Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Jesus, the Word

In John 1:1ff., the author describes the activities of the eternal Son before he became a man. One of those activities was his participation in the divine work of creation, which was when other forms of life commenced. Before then, only the eternal God existed, and did so as the three persons of the Trinity.

Within the Trinity, the Son (the Word) was face to face with the Father. In using the title 'the Word', John indicates that communication was taking place. While it is not possible to insist on what were the specific details shared between them, it is reasonable to suggest that they were delighting in the divine plan of salvation because that was how divine glory would be revealed.

The interaction between the three persons was without beginning. Nor was the sharing a process of discovery about the details of the divine plan. The fellowship within the Trinity was one of omniscience as well as of love. The Father, the Son and the Spirit enjoyed unending delight in contemplating the revelation of glory that was yet to commence elsewhere.

In John 1:14, the author explains how this revelation would be possible. it would occur after the Word was made flesh. The Incarnation of the Son, him becoming man, was a great miracle. He did not cease to be the Word, so his identity remained unchanged. Yet his audience did, because on earth he now communicated with men and women and children about the divine plan for their salvation.

In contrast to the response in heaven, the sharing on earth was rejected by many. This rejection commenced at his birth. Although he had not personally said anything as a man, sufficient revelation was given about him to recognise who he was. Shepherds and wise men believed in him, rulers and religious leaders did not.

The rejection showed itself later when the inhabitants of his hometown Nazareth opposed his teaching. They were not the last to do during his years of public ministry. Yet John says that there were those who received him and became members of God's family. They saw the glory that he had come to show to them, a glory that was marked by grace and truth.

They saw his glory in his interactions with sinners as he spoke and acted graciously and truthfully. The 'they' included all kinds of people - fishermen who became apostles, religious leaders like Nicodemus, social outcasts like the woman of Samaria. Eventually they discovered that the communication of glory would involve the darkness of the cross.

They did not understand this initially. Then the resurrection of Jesus brought new insights for them regarding his communication about his coming and what would occur afterwards. Now their desire was to serve him here and then go to be with him in heaven and discover more of what he has to say to them about the plan of God that had been the focus of the Trinity from everlasting. And his communication of the divine purpose will never cease because he will continue to lead them, and all other believers, to the fountains of the waters of life (Rev. 8:17).

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