Jesus the Word

Jesus the Word

Whoever said, “The pen is mightier than the sword” understood the power of words. Words express our thoughts and feelings. They tell what we are like. Through words we communicate with others and form relationships. Word is a good name for the Son of God for many reasons.

God is so totally different and great that words can't possibly describe what God is like. Even so, we try to speak about God using our human language. Theologians try to explain the Trinity by presenting Jesus as the Word. The Father thinks about himself. This thought of God is so powerful that it becomes another Person, namely the Son of God. These two Persons behold each other and their love becomes a third Person, the Holy Spirit. This process does not occur step by step but has always been going on. All three Persons are eternal, and they are co-equal. The thought of God, who is the Son of God, is rightly called the Word.

Jewish people used Word as a name for God and God's action. To call Jesus Word, then, was to say he was God. To the Jewish people words make things happen. They do things. In Scripture God says that just as the rain and snow bring forth plants, “so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Jesus the Word was God's active, dynamic power.

The Son of God was present at creation when God called the universe into being by the all-powerful words, “Let there be. . . .” The Gospel of John states
     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 came to be through him,
          and without him nothing came to be.
               John 1:1-3

The Greek word for “word” is logos. It not only stands for “word” but for “thought” and also for the divine order that rules the universe. Calling Jesus Word implies that he is the one who plans the seasons and keeps the planets in their orbits. In other words, he is God, who is also sometimes named Wisdom. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the incarnate Word.

“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus is Word because he communicates God's mind to us. He is a message from God. What does Jesus say? He speaks of what God is like. He reveals the tremendous love God has for us.

Christians have the task of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to all the world. We are to echo the Word so that the hearts of all people are touched and turn to God.

† Jesus, eternal Word, be in my mind and heart! †