Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”

WHY IS JESUS CHRIST CALLED “THE WORD OF GOD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

This epithet is exclusive to the Apostle John’s writings—the Book of John, the Book of 1 John, and the Book of the Revelation. It, or its abbreviated variant “The Word,” appears seven times in the whole Bible canon. John’s Gospel Record is designed to underscore Jesus Christ’s Deity. (Compare the openings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John 1:1-4 is unique to John; Matthew, Mark, and Luke all begin their accounts with events relating to Christ’s humanity.) It is thus not surprising that John’s special phrase, “the Word of God,” is intended to accentuate Christ’s Deity:

  • John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
  • 1 John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;….”
  • 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
  • Revelation 19:13: “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

The term “word” carries the idea of communication. In Greek, it is logos. Depending on the context, logos can be rendered as—“preaching,” “something said,” “utterance,” “reason,” “saying,” “speech,” “talk,” “account,” and so on. Think of our related English words logic and logo. A “logo,” for example, is a symbol or design that represents a group, idea, line of products, and so on. This symbol conveys a message. The Greek word is the same line of thought.

According to Scripture, there are three Members/Persons in the Godhead or Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7). Unless they make themselves known in a special way, we cannot see them with our human eyes. The Person of Jesus Christ (God the Son) is a representative of the Godhead. Turn to John 14:6-9: “[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. [8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

What the Father and the Holy Spirit want us to see and know, Jesus Christ reveals it to us so we can see and know. If we want to see how God lives, all we have to do is read the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This is how God conducted His own life in His own human flesh. Even today, we can see God living His life in human flesh. This is the Church the Body of Christ (all present-day believers in Jesus Christ). It is called “the Body of Christ” because it is His life being manifested through Christians—we are His arms, His legs, His hands, His feet, and His voice. We accurately portray His life as we walk daily in faith in His Word to us (more on this later).

Father God sent Jesus Christ as His spokesman to the nation Israel. For example, John 7:16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.God the Father had given some information to Jesus Christ, so Jesus Christ could then relay it to Israel. Jesus is the Spokesman of the Godhead. He is “The Word of God” in this sense.

Now, read Matthew 15:24: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Hebrews 3:1: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle [sent-one] and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;….” When Jesus Christ left Earth and ascended back into Heaven, He sent His 12 Apostles to be His spokesmen to Israel. They were to repeat what He taught them.

Matthew chapter 10: “[5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. [16] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” And verse 40: He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Mark 3:14: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,….” John 20:21: “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Finally, John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

God the Father sent Jesus Christ as His Messenger, and Jesus Christ sent messengers (12 Apostles) to Israel. If Israel rejected the 12 Apostles, they were really rejecting Jesus Christ who sent them, and they were rejecting God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to them in the first place.

After His ascension into Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Apostle Paul to be His spokesman to us Gentiles. Look at two verses. Firstly, Acts 22:21: “And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Now, Acts 26:17: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,…..” Paul thus wrote in Romans 11:13: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle [sent-one] of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” And, remember Jesus’ words in John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. If we reject Paul, then we reject God’s messenger to us!

Whenever there were appearances of God in the Old Testament economy, they were Jesus Christ in pre-incarnate forms. It was not Father God, and it was not the Holy Spirit. First Timothy 6:16: “[Jesus Christ] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [God the Father; verse 13] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” And John 1:18: No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Colossians 2:9: “For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The way we see and hear Father God is by paying attention to Jesus Christ: He is the one Mediator between God and men.

First Timothy 2:3-6: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” As God, Jesus Christ can take God by the hand. As Man, He can take man by the hand. He thus joins them together through His finished crosswork at Calvary. The barrier of sin is demolished because Jesus Christ died for our sins. Without God communicating that information through Jesus Christ, and then Jesus Christ giving that information to Paul, we would not know it.

Jesus Christ is thus “The Word of God”—the embodiment of the whole message God wants to give to mankind! In 1 John 1:1, Jesus is called “the Word of life,” meaning God’s entire communication to man can be summarized as “life.” If we want to see what true life is really like, how God designed it to function for His glory, we look to “the Word of life,” the Lord Jesus Christ! If we want eternal (spiritual) life, we look to the Lord Jesus Christ! John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

SUPPLEMENTAL #1: THE CHIEF SPEAKER

To better reinforce in our minds what the title “The Word of God” is actually conveying as pertaining to Jesus Christ, turn to Acts chapter 14: “[9] The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, [10] Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. [11] And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. [12] And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” Focus on “the chief speaker” at the close of verse 12. In Greek, it is, ho hegoumenos tou logon.” As Paul was the “chief speaker [logos]” of the Paul–Barnabas duo, so Jesus Christ is the “chief speaker” among the Members of the Godhead.

SUPPLEMENTAL #2: THE HOLY BIBLE

“The word of God” is also a title of the Holy Bible. Hebrews 4:12, for example: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In Scripture, we find the communication from God. The only way to know the Living Word of God (Jesus Christ) is through the Written Word of God (Holy Scripture). While far beyond the scope of this study, there is a very close affinity between the Living Word and the Written Word. Both are necessary to learn everything the Godhead has to tell us.

Also see:
» Did not God send messengers to Gentiles prior to Paul’s apostleship?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Does Jesus Christ save us, or does the Gospel save us?

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