These notes accompany the sermon found here.
Jews and the Logos
- God created by speaking, Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6; and the creation itself speaks, Psalm 19:1-4. The Word or Logos could be personified as an agent of the Lord, Isaiah 55:11, and became synonomous with the law and prophets.
- In Jewish thought, logos was a parallel concept to sophia (wisdom), which is personified in passages like Proverbs 1:20-33, 8. (See Philo) Wisdom (and Logos) were seen as preexistent tools of creation and administration. Wisdom of Solomon 9:1-2, 18:14-15.
- So John begins his Gospel, “In the beginning…logos.” See Genesis 1:1.
Greeks and the Logos
- Greeks had been deeply exploring science and mathematics for over six centuries when Christ came. They understood matter, but sought for the reason behind it. What organized it? What was the purpose or logic of its arrangement and the events of life? Heraclitus first used logos for this concept around 600 B.C..
- Some likened logos to a pantheistic force. Some believed there was along with the matter, small particles of logos driving them. None of them thought it was a personal God, and none of them dreamed this God would become flesh.
- Also important to the Greeks was the concept of ἀρχή , translated “beginning” in John 1:1. This was similar to logos in that it was the prime mover, the chief purpose, the primary principle.
- So John begins his Gospel, “In the beginning (arche)…logos.
Summarizing John’s Logos
- Jesus Christ is preexistent. John 1:1, 8:58, 17:5.
- Jesus Christ is the cause of everything. John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:2;
- Jesus Christ is the purpose of everything. Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 11:36.
- Jesus Christ is a person. John 1:14.
- The true logos became flesh. John 1:14, 18.
- Are these the things that John meant when he used this term? See John 17:6, 5:19, 30, 38-40.
- The thoughts of God are his own, but when they are communicated, they come through the Logos, the Word of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the ultimate communication of God. Hebrews 1:1-3.
The Relevance of the Logos
- We need to make a bigger deal of Jesus Christ.
- Are these concepts a difficulty for people today? See 1 Corinthians 1:20-25. How is the Gospel of Jesus Christ received today?
- Since Jesus Christ is the logos of God, He is the only way to know God.