The book of John is seen as unique, set apart from the other three Gospels, which are known as the “Synoptic” Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). “Synoptic” means similar in content, order, and statements, taking a common view.
As a child who loved to read about the birth of “baby Jesus” during Advent, I often skipped this book, as it never mentioned the infant babe. As an adult, however, I love this book, especially during the Advent season. Look at how it begins:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:1-5
This introduction takes us as the reader all the way back to Genesis, when God’s words effectively spoke the world into existence. How is this relevant to Jesus? John is being so bold as to say that Jesus IS God’s Word. And He was there from the very beginning.
Not only do God’s words have POWER (creating the universe, for example), they are the way that God relates to us, His people. When God speaks in the Bible, His people take notice. How fitting is it that God’s WORD, Jesus, is the way that God can relate to us?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Words are important. They can be clear or confusing. The book of John describes seven “I am” statements made by Jesus as He tells us through His words who He is. Jesus was not trying to hide the fact that He was God – He wanted everyone to know the truth, and He used His words to do so.
I am the bread of life.
I am the light of the world.
I am the door of the sheep.
I am the good shepherd.
I am the resurrection and the life.
I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.
I am the true vine.
This Advent, as we ponder God’s gift of His presence through the birth of Jesus, let us also remember that we have the gift of His presence through His Word, every day of the year. Let us think about the power of words and the message they convey. Let us use our words to point others to Jesus this Season, for He is the way, the truth, and the life.