Last week, I wrote about the power of words. I want to pick up on that theme one more time because I think it matters so much.
As I write my column each week, I use words. Not exactly a revelation, right? Still, I must choose words that communicate and help you understand what I intend to say.
When I was young, I learned the little ditty, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” As best I can remember, that is the only lie my mother ever told me. Of course, she was trying to teach me to move on and to ignore mean things that others said. But the fact is that words have the power to help and harm.
You don’t think words matter? Do you realize that John the Apostle, on one occasion, referred to Jesus simply as “the word”? In John 1:1, we read, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” John was seeking to tell us any number of things about Jesus in that opening verse to his Gospel. I could not possibly exhaust the meaning of that verse in one column consisting of less than 500 words.
But I do want to point out this one thing. If nothing else, John was making clear that Jesus was, and continues to be, the most important means by which God communicates to us. God shows us who he is in the life of his son.
The author of Hebrews said pretty much the same thing in 1:1-2 of his book. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son.” The Bible tells us many things, but this one thing is certain: God wants to speak to us. He wants us to hear, so he has spoken most clearly by coming to live in our midst.
A little boy was asked by his mother, “What did you learn in Sunday school today?”
He replied, “We learned about Jesus.”
“And what did you learn about Jesus? Who is he?”
“As best I can tell, Jesus is God with skin on his face.”
And I’m not certain I can say it any better than that.