Why the Word?


In this message James MacDonald uses biblical text to explain how we are to know that when John begins his gospel with the statement, “In the beginning was the Word,” he is talking about Jesus.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it—John 1:1-5.

When John begins his gospel with the statement, “In the beginning was the Word,” he is talking about Jesus.

If you’re new to the Bible, you may reasonably ask, How do we know that?

Well, don’t just take my word for it. Look down in your own Bible to John 1:14. Lest there be any doubt, John says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” That’s what we celebrate at Christmas—the Incarnation. John is talking about Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, who came into this world to solve a problem for us we can’t solve for ourselves. So, when he declares, “In the beginning was the Word,” John is talking about Jesus Christ.

John 1:1 continues, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God”—hinting at the Trinitarian understanding of God, the Son being with God, the Father. But more than that, “And the Word was God,” Jesus Christ—undiminished deity, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). The Word, Jesus Christ, severely limited Himself to fit in the flesh and enter the human experience. And He didn’t just come for a visit; He came to transform our lives.

Do you get it? Because if you don’t get who Jesus Christ is, you don’t get it! This is where it starts. There is no more important thing in all of universe for you to figured out than who is Jesus Christ. I guarantee, a hundred years from today, nothing will matter more to you than whether or not you figured this out. If you think of all the things that occupy our time and our energy—nothing will matter but just this question: Who is Jesus Christ? In fact, where you will spend eternity is dependent upon your answering that question correctly.

False teaching and what we would call cults—aberrant or error-filled forms of Christianity—all flow from a misunderstanding of this: Who is Jesus Christ? And John is asserting with his opening words that Jesus is God! The Word is God! He is God’s ultimate expression we can understand, and to Whom we can say, “My Lord and my God!


  • How does Jesus being the Word make a difference in my life?
  • What does His identity as Word show or tell me about God? 


Father, Your Son’s identity as the embodiment of Your Word, Your ultimate expression of Yourself, continually silences me in reflection on what would have been my predicament if He hadn’t been willing to empty Himself and take on flesh. What an awesome gesture of love, highlighted by all He had to endure while in the flesh! Heavenly Father, I honor Your Word. His coming, His life, His example, His death, and resurrection were all gestures that brilliantly expressed Your mercy and grace toward us. Once again I thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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