Theology

Jesus the Old Testament Word

The Apostle John blows open the door on how we should look at Jesus. “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 nothing was made that was made.” (Jn 1:1–3) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

This certainly ties Christ to Genesis 1–2. St. Paul did it to: “For by Him [Jesus Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:16–17)

John points out something that should be obvious from even the first few verses from Genesis: the Son of God, the Word, who was named Jesus at His incarnation, was creating at creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” (Gen 1:1–3)

It’s right there in “God said.” To speak you must use words. When God the Father speaks, He speaks with and through His own Son. The Psalmist confesses this: “By the Word of Yahweh the heavens were made, and by the Spirit [רוּחַ] of His mouth all their host.” (Ps 33:6) But this Word who “became flesh and dwelt among us” isn’t just seen and heard in Genesis 1. He’s seen and heard by the prophets.

Among prophets and kings the Word made Himself known. Examples abound “the Word of Yahweh came.” He came to Abraham, to Nathan, to Samuel, to Solomon, to Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, to Ezekiel, and to many of the Twelve (Jonah, Haggai, and Zechariah). The Word brought word from the Father. God is His own messenger, His own preacher.

There’s an example of this in Jeremiah 30. In Jeremiah 30, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD…Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah.…‘For thus says the LORD: “For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,” says the LORD, “Because they called you an outcast saying: ‘This is Zion.’”’” (Jer 30:1, 4, 12, 17).

Jeremiah speaks, “Thus says Yahweh.” Yahweh speaks, “Says Yahweh.” Yahweh speaks in the third person. The Word, who came to Jeremiah, carried His message from the Father. This is why Yahweh will often times say, “Declares Yahweh,” in the middle of speaking. The Son carries the Father’s message, which also bears the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16; Jn 20:22–23).

We know this to be true. For “In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets. But now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.” (Heb 1:1) He spoke always through the Son, the Word, as He was sent and came to the prophets.

Yahweh speaks in the third person not for emphasis, but because

“Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yahweh.” (Dt 6:4)

One Yahweh. Three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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One thought on “Jesus the Old Testament Word

  1. Pingback: Musings on Old Testament Preaching, pt. 2 | Gracious Mercy Blog

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