by Philip Jenkins
One of the very first things we are taught in life is the ability to communicate using words. Why is that?
My theory has to do with screaming babies.
Screaming, crying babies have one method of communicating: screaming and crying. If you’ve ever tried to soothe a screaming, crying baby you learn pretty quickly that the baby is the only one who knows exactly what he or she is trying to communicate.
Then it becomes a guessing game.
“Maybe he just wants to be picked up. Maybe he’s hungry. Maybe he needs his diaper changed. Maybe he’s tired. Maybe he fell down. Maybe a loud noise scared him. Maybe he’s sick…”
And the list goes on and on…
If only there was a way for this screaming little creature to communicate exactly what was bothering him?!?
And so we are taught these wonderful, little things called “words.”
John 1:1, 14“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Your Bible came to life. It became a person, with arms and legs, with skin and bones, with a body, and mouth, and a voice.
John says “Let me tell you more about this Word. Allow me to introduce Him to you. It’s the Word that changed everything. It’s the Word that changed my life, and it’s the Word that can change yours: Jesus.”
And for the next 20 chapters John sets out on a mission.
John 20:31 “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
John makes no bones about it: he wants you to know that Jesus is the One Word that changes everything.
Think about it. There’s not another word that you could speak that is more powerful, meaningful, controversial, worthwhile, or game-changing than the name of Jesus. His Name is the name above all names. When He came to earth He became the measure by which we talk about time (B.C. and A.D.). In other words, to this day, we refer to life on this on earth in two ways: life before Christ came and the life after He came.
When you think about it, your life could be measured in the same way: you had a life before Christ, and when you obey Him, a life after Christ.
Before Christ, we were all dead in our sins. Hopeless. Helpless. Empty. In vain. In debt. In need of a Savior.
But when we come to Christ, everything changes.
Then, we have hope. Then, we have help. Then, we are filled. Then, we have a purpose. Then, Jesus Christ cancels our debt. Then, He is our Savior.
What about you? Have you truly encountered Christ and allowed Him to change your life? We encounter Him through baptism, but not just through baptism. We need to encounter Christ every day. We must constantly visit and revisit the cross, laying down our burdens at the feet of the Christ.
Jesus, the very Word of God, has the power to change lives, to forgive sins, and to offer salvation. Jesus, the Word, guides our steps, gives us peace, grants us life, and guarantees us a place that He has prepared.
In Jesus Christ, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). In Jesus Christ we have become His righteousness. In Jesus Christ, we are free (Romans 8:2). In Jesus Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Jesus Christ we are sons of God (Galatians 3:26).
Jesus, the Word, boldly proclaims truth, compassionately speaks love, softly whispers hope, and triumphantly shouts victory.
He’s the Word that changed everything.