Old Testament writers called God’s prophesies, commandments, instructions, writings, promises and interactions with human beings by a simple term: the Word of the Lord. As the Word came more and more to be contained in written form, the Israelites became a people of the book. Whatever challenges confronted Israel, they had the Word to guide them. Christians have inherited that Word, along with the inspired writings of the New Testament. And so we refer to the whole Bible as the Word.
But not the whole Word. The same writer who said the world probably isn’t big enough for all the books that could be written about God’s actions also wrote some earth-shaking truths about the Word. First, John said, the Word was God—of the same nature as the Father. Even more earth-shaking was this: “the Word became flesh and took up residence among us” in the form of Jesus Christ.
Christians do well to depend on the written Word of God. It will never guide us wrong. But even more than the written Word, we have the embodied Word of Jesus Christ. Through his life, death, and resurrection, he has taken us, transformed, into the very presence of God.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley