John 1:1-4, Hebrews 1:1-3: The Word and the Son

Today, the 25th of December, far removed from unknown ages, when our God created the heavens and earth, forming Adam in His image.  Much time elapses, and God sends a flood, required to rescue, not destroy, this humanity gone rogue.  A rainbow emblazons the sky as a sign of His covenant to save.

Many centuries pass from the time of Abraham and Sarah.  A man, Moses, will lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.  The time of Israel’s judges will arrive and go.  The calendar keeps moving in an unyielding pace, and David receives God’s anointing as Israel’s second king.  The prophecy of Daniel sounds forth of future empires yet to be, where, at last, the foundations of Rome arise.

Much of the world is in peace, enforced by a mighty Empire, sometimes benevolent, sometimes not.  A sacred promise still moves in God’s mind, who yearns to heal what we corrupted and harmed.  Conceived by the Holy Spirit, nine months now elapse since the sacred conception.

A peaceful stillness now envelopes all, as a night, unlike any other, runs its course and becomes half-spent.  The time is pregnant, ready for completion, and God’s almighty Word descends from heaven’s royal throne.  The eternal God, Christ Jesus, who is the only Son of the Father, comes forth from the virgin’s womb.

Born in Bethlehem by the Virgin Mary, today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his human birth.  Now, divinity and humanity are joined into one.

The Apostle John speaks of this, calling Him “the Word.” The text of Hebrews refers to Him as “the Son.” Together, they blaze a light on Him, so long prophesied, Jesus.  Beyond the thoughts of mortal men, they tell us He is the source and sustainer of life.

Now, most of us of flesh-born form, are ready to accept a historical Jesus, a figure who lived, recorded in history.  Those who first rejected Him, whether out of self-interest or for their patriotic purposes, recognize Him as a rabbi.  Molded by both Jewish and Christian thinking, though bent and wayward, Islam later grows and spreads.  From wild deserts and blade of the sword, a religion enlarges, which talks of a prophet, Jesus, but only as, and nothing more.

The person walking the street, with but a smattering of biblical knowledge, will join with them.  Yes, a learned philosopher is He, a virtuous man, a teacher of morality and ethics.  Any more you may ask, now wavers and dances with differing answers.

A god first needs to conform to our thinking of how we sense god.  So, someone needs faith to call a man of yesteryear as nothing less than God.  Now, John’s word for Him, “the Word,” shows He is not only near God but is God (John 1:1-2).

Elsewhere, Holy Writ calls Him “the Son,” who “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his person” (Hebrews 1:3).  “All things came into being through him, and without him, nothing came to be” (John 1:3).  Yes, He “upholds the universe by His word of power” (Hebrews 1:3).  All these reveal Jesus to be God, who created and still preserves all creation.

Such terms “the Word,” “the Son,” appear to us, ordinary, like any other.  Not so, for those phrases formed from tongues of another time and age, not of English mind and making.  A word oozing from the mouth of Greek philosophers, logos, “the Word,” spoke of One who made the world.

These philosophers contemplated something called “dualism” of two spheres, on spiritual, the other, material.  The realms of the spirit gleamed with goodness.  Not so, the molecules of matter, which they deemed temporary, imperfect, and inconsequential.  No, not an atheist among them, but any real god must be a pure spirit, above any involvement with the arena of flesh, substance, or matter.

The matter-filled universe only existed as the product of a demigod.  So, this means being below God, whom they called “Logos.” A non-physical Spirit, they thought, brought this Logos into existence.  Through the Logos, this spirit can now create and interact with everything material.

So, John uses a language, so familiar, to upend the false thinking within their words.  Oh, the Word, Logos, does exist, and He is with God—and more!  For John busts open the truth.  The real Logos doesn’t only hang around God.  No, He is, form before the time of time’s beginning, God!  To assume the spiritual can’t join the physical is to mistake God’s essence.  No, for He becomes flesh, not like flesh, to dwell among us.  Now, also God, as well, He can and does redeem us, which includes our physical bodies.

In Him is life, who is the light of all us flesh-born creatures (John 1:4).  With divinity as part of His being, the enfleshed Word doesn’t need another to create Him or animate Him.  No, life dwells within Him as a personal possession, which explains why He can be both our creator and redeemer and shine salvation’s light into our blinded darkness.

In our s philosophies, we can contemplate the vast, incomprehensible universe surrounding us.  “Hmm, why do such things in such magnitude and complexity exist?” Well, life teaches us to conclude, if you find some structured object somewhere, some person made it so.  To come upon a home in the forest can only mean someone constructed and arranged its parts to form a building.

In our limited and darkened knowledge, we assume this maker fancied to express Himself—to display His power and deity.  Well, this will also help answer as to why you are here.  The one who decided to bring us into being, no doubt, desired to divulge himself.  Otherwise, no other explanation can satisfy our desire for a higher purpose.  So, if who we are, derives from this god, he must control every aspect of our being.

Well, God did design us to reflect Him, His holiness and love.  In His creation, He allowed us a divinity’s liberty, as much as non-divine creatures can be.  So, we swam in a sea of freedom, of things equal and below us.  Not being God, the divine remained beyond our comprehension, a state of being for those who aren’t God.

So, in way past all human philosophy, we grasped to become like God, ruining His expression of loving goodness through our willful sinning.  To this day, a terrible truth still tumbles down to us.  Now, we are by nature, sinful and unclean, who contribute our willfulness and sin into the mix.

Consider what God achieved when He formed as His creatures.  So, why should He give up His plans and intentions? In His eternal counsel, He stooped down to provide our rescue.  With Jesus as Logos Himself, God became flesh, revealing a re-creation will take place through this Word made flesh.  In His form, He can express a heavenly love to His fallen and corrupted-flesh creatures, for His nature is to love.

Other words also come, which speak of our Father’s gracious interaction.  “Long ago, at many times and in various ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1).  Next, comes word, providing what we require, so we never need to guess.  “In these last days, He spoke to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2).  No more need our philosophies strive to ascend into unreachable places.  In the accessible, flesh-born Son, the inaccessible comes to us.  So, if any naval-gazing is to be, all should serve this Wisdom enfleshed, not assert to usurp Him in our darkened arrogance. 

The heaven-sent Son is begotten, not made.  Born from God’s substance before time ticked, this Son isn’t some created Being.  Only He is the reflection of God’s glory, the express image of His being.  So, as God governed to articulate His compassion for us, He didn’t only speak through inspired men.  No, He came Himself.  The Father’s Son and Logos, became His expressive Word to redeem, like eons ago, when He created us.

Now, we enter God’s pulsing heart.  The daring truth of who is in the manger now confronts us—God in human flesh.  Born of a woman to be our Savior, He journeyed through Judea, calling all to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).  “In Christ, God reconciled the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19), as Jesus died and suffered the undoing of our iniquities.  The Son of the Father shared our human experience of death and overcame all for us.  In victory, Christ arose.  Now, He rules from heaven, as the returning conqueror, who defeated sin and hell.  “After providing purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

The almighty Father expresses Himself through “the Word,” His “Son,” and when He does, something always happens.  In creation, God uttered His Word.  At once, what He said came into being.  In our fall into sinfulness, our bodies corrupted.  Now, only a flesh-enrobed Word can become “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

This day, two grand passages speak about the Word and the only Son.  Together, they express God’s majestic might and wondrous love.  Today, God does more than enter our reality—He also comes to make real what He desires to do.  Gone are your efforts to reach up to Him, for He recognizes well this is beyond your ability.  A compassionate love sends Him down, for God still speaks to us through His Son.

Remember where God says His corporeal Son becomes present for you.  Here, where He pledges to be, for you.

So, send all your fallen philosophies away to trust in the Wisdom from above.  Soon, He will descend in a physical form to restore us, physical beings—in the Christ-filled Food of His Supper.  This day, more than any other, gives reason for us to rejoice.  For when God joined our humanity as a physical Being, all eternity became a reality.  Amen.