wouldn’t have happened.
Life came through Jesus. His life gives us light, a light that shines for us in darkness. And, best of all, the light of Jesus overcomes the darkness (John 1:5).
While you may think I’m taking liberties with the text by claiming the Word refers to Jesus, keep reading the passage.
Later John writes that this Word became human and joined us on earth. The Word showed us his glory as the one and only son from Father God (John 1:14).
It’s easy to see from the above passage that Jesus is the Word, life, and light, as well as creator. But what if Jesus is the Word of God?
We commonly think of the word of God as the Bible, but remember that the New Testament of the Bible didn’t exist until several centuries after Jesus’s death and resurrection.
In light of this, I prefer to think of the word of God as the spoken word of God, more so than the written word.
But let’s take this one additional step. What if Jesus is more than the Word? What if he’s actually the Word of God?
This thought isn’t mine alone. John thought it too. In another of his writings he, in fact, calls Jesus the Word of God (Revelation 20:4). Curious.
The Bible contains 39 mentions of the word of God. Though it doesn’t flow smoothly in all cases, as a thought-provoking exercise, let’s reword some of these verses to say Jesus instead of word of God.
Here we go:
- “You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition” (Matthew 15:6) becomes “You nullify Jesus for the sake of your tradition.”
- “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11) becomes “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is Jesus.”
- “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28) becomes “Blessed rather are those who hear Jesus and obey him.”
- “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables” (Acts 6:2) becomes “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of Jesus in order to wait on tables.”
- “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John” (Acts 8:14) becomes “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted Jesus, they sent Peter and John.”
- “The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God” (Acts 11:1) becomes “The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received Jesus.”
- “So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God” (Acts 18:11) becomes “So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them Jesus.”
- “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit” (2 Corinthians 2:17) becomes “Unlike so many, we do not peddle Jesus for profit.”
There are many more interesting examples, but you get the point. Considering Jesus as the word of God and inserting his name into these verses elevates their impact for me. I hope it does for you, too.
Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.