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The Life of Jesus: Jesus the Word

During the next three months, I’ll be studying the life of Jesus as I write a book for graduate students. As I’m processing what I’m learning, I’ll be posting short devotionals to share what I’ve learned.

This week, I’ve been studying John 1:1-3 (ESV): “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.”

When I first read the book of John many years ago, I didn’t understand what John meant when he said Jesus was “The Word.” Tim Keller has a way of explaining it that I think is helpful. He said that you reveal yourself through your word, and so does God. You could learn a lot about someone by reading a biography about them, but the only way you could know them personally is by meeting them and hearing their words as they tell you about themselves. It’s the same way with God. You can know a lot about him by reading the Bible or hearing what others say about him, but the only way you can know God personally is through Jesus – his Word.

To know God, it takes Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of who God is. That’s what John meant when he said Jesus was the Word.

In what ways have you tried to get to know God? I minister to grad students, and one of the common ways I see them trying to know God is through rationalism. Rationalism is a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response. Most of the students I work with are engineers who spend lots of time in the lab using the scientific method of experimentation, and so they naturally gravitate toward rationalism. I show them using passages such as John 1:1 that you can’t know God through rationalism. If you’re looking for a slam dunk to prove Christianity is true, then you’re going down the wrong path because there’s only one way to know God, and that’s through a person, the person of Jesus.

Do you know God personally? What steps can you take this week to know God better?

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photo credit: Peej’s Photos Koine John 1_1 -3449 via photopin (license)


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About Chad Young

Chad Young works in full-time college ministry, serving as Cru Global’s national director over the southeast region, leading the ministries in FL, GA, AL, and MS. He has served on the staff of Cru for fifteen years. He is the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World (InterVarsity Press), a discipleship-training manual, and magazine articles for Worldwide Challenge and The Collegiate. He frequently speaks at retreats and conferences and regularly writes devotionals for his website, findingauthenticchristianity.com. Chad, with his wife Elizabeth, travels the country to speak at churches and train church leaders how to make Biblical disciples. Chad currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife Elizabeth and their four young children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. His hobbies include cheering on his kids in sports, following college football, and laughing with family around the backyard fire pit.
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