He went by many aliases. He made incredible claims. His identity was wrapped in mystery. Who was this strange man?
[Before proceeding further, I highly reccomend reading the previous post, especially for an explanation of the title’s paranthesis.]
He was called Logos, The Word.
He was called Phos, The Light.
He was called Hodos and Alethia and Zoe: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. According to historical records, he even called himself by these titles!
In one short chapter opening a book called The Gospel According to John, the fantastical claims burst forth that this strange person called Logos also was God Himself, that He existed at the very beginning of time and was actively involved in the creation of everything anywhere that ever was made.
Here other aliases also emerge: “Jesus,” and “the Christ,” who the book says was “full of grace and truth.” In him, it also says, was “Life” which it calls “the light of men.”
Claiming that he “was in the beginning,” it assumes there was a beginning, a starting point for all we recognize as physical reality, and that even at its start, this person was present. Yet, later on it claims that he also walked the earth as a flesh-and-blood mortal, born of woman, one of those creations He created. Fantastic! Unbelievable! Impossible! Or is it?
How did all this that we know as our world come to be anyway? Did it just happen, all these inanimate things like rocks and water and oxygen? Did they somehow make themselves? Was it all just an accident? Now we’re getting even more fantastical!
And why is the world such a mess? All around us we see destruction and destructiveness. In a world that is supposed by some to be self-creating and evolving, isn’t such destructiveness the utter opposite? Can destruction create? Doesn’t destruction instead destroy?
How the names of this enigmatic person contrast with destruction! Jesus means Savior, one who rescues, delivers, saves. Christ means Messiah, the Anointed one: anointed by God, by the Holy Spirit, for specific holy purpose—whose prophets of old had foretold repeatedly and believers in the Creator God had awaited through long millennia. The Light, the Truth, the Way, and the Way to Eternal Life: energetic words filled with vitality, with creative and redemptive power!
Think about some of the names:
Word is the basic unit for all communication we know: even signs and signals stand for words, which stand for ideas. (And ideas, abstractions: where did they come from?)
Light is what enables us to see. Without it our sight can discern nothing: no color, no form, no images at all.
And Life: what is life but that which enables us to move and emote and sense, to grow and learn and accomplish endeavors and even think them up?
Finally, what is a Way but a path, a direction, a plan to follow? (“This is the way. Walk ye in it.” said the Bible’s Old Testament, and this New Testament person named Jesus claimed to be not just a way, but The Way.)
This mysterious man, god, godman Jesus, Christ, the Light, the Life, the Way, the Truth, the Word, claims to be it all! Do we do well to brush aside such claims? What if the claims are valid?
If so, we are part of His creation. And John 1 says this about His creation’s recognition of Him: “He was in the world, and the world knew Him not. He came to His own, but His own received Him not…” “And this is the verdict: the Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness better than light…”
Is there any possibility that we love darkness better than light? Is there any truth about ourselves, our lives, that we don’t want spread out in full light of day on display before anyone and everyone? Is there any painful truth we don’t even want to see in ourselves? Is it good and wise to love darkness better than light, to grope through darkness all one’s life and then end that life in “outer darkness,” where the Bible says are continual “weeping and gnashing of teeth”?
These are all questions worth pondering. And this little book written by a man named John—who claimed to be an eye witness who saw the living proof of all the fantastical names of Jesus, and who declared elsewhere that he was truly reporting “that which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have touched …and which we have heard”—this little book is worth reading and considering.
May it open your eyes to a burst of light and life and understanding like you’ve never before experienced!