"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh..." (John 1:1 & 14)
For someone like myself who has both a background in Philosophy and Theology, these lines might be some of the most fun lines in all of Scripture. Not only is John intentionally referencing the first words of Genesis 1:1, but he is also referencing one of the most important philosophical concepts of his day: the Logos (or “the Word”).
For centuries, Philosophers had theorized about a principle, a law, a power that was the reason behind all of reality. They claimed that this impersonal influence was pervading and animating the universe. The best word that they could come up for this concept was the logos (the “word,” “verb,” or “reason”). Heraclitus said that the logos was what gives value to reality. Plato said that the logos was what gave reason to the world. Aristotle said that it is what gives structure to the world. The Stoics said that it provided divine order. The Neoplatonists called it a regulating force. No one Philosopher could fully comprehend or grasp all that the logos was, but they clearly believed that it was foundational to all of reality. What John says in verse 14 is that all of this… the value, the reason, the structure, the divine order, the regulating force, the LOGOS has taken on flesh!! What was known as an impersonal force is actually a person! The reason behind all of reality put on skin! The concept that was beyond comprehension had been born as a baby, grew, walked on two legs and had a name!
Of course, we know his name. His name is Jesus. And YES he was a man. But he was also so much more than just a man. He was the God-Man. The Word. The Logos. And just like the ancient philosophic concept, Jesus is the influence which is animating the universe. But he also wants to be so much more. He wants wants to animate your life as well. John sums up his book in John 20:31, by telling us that his book was written “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Join me in trying to live today believing that Jesus is the Logos of my life.
Pastor of Adult Ministries