(2015 SIH Christmas 18-Part Devotional Series)
INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Throughout this series we will be looking at a Biblical character described as “the Word”.
Who was “the Word”?
This is a title given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can clearly see this by taking a look at just a few of the verses we will be covering in this series:
In these verses, we are told that “the Word”…
John 1:1 – “was God” (Matthew 1:23)
John 1:2 – “was in the beginning with God” (Colossians 1:17)
John 1:3 – “all things were made by Him” (Hebrews 1:2)
John 1:4 – “in Him was life” (John 3:16)
John 1:10 – “the world knew Him not” (Isaiah 53:2-3)
John 1:11 – “came unto His own” (Philippians 2:5-8)
John 1:12 – “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (Galatians 3:26)
John 1:13 – “was made flesh and dwelt among us” “was full of grace and truth” (John 1:17)
We can easily see from these quotes from our devotional text, and the corresponding references from other parts of the Bible, clearly, without any doubt, our Lord Jesus is the One that is given the title “the Word” in this devotional text.
Why was Jesus given the title “the Word”?
The Greek word for “word” is the word “logos” – one of the definitions of this Greek word is “an expression” or “something that is said”.
In other words, Christ expresses God to man. Through Christ we have God revealed to us. This is much like our words that reveal our thoughts and intents to others. This is the basic reason why Christ is described as “the Word”.
This same truth is brought out in the text of our devotional series as well as throughout the remaining portions of God’s Word…
John 1:18 KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…”
John 1:6-8 KJV – “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Our attention is now drawn away from the Word, to the man who was authorized by God to be the forerunner and witness of the Word…. John the Baptist.
John the Baptist’s ministry was very important. So important, that we find OT prophecies referring to his ministry. Malachi prophesied of an Elijah that was to come….
Malachi 3:1 KJV – “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Malachi 4:5-6 KJV – “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
These prophecies were fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist
Matthew 11:13-14 KJV – “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.”
Matthew 17:10-13 KJV – “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?” And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
John’s ministry is described as “bearing witness of the Light”. In other words, John the Baptist was sent by God to testify (or report by giving evidence) that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Word sent by God to redeem His people. He did this to encourage others to become followers of Christ through faith …
John 1:29 KJV – “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”
John the Baptist made it plain to all his followers that he was not the Christ, but was the one sent by God to point others to Christ. Seeing others come to Christ was the source of his joy and the fulfillment of his divine ministry…
Joh 3:26-29 KJV – “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”
John the Baptist’s ministry is characterized by unselfishness. His ministry was not about gaining fame, and a great number of followers for himself. Instead, he submitted himself to his Lord and Messiah, by exalting Christ in his ministry and seeking to lead others to become followers of Christ.
Although John set a good example of selflessness for each one of us, there is another Biblical character that has set a perfect example for us to follow, the Word. Christ’s selflessness was on display throughout His entire life on earth. His willingness to come as a man in a sinful world, face the rejection of those around Him, went through an unjust trial with false accusations abounding and, most importantly, suffered on the cross giving His life for His people.
Php 2:5-10 KJV – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”
In all this, the Word has shown to us the great need of self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. This holiday season, may we all carry with us the same wonderful attitude of selflessness that Christ was shown to us by possessing a willingness to come to the earth and given His life for those who despised and mistreated Him.
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