Spirit and Life

The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the Logos, the “Word” through which God made all things. This theme is threaded throughout John and builds on traditional ideas from the Hebrew Bible about how God created the Universe, especially life through His spoken Word. Jesus of Nazareth is the ultimate expression of that Word and the Living God.

In his words and deeds, especially through his Death and Resurrection, Jesus manifested the truth, grace, and nature of God. Though abandoned by his friends and put to death by his enemies, the Father vindicated him by raising him from the dead and installing him as the “Lord of Glory” who now bestows life and the Spirit on his people.

Green Valley - Photo by Dayan Quinteros on Unsplash
[Photo by Dayan Quinteros on Unsplash]

Therefore, in every sense, Jesus of Nazareth was and remains the Living 
AND the Life-Giving Word. Similarly, the Letter to the Hebrews declares that the “ages have been fitted together by the utterance of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things which appear” – (Hebrews 11:3).

John did not break new ground in his Gospel. What is revolutionary is his claim that this Life-Giving “Word became flesh” and was manifested for all humanity to see in Jesus, a man from the insignificant village of Nazareth.

The Psalmist wrote, “BY THE WORD OF YAHWEH WERE THE HEAVENS MADE, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth For he spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” - (Psalm 33:6-9).

Moreover, per the creation account in Genesis - Yahweh “formed the man from dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature” – (Genesis 2:7, Hebrews 11:3).

In the Greek text of John, the opening clause echoes the first words of Genesis – “IN THE BEGINNING.” Likewisein GenesisIN THE BEGINNING, GOD SAID, Let there be light, and there was light.” So also, the Gospel of John opens by declaringIn the beginning, all things were made through him…  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

God created all things by His spoken “Word,” and in John, we meet this same “Word” face-to-face in the flesh and blood man of Nazareth. “In him, the Word became flesh,” thereby revealing the glory of God to one and all.

In John’s writings, the term “flesh” is used as it is in the Hebrew Bible to refer to men in their weakened and mortal state. Thus, Jesus was a genuine human being who participated in the same mortality as the rest of humanity. In the truest sense, he is the Logos, the “Word of God,” and we find this idea expressed in several ways elsewhere in the New Testament. For example:

  • Since the children are partners in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death, he might bring to nothing him that had the power of death, that is, the deviland might deliver all them who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage… Wherefore, it behooved him in all things to be made like his brethren that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God” – (Hebrews 2:14-18).
  • For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” - *(Hebrews 4:15.  Compare Philippians 2:7-8).

This is why the “words” of Jesus are living and Life-Giving. They determine whether a man receives “everlasting life.” He was not just another philosopher or religious teacher. In his teachings and actions, men heard and saw the very creative “Word of God.” Jesus is the ultimate expression of the Father. Thus, just as God “quickens” or “makes alive,” so “the Son makes alive whom he wills,” imparting life where there is none.


The words of Jesus are Life-Giving, a theme developed in John’s gospel account. “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even though he dieshe shall live.” Likewise, “I am the light of the world. He that followme shall not walk in the darkness, but he shall have the light of the life.” – (John 5:21, 8:12, 11:25).

Those who heed his words will inherit “everlasting life.” As Jesus declared, “He who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me, he has everlasting life, and has passed from death to life.” Every man who “keeps my word will not see death,” and those who are his true disciples will “abide in his word” - (John 5:24, 5:38, 8:31, 51).

Furthermore, the Word made flesh” is “full of grace and truth.” Not just more truth or the reaffirmation of the Mosaic Law. The Law was “given through Moses, however, grace and truth came to be through Jesus.”

Rainbow over field - Photo by Eugene on Unsplash
[Photo by Eugene on Unsplash]

Thus, the fullness of God is revealed in His Son. The Father is not known apart from him. “
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one cometo the Father but through me… From henceforth, you know him and have seen him.” Like the living waters of the Earth, his words impart life - (John 14:6-7).

Jesus did not identify himself as the Father. God is manifested fully in his life, words, and concrete acts of mercy, therefore, if anyone has seen or heard him, he has seen the Father. Only in Jesus can we begin to understand the Living God who created all things.

There is no third way. All that God did in the past was in preparation for His complete revelation in His Son, the Living and Life-Giving Word. As Paul wrote to the Colossians, Jesus is the one in whom “all the fullness dwells bodily.” 

  • Life-Giving Spirit - (Jesus dispenses the Life-Giving Spirit without which there is no enduring life. His words are spirit, and they are life)
  • His Name is Jesus! - (‘Jesus’ means ‘Yahweh saves.’ In the man from Nazareth, the salvation promised by the God of Israel arrived in all its glory)
  • Light of the World - (Jesus is the only true light in the world, one that shines all the brighter in the darkness, and it reveals life for the world)



The Living Word

The Suffering Servant