August 26, 2021 – Thursday
John 1:1-3 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
John 1:1-3 NET
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.
Today, while listening to an interview with Jordan Peterson, where he mentioned the importance of words and words spoken where he said, “People believe that what they say is what they believe. But I don’t believe that I believe what people believe is what they act out.” I found that very interesting as it reflects a saying I grew up with, “Actions speak louder than words.” Then I thought to look and see how many times the word – word or words appears in the Bible. In the NIV it appears 959 times, 715 in the Old Testament and 244 in the New Testament. In the book of John, it appears 35 times. And as you can above, it occurs three times in verse one alone in the NIV and a fourth time in verse two in the NET.
In this verse there is no question, but that Word refers to Jesus Christ. To make this perfectly clear, John writes in verse fourteen, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Why both the NIV and the NET above? Because the NET states the Word was fully God while the NIV states the Word was God. Both in the prior phrase state the Word was with God ensuring we will see the Word as God is separate or different from the Father as God.
Whether we say And the Word was fully God or the Word was God, John’s theology consistently drives toward the conclusion that Jesus, the incarnate Word, is just as much God as God the Father (NET). Jesus confirms this when He says in John 10:30, The Father and I are one and then in John 17:11, so that they may be one just as we are one. The NET comments add, The construction in John 1:1c does not equate the Word with the person of God (this is ruled out by 1:1b, “the Word was with God”); rather it affirms that the Word and God are one in essence.
Let us return to our verse of the day and Peterson’s word about what we believe is more about what we do than what we say. The Apostle James has something to say about this as well. He starts out with James 2:14, What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? He answers this question in 2:17, In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. And dead faith cannot be a saving faith.
James goes further stating in 2:18-19, But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
Then concludes this chapter with 2:26, As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
The obvious question for us is, What do our actions say about our words and our faith? What words do we speak, what do we say about our faith, then what do we do? What do our actions say? This is not a new question or concern. When God spoke to Ezekiel, He said in Ezekiel 33:31a-b, My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Then again in 33:32b, [T]hey hear your words but do not put them into practice. What are we hearing and saying? What are we putting into practice?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us, help me to not only hear Your words, but to put them into practice. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen