The Christ of Christmas

by Stephen F. Olford

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Thought: In this glorious prologue to the Fourth Gospel, John confronts us with some of the most sublime truths concerning Christ the living Word. As the Word He reveals Himself to us in terms of:

1. His Eternity: “In the beginning….” At once our minds go back to the beginning of the Bible where we read, “In the beginning God created…” (Gen. 1:1). John’s opening sentence is similar, and yet different, for John takes us beyond the creation of the world and the limits of time. Christ Jesus is the Eternal One (see Micah 5:2).

2. His Personality: “And the Word was with God” (v. 1). The unique significance of the preposition “with” in this verse means not only communion but also “movement toward.” The sentence can be translated: “And the Word was face to face with God.” Here, then, are two distinct persons within the Godhead, sharing a common life, light, and love. As Life He expressed a distinct personality—“in Him was life” (v. 4). As Light He expressed a distinct personality: Hewas the true Light” (v. 9). As Love He expressed a distinct personality:the Word…was full of grace and truth” (v. 14).

3. His Deity: “…and the Word was with God” (v. 1). The text does not say that the Word was the God. That would mean that he absorbed all Deity in Himself. Neither does our verse say that the Word was a God. The fact that there is no article here shows that the text specifically states the Word was God, signifying that He possesses and shares full Deity with the Father.

This, then, is the wonderful Person who is brought before us in these opening verses of the Gospel of John—indeed, the Christ of Christmas:

Thrust:    

O holy Child of Bethlehem!

Descend to us we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in;

Be born in us today.

                               Phillips Brooks

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