God’s Word Became Flesh


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“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…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”[1] (John 1:1-5,14)

These are among my favorites verses in the entire Bible. When I read them as brand new creation, having just come to believe that Jesus was who He said He was, God in the flesh, and having committed myself to follow Him, these words virtually leapt off the page. They still resonate freshly with me.

As an English Literature major in college, I read the opening phrase – in the beginning was the Word – with wonder. Language, words, were special to me, and here was the very opening phrase in the New Testament placing supreme meaning and significance on the Word, “and the Word was God.”

The Word is God!

Mind blown.

I recently listened to Tim Keller talking about this passage. Tim Keller, if you haven’t ever listened to or read him, is top shelf. No one synthesizes faith and culture better than he in my opinion. He breathes fresh life into this meaning-packed passage with the following observation:

“A person’s word is the clearest and ultimate revelation of who you are.”

By way of illustration, he described how you might study a person and know something about her. For instance, you might observe that she drinks coffee and tea. If you are thinking of inviting her to your house for lunch, you might not know whether to serve coffee or tea unless you ask her. When you ask her, she says, “I only drink coffee if that is all that is available, but I prefer tea.”

Her word reveals her better and more completely than her actions. We can know something about her that we can infer from her actions, but when we have her word, we know her more completely and intimately.

A better example might be the neighbors who live on my street. I see them daily coming and going and working in their yards. I can study them and know a lot about them. If you ask me if I know them, though, if I have never met them and talked to them, I would say, No.”

If you have never spoken to a person or communicated with them in some way, you don’t think you have met them. You don’t think you know them, but that changes after you have communicated with the person. This is because a person’s words, communication, is the ultimate expression of who a person is. We reveal ourselves through our words.

The statement that Jesus is “the” Word of God is an amazing statement! It means that we can’t know God except through Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t mean that we can’t know anything about God except through Christ. We can know lots of things about God, just like we can know lots of things about our neighbors without them ever talking to us. We can even believe in God without God ever talking to us, but can’t know Him but for Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate revelation of who God is.[2]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] Can also be translated “and without him was not any thing made. That which was made was in him was life….”

[2] Here are just a few other passages that bear out that Jesus is God in human form:

  • “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
  • Jesus is “exact representation of [God’s] being….” (Hebrews 1:3 NIV)
  • “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form….” (Colossians 2:9)
  • “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
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3 Comments on “God’s Word Became Flesh”


  1. I guess I have a different perspective. I believe a person’s actions reveals more of who a person REALLY is rather than their words. I have seen too many cases where a person’s actions not being consistent with their words… and their actions reveal more of where their heart really is at.

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    • I don’t think Keller uses the example in that way. He is talking about how we know people, generally. I wouldn’t say I know you unless I have met you and talked to you. If someone asked me if I know you, and I had never met you, I would have to say I know of you, but I don’t know you. Of course, people can be duplicitous and inauthentic and say things that they don’t really mean or which aren’t really true, but God is not like that.

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  2. […] A view of the world through the eyes of faith « God’s Word Became Flesh […]

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