One Word Wonder: The Word the Logos

Teaching Topics:

In seeking to relate biblical truths to the secular world, God often uses imageries people know. Examples:

  1. Peter was a fisherman. How did Jesus relate the idea of following/being a disciple? By being a “fisher of men” – Peter would have comprehended the concept and knew exactly what it meant: patience, time, focus.
  2. The woman at the well in John 4, Jesus tells her to drink of the well. She would have understood that, because she was at the well every day. It was a familiar custom for her, so it meant something to her.

In walking into Jesus’ world, with the influence of Greek philosophy there, John the Apostle used a very vital concept in revealing Christ to them. He used the “Logos”.

  1. Concept is formed
    1. The word “logos” originally meant “word, speech, account. reason”.
    2. It’s from the old word “legos” for “lay by, collect, count, speak, express an opinion, lay side by side.” It’s from Homer.
    3. If you remember the Legos game as a kid, you would take the pieces and build something. Let’s use Greek ideas as building blocks.
    4. Logos is not the term used in a grammatical sense for word; that is “lexis”, from which we get our word” lexicon”. Logos, therefore, was the combining of words to present a picture, image of divine truth.
    5. Greek building blocks: Here is the unfolding of pieces:
      1. Heraclitus – Greek philosopher (535-475 BC) said it was “principle of divine order and knowledge”,
      2. Anaxagora of Athens (500-428 BC) said it was “a shaping of mind, acting in order of matter, but independent of it”;
      3. Plato called it a divine force from which world arose;
      4. Aristotle called it a “man in a divine spark, which he shares with God.”
      5. You can see the building blocks of deity come forth: He would have reason/order, be independent of the creation ,have power, his light would come forth, and relate within the creator. He would also become a man.

It was into this concept that John the Apostle writes his gospel. He’s looking to use a term that will easily be identifiable with the people, yet take them deeper into the real fullness of that person.

After the concept is revealed, John fills it in.

  1. Creates fuller meaning
    1. Needs timeline – historical perspective
      1. In the beginning – takes us back to Genesis 1:1, the origin of this earth.
      2. Greek word “arche” means “origin, first, dateless past”.
      3. Reveals First presence of God, His work.
    2. Same was in the beginning with God – relationship noted.
      1. With is Greek word “pros”, meaning “perfect fellowship, equality, intimacy’. This person was before creation.
      2. Is referring to the Trinity – perfect union and equality.
    3. Logos was the creator – maker of heaven and earth.
      1. Father called it forth; Spirit gave it power; Son brought it forth.
      2. He was also independent of it, for He existed before the creation of our world.
    4. Then He became part of this world, to rescue it. This clinches the identity of the Logos – John 1:14: He came and dwelt among us – the Greek word is “tabernacled”. It means a temporary house, as it did in the Old Testament, yet it still housed God in His fullness.
      1. Logos would be the revelation of wisdom, knowledge, order, reason, be independent of its creation, yet declare with singular -truth that He is the reality of God.
      2. Colossians 1: 15-17 shows that Jesus is the express image of His person, meaning, He is the only One who can reveal the Father. Remember His earthly words? “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father!”

John the Apostle created a fuller message and then connected the Word to the World:

  1. Connects The Word to the World
    1. The Logos – note first the small word “the”:
      1. The = The definite article – it defines one person only.
      2. Like the Son of God, The Angel of the Lord, The Messiah- There’s no one who has five Messiah’s in his back pocket.
      3. It’s vital that Jesus is the only one; He fits all requirements, like His physical birth completed the puzzle pieces of the Old Testament prophecy. It all fit together.
    2. Logos – He is independent in that He existed before this creation, yet was the personification of the divine revelation of Deity. Notice the term “Word” capitalized; it is a proper name, defining someone specific.
      1. He is also the reasonable One – “Come let us reason together”, Isaiah 1:18 reminds us. He includes the mind, but goes deeper into the spirit of man, for that is where the problem lay.
      2. He is the language of heaven – words side by side to express something:
      3. When did language fall apart? At the Tower of Babel, when man tried to reach God by his own reason. When did language come together? When God came in human form and revealed Himself as the expression of God to a sinful world. He came down, because we couldn’t go up.
      4. Jesus said in Revelation: “I am the Alpha and Omega”. These are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet. He was saying that He is the Word connected, related, and is the full message of heaven.
      5. He is independent of it, yet became part of it to rescue us. The Apostle John is saying to the world at large: Here is the One you’ve thought about, considered, and formed an opinion concerning. I’m defining Him as Jesus Christ and He’s more than words strung together to make language. He’s the message.

The question is how to reach people? We need to talk to them with concepts they understand, unless they are sinful and wicked things. Years ago I was visiting the father of a lady who attended our church. He was in the hospital after having had heart surgery. He was a gruff old guy and I wondered what I could say that would be something he could relate to? I didn’t know his interests or things of that nature, so the Lord inspired me to talk about a heart transplant that had just occurred during that time frame. I said: “He really needed that transplant didn’t he?”, to which he said “yes”. “What would have happened”, I asked? “He would have died”, he responded. And Jesus had a heart transplant for you and me because we were already dead in sin. He gave us His blood, if we ask-for it. Now, that man didn’t give his life to Christ that day. It wasn’t until years later that someone we well know, was able to lead him to Christ. It was Pastor Dennis who was able to pray with him. That was before I knew Dennis, but God used the body wholly to reach this man.

Let’s listen to the Spirit as He prods us to use imageries understandable to those who are waiting for an answer from above.

The Apostle John gave us a great word. Let’s reveal The Logos to our world.