The Word and Life

In the beginning was the Word … In Him was life” (John 1:1, 4).

When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, His glory was manifested, but how different it was to that of renowned and ruthless warriors who are great in men’s eyes—it was a glory distinguished by the grace and beauty of love and relationship—“the glory as of the only begotten with a father.” With what wonder His disciples contemplated that glory, as we may also. His goings forth had been from eternity (Mic. 5:2), and now He had come forth in Time. The Word by whom all things were made had come into the world that had come from His hand, and He had come into it full of grace and truth. The world did not know Him, even the Baptist did not know Him, until he received a special revelation from God as to Him, then he bore witness and said, “This is the Son of God.”

In the Word was life. He is called the Word of life, and as such He was seen, contemplated, heard and handled by His favoured disciples. He is the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to those disciples, who have declared Him unto us. Yet though He had come so near to men, He was always the Son of the Father’s love and “the true God and eternal life.”

To none but this glorious person could Proverbs 8:22-26 apply. He was Jehovah’s constant delight, rejoicing always before Him. He was set up from Eternity, literally, “anointed from Eternity.” When the foundations of the earth were appointed, it is said, “Then was I by Him, as one brought up with Him,” and this signifies “the nursling of His love” (J.N.D.). Divine tenderness and deep affection were there even before the strong and solid foundations of the earth were appointed. There is a parallel to this expression in the New Testament—“the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13).

We are seeking to show that the Word, the Son, and the One “from Eternity,” the Nursling of Jehovah’s love, are the same Person, and that He is shown as the originator and fountain of life for men. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). “He that has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12), and “Whoso findeth Me findeth life” (Prov. 8:35). Blessed is the man that heareth Him, watching daily at His gates, waiting at the posts of His doors.

The first name given to the Lord by the Spirit in both Luke and John is the Word. In Luke the name occurs in verse 2; there were those who from the beginning had been eyewitnesses and ministers, or attendants, on the Word. It is a most comprehensive name, conveying not only what is expressed, but the matter and form of both the thought and the expression as well as the expression of it. The Word is the embodiment and expression of God’s mind; divine perfectness was there not only in what was to be expressed but in the expression of it, and it is important to see that it is the Holy Spirit who names Him, THE WORD.

In the administration of wisdom, words have a large and necessary place. It is said, “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness, there is nothing tortuous or perverse in them.” The alphabet is necessary for forming words as we know them. He who is the Originator of all says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” the A and the Z. Wisdom’s words flow from Him with whom life stands connected and from whom all things received being. By investigation, no matter how earnest and keen, no man “can find Him out.” Therefore in marvellous grace and wondrous love He came down to find us out. We were sinners, guilty before the thrice holy God; yet He saved us by His grace. In righteousness and love He undertook our salvation. He died that we might live.

We live by His words, who is the Word. “He that heareth My word and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life” He said, and His disciples having received His words, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” “He that has the Son has life.”