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Let’s start at the book of John. Let’s open the Word and find the Mercy Man, let’s find this Jesus, Yeshua, who came from God and was God, and died for us and rose, and sits at the right hand of the Father. Let’s meet him, and see him, and know him, together, from the Word of God, beginning in the book of John.
In the beginning was the Word.
The Word. In Greek, it is Logos.
Jesus, the man of God, the Son of God, was the Word.
Nowadays when we say, “The Word of God,” most people mean the Holy Bible. 66 books, Old and New Testament. But do you know what? The trinity is not God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Bible. Jesus himself is the Word.
This is strange to us, how can a person be the word? But Jesus himself is the personification, he embodied the whole message of God. He himself has everything we need. If we didn’t have the scriptures, but we had him, we would have enough.
But we do have the scriptures. The Bible, the Holy Bible, is the authoritative final word on what God is, and who Jesus is. You can learn other things, you can know God in your life, you can have experiential knowledge of God, but the Holy Scripture is the litmus test. It is the final authority. If your experience or belief about God contradicts what the Bible says, your god is not the One True God.
We go to the scriptures because we believe that God revealed himself through them to people, and we believe that he has protected and guided the message of the scriptures supernaturally through men, throughout the ages.
I know there are many people who doubt the authenticity of the scriptures. They say, this was written by men and preserved by men, who can know what is true in it? They point to the humanity and personality that shines through different books of the bible, and they say, I don’t like this, I don’t agree with this… I think differently, and they throw the Bible aside, or worse, they use it as a storybook, to cut and choose parts they like.
This is what I believe: I believe in a God who wanted his story written. I believe in a God who is capable of preserving his words through scrolls, through tablets, through words written on on shipwrecked islands, in jail cells, and in hidden cars making its way across a communist border.
I believe that the message of God, the Word of God, is so powerful that a not-always-likeable apostle’s personality could be perfectly clear and yet not mask the message of hope and mercy that God sent through it. I believe in a faith that is grounded in thousands of years of people who are filled with the spirit of God, and who maybe, just maybe, have been able to pass that good doctrine and discovery of who God is down, more than I trust my own thirty five years thinking and seeking and learning.
I believe in the scriptures. I believe in the Holy Bible.
I personally like the Voice translation. It’s so refreshing to read the Bible in the language and dialect of English that I speak. But I also use and recommend the ESV and the NASB, because I love looking at the direct translation of the original words. I use a concordance to see the Greek and Hebrew, and to read their definitions. When I read “In the beginning was the Word,” I love to see the meaning of Logos- that it is not only “something spoken” but “doctrine, teaching… message.”
Jesus is the Message. He is the Voice of God.
I believe it is possible to know the Bible and to miss the message. It is possible, and it is too common. In John 5: 39, Jesus is talking to a group of men who are very educated in the Scriptures, and he says,
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life: it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life!”
He’s saying that they have turned to the Bible for the answers, for hope, for salvation… but they missed it, they have none of it, because the Bible has a purpose: It is to reveal Christ. It is to bring us to God. But too, far too often, people have the Bible and not the Message. They have the words but not the Word.
Jesus is the Word.
As we read through John, I want to find Him. I don’t want to waste my time debating about what the meaning of this passage is, or what the translation of that word is- I want to go through this book, and find HIM. He is the point. Knowing Him, seeing him, finding Christ, this is the whole point.
Let’s be seekers of Him, seekers of the Word and not just readers of the words. Let’s open this Bible, and thank the Lord that He preserved it and put it within our grasp, and let’s look in these words for Christ Himself, and ask Him to reveal Himself to us.
I truly believe that when we seek, we will find, and He wants us to find him more than we even want to find Him ourselves.
I truly believe that the whole point of our whole lives is finding Him- finding what has been from the beginning, the Word of God.