The angel that appeared to Joseph told him to name the child which Mary was expecting, Jesus, which means God with us. That was of course totally appropriate, for when he lived on earth he was fully divine as well as fully human. However, before he was born on earth he had existed for all eternity as fully God, together with his Father and Holy Spirit.

John’s gospel introduces him as being as the Word, who was in the beginning and through whom the world was created. The Word does not have a great deal of meaning for those of us who have English as their first language. We rarely use it outside of the context of literature, and in that context, it simply means a group of letters formed to communicate something either verbally or in writing. However, John’s gospel was originally written in Greek, and the Greek word that we translate as Word, was Logos.

Although logos is a Greek word, we do not have to look very far before we find it cropping up in English, often coupled with other Greek words in order to give us technical terms for many of our areas of study and science. Psychology is the study of the psyche or soul, biology is the study of the bios or life and geology is the study of the geo or earth (geography is writing about or drawing the earth). If we thought about it for a few minutes, most of us would be able to come up with loads of other examples. When we use the word logic, we think of patterns or laws which give a form to our thinking, and if we say something is illogical, we infer that it is not based on reason or good sense.

As far as we know, John wrote his gospel in Ephesus, and that would give an even clearer insight into the use of Logos to refer to Jesus. David Pawson mentions a very famous man named Heraclitus who lived in Ephesus some six hundred years before John. He was considered one of the founders, if not the founder, of science. He emphasised the need to discover ‘the reason why’ that lay behind everything and the term he used for this was logos. When Heraclitus sought to understand the psyche (soul), bios (life), geo (earth), or any other part of our world, he sought the logos (the reason why) behind it, and his terminology remains with us to this day.

I am not suggesting that God the Father referred to his Son as Logos before he came to earth, but we can certainly believe that John was inspired to choose the term Logos as the most appropriate way to refer to him as being the reason why behind creation and everything that God intended to accomplish through eternity.

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