17. The Word became Flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).

Jesus Christ was the Spirit of God, the Word, who was manifest in the flesh. He was “the Word who became flesh.” He spoke only the words of God, saying, “I do nothing of Myself; but as the Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).

This is important to know, because if Christ was only speaking the words of a man then all of His commandments would only be the teachings of men.

Jesus Christ Himself quoted this verse from the Old Testament: “in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

If Jesus spoke only the words of a man, we shouldn’t insist His teachings be followed.

Jesus did not speak like a prophet in the Old Testament. He didn’t use any expressions like “Thus says the LORD.” Because every word He spoke was the Word of God. He was “the Word.”

The same cannot be said of the Apostles. The Apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but they did not speak the words of the invisible God, as did Jesus Christ.

For this reason, Jesus told us “Do not be called teachers; for One is Your teacher, the Christ” (Matthew 23:8). The Apostles explained Jesus’ teachings; they did not interpret His teachings. They deferred to Christ as the authority. They regarded Christ as the Lord, and the Word, the speaker of God’s words.

An example of this is found in 1 Corinthians 7:10:

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: if any brother has a wife who does not believe . . . and the unbeliever departs, a brother or sister is not under bondage . . .

We can see Paul did not claim the authority to speak the words of God, as Christ did. He was only giving advice, and at the end of this passage, he simply said, “I think I also have the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 7:40).