18. The Word became Flesh

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

Jesus said, “for He whom God has sent, speaks the words of God: for He gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34). In the last Appendix, we will see that all references to “the Spirit” describe the Spirit of Christ, unless they are otherwise identified as the spirit of God. The Spirit that Jesus spoke of was His own Spirit. This is clear in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” So, Paul called Christ “a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). And John called Him, “the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1).

Jesus Christ was the Word manifest in the flesh, “the Word 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 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 Apostles were inspired by the holy spirit, but they did not directly 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).