The weight of words, divine and mortal.
by Tami Rudkin
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
Children sing “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
As soon as we hear that childhood verse, our mind’s eye sees in full-color motion picture the time our parents declared in a fit of anger, “You’ll never amount to anything!” or the time the most popular kids whispered, “Have you ever met anyone so dumb and ugly?” Or what about the time your spouse said, “I just don’t love you anymore”? We can see the exact place, smell the odors that hung in the air, feel the temperature, and hear clearly the words spoken to us. They echo in our ears, and in our hearts they are set in concrete.
In a split second, we would have traded broken bones for those warring words.
In a world where the word carries such weight, Jesus came and was called the Word. The Greeks and the Hebrews knew the importance of the word. In Greek word meant “a thought expressed.” The Hebrews realized it had so much power that it would literally change the course of a child’s life. Therefore, the blessing was a significant part of their heritage. They believed the word had an energy, a life force all its own. The minute the word was spoken, it became a personality that would influence an individual’s world.
The word could bring creative life or devastating death.
The word could bring eternal energy or soul depletion.
The word could bring personal power or inner infirmity.
The word could bring bright illumination or deepest blackness.
Jesus was the Word. John, His beloved follower, used this Greek term to define Jesus to those who sought Him. He said Jesus is the Word, the thought of God.
Jesus was the mind of God expressed to us.
What God could not tell us by the law, what we could not hear through the constant miracles, and what we could not see despite the wonders all about us, was what God intended to teach us through Jesus. What wonderful thoughts of God we have come to know because of Jesus, the Word!
Consider the mind of God toward humanity:
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:10).
“Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
“My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
These are but a few of God’s thoughts expressed so eloquently by Jesus, the Word.
Have we been listening? It is so easy to block the voice of God. We can wear the ear plugs of indifference, ignorance, pride, and self-sufficiency. In some cases we actually choose to disregard the Word. However, it’s more likely we don’t listen for less obvious but more noble reasons: We’re busy taking care of our families; we work late hours; we do service in the community. Is it possible that the noise from all our worthy accomplishments are actually blocking His Word? Perhaps we can’t hear His thoughts because we are so full of our own words and our own activities.
Freedom through the Word
The power of the word is incredible.
Immovably embedded in our hearts are the words spoken to us. Some have left scars so ugly that the sting is still fresh in our minds. Some words have been life preservers thrown to us just before drowning: They kept us from going under.
The words breathed to us throughout our lifetime mold us into the people we are today. But the only word that will surely emancipate us is Jesus, the Word, the thoughts of God about us and to us.
In the beginning the Word spoke creative life into a vast void. Throughout time His voice has sung through the heavens to continue our existence. Today, the same life-giving Word is spoken to each of us.
When the world hurls those words of demoralizing doubt and discouragement intended to break and dishearten us, His word will heal us, encourage us, and create in us a winsome vitality. While some doze with their ear plugs firmly in place, those who are listening to the Word will experience His empowerment, His enlightenment, and His energy.
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
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