The Logos Lives

John 1:1-14 (Moffatt Bible) The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine.  2He was with God in the very begging:  3through him all existence came into being, no existence came into being apart from him.

4In him life lay, and this life was the Light for men:  5amid the darkness the Light shone, but the darkness did not master it.

6A man appeared, sent by God, whose name was John:  7he came for the purpose of witnessing, to bear testimony to the Light, so that all men might believe by means of him.

8He was not the Light; it was to bear testimony to the Light that he appeared.  9The real  light, which enlightens every man, was coming then into the world:

10He entered the world - the world which existed through him - yet the world did not recognize him;  11he came to what was his own, yet his own folk did not welcome him.

12On those who have accepted him, however, he conferred the right of being children of God, that is, on those who believe in his Name, 13who owe this birth of theirs to God, not to human blood, nor to any impulse of flesh or of man.  14So the Logos became flesh and tarried among us . . . 

We will stop here and reflect on the verses we just read.  In this text, we find a lot of theological and historical meat.  In the first seven verses of John, we find an abbreviated history of the earth, an argument for the divinity of Jesus Christ, an illustration of the power of words and the assurance of God's love, the assurance of salvation.

This text gives a Coles Notes outline of the history of our planet.  The history is divided into God, life, reception and ministry.[1]

First, there was God in verses one to three.[2] Then we find life in verse four.[3] The Lord creates life.  The reception God receives is shown in verse five.[4] To put it mildly, God is rejected.  The darkness did not comprehend the light. Humanity, the Lord's creation, did not recognize their Creator.  And the mission of God is seen in verse six.[5] John the Baptist comes to give witness, the Light in flesh.

Verses seven to fourteen expand some on the history of the world and include a brief review of the history of Jesus Christ's ministry.  Christ comes, but His people do not understand who He is.  Through Jesus Christ, we become children of God.  Our adoption as children of God has nothing to do with who our earthly parents are or any things that we do.

The word reveals invisible thoughts.[6] God's word, the Bible, reveals some of God's thoughts.[7] The ultimate revelation of God to humanity, is Jesus Christ.  It is in Jesus Christ, we experience the depth of God's love.  God's invisible feelings of love toward humanity are made known to us on the cross of Calvary.  According to Christian tradition, Christ's atoning death at Calvary purchases our salvation.  At the end of time, the invisible God is made visible in such a very powerful way that "every knee shall bow before" God and "every tongue shall offer praise to God."[8]

The gospel of John illustrates the divinity of Jesus Christ.  The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine . . . through him all existence came into being, no existence cane into being apart from him.  The case made for Christ's divinity in the early verses of John is that (1) Christ existed before creation, (2) Christ was present with God, (3) Christ was the word through whom all things were created.[9]

Matthew Henry, as respected commentator, makes a good point.  The word was with God.  The word was not with people and angels.[10] This passage says the Logos was divine or that the Word was God.  There is a major difference between the Word being made God and the Word being God.  Jesus Christ, the Living Word, was God.  To St. John, Jesus was not made God; Jesus was God.[11]

From the early verses of John's gospel, we understand the Biblical basis for one of the early statements of the Christian church, the Nicene Creed, which describes Jesus as "the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all words; God of God; Light of Light; Very God, of Very God; begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; through whom all things were made:   Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven."[12]

The word translated as Word in many Bibles and as Logos in the Moffatt Bible also means Reason.[13] Wisdom is a method God can use for holy purposes.  Jesus is the living Word, the living Reason that brings true enlightenment.  This passage helps us understand that we do not need to check our brains at the church door.  Unlike some of my conservative brothers and sisters in Christ, I think the early church believed brains and faith go hand-in-hand.

William Barclay comments that to the ancient Hebrews, words mean more than just sounds.  Words had "an independent existence" and "actually did things."[14] To the ancient Hebrews, spoken words had energy, power, "like a bullet."[15]

God's words are not the only words to have power.  Our words have power too.  Some words are so intensely powerful that just mentioning them can result in strong emotions - anger, fear, hatred.  In a largely queer congregation, I don't need to explain how deep many of us have been hurt by words.  We know the deep pain, the anger and fear caused by words such as fag, dyke, hell and excommunicate.  Proverbs 12:18 (Moffatt Bible) A reckless tongue wounds like a sword, but there is healing power in thoughtful words.  We know words have the power to pierce the thickest skin and to damage the heart.  Fortunately, words also have the power to bless, to encourage, to build up.  Proverbs 16:14 (New Living Translation) Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Obviously, the ancient authors did not subscribe to the practice of the religious right of trying to insult and offend people into the Kingdom.  I do not understand how the homophobic religious right thinks they can ever impress any members of the queer community with their harsh rhetoric.

There is a Japanese saying, "One kind word can warm three winter months."[16]  With our cold northern winters, we need to hear at least four kind words each year.  Because  our adolescents have to brave the cold, harsh reality of homophobic and transphobic school climates, they could use at least a kind word a day.

A story is told about a group of frogs who were playing in the woods.  They were hopping around, having a wonderful time.  All of a sudden, two of the frogs fell into a deep pit.  The frogs on top looked down into the pit.  They knew the situation was hopeless, that the frogs in the pit would never get out.  The frogs on the top of the pit told the frogs inside the pit to give up, because they were good as dead.

The frogs in the pit were not willing to accept that!  They tried as hard as they could to jump out of the pit.  For hours, they jumped and jumped.  No matter how hard they tried, they could not get out of the pit.

The frogs on top shouted that it was impossible.  They blamed the frogs who were in the pit, saying they should have been more careful and followed all of the rules and commandments in the Holy Frog Bible.

As the frogs in the pit continued to jump to get out, the frogs on top advised the frogs in the pit to give up and to conserve their energy.  Finally, one of the frogs in the pit grew too tired to continue jumping.  He decided to follow the advice he was given and to conserve his energy.  And he died in the pit.

The other frog continued to jump.  Even when all of his joints and muscles were aching and every muscle felt like it would explode, he kept jumping.  Mustering all of the energy he had, the frog gave another jump and managed to to land on top, just outside the pit.

The frogs on top could not believe what the frog had just done.  They asked him how he was able to keep jumping when they told him it was impossible.  Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained that he was deaf.  He could not hear what they yelled when he was in the pit.  He thought their gestures meant they really thought he could get out of the pit.[17]

There is a wonderful Total Sports Illustrated article about Dean Smith, who was the most winning coach in NCAA history.  The article discusses some of the reasons why Dean Smith was so successful as a coach.  During a time-out, when there was a minute to go in the game and the team was down by seven points, Dean Smith was quoted as asking his players, "By how many points do you think we'll win?"[18]

Fortunately, God's words carry even more power to create.  For if they did not, we would all be doomed.  God's words create and make winners out of humanity in a way no human coach can match.

John 3:16 (Moffatt Bible) For God loved the world so dearly that he gave up his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life, instead of perishing.

John 15:16-17 (Moffatt Bible) I call you servants no longer, because a servant does not know what his master is doing:  I call you friends, because I have imparted to you all that I learned from my Father.  You have not chosen me, it is I who have chosen you.

And as the Spirit God planted in us words.  God's words are spoken through us.  The Spirit speaks through us to create.  The Spirit's words spoken by us also have the power to split the thickest shield, to penetrate the armor of the largest tank, pierce the hull of the biggest battle ship to touch hearts, to bring healing medicine to the hurting and hope to the lost.  And it is for the Spirit's words in our lives that we pray.

In some churches, the pastor starts his sermon by citing a well-known Psalm.  I am thinking this famous Psalm is a good way to conclude this sermon.  Our hearts join with the Psalmist as we pray.  Lord, may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart please thee, Eternal One, my strength and saviour.[19]



[1] E.W. Bullinger.  The Companion Bible.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Kregel Pub., 1922), 1512.

[2] Bullinger, 1512.

[3] Bullinger, 1512.

[4] Bullinger, 1512.

[5] Bullinger, 1512.

[6] Bullinger, 1512.

[7] Bullinger, 1512.

[8] Romans 14:11.

[9] "People's New Testament Commentary."  e-Sword.  Version 6.5.0.  (Computer software published in Franklin, TN:  Equipping Ministries Foundation, 2002).

[10] "Matthew Henry's Commentary."   e-Sword.  Version 6.5.0.  (Computer software published in Franklin, TN:  Equipping Ministries Foundation, 2002)

[11] Henry.

[12] Nicene Creed, as outlined in The Book of Common Prayer. (1962, Canada - Toronto:  Anglican Book Center, 1997), 71.

[13] William Barclay.  The Daily Study Bible:  The Gospel of John.  Vol. I.  Revised Ed.  (Burlington, Ontario:  G.R. Welch, 1975), 31.

[14] Barclay, 27.

[15] John Paterson, cited in Barclay, 27.

[16] "July 10 - Kind Words." Daily Celebrations.  (Internet website

[17] This story appears in different forms on a number of websites.  The story was significantly adapted from a version found at "Power of Encouraging Words." The Hindu.  (Internet website

[18] David Chadwick.  "The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith." Wordwide Church of God.  (Internet website

[19] Psalms 19:14.