What Are The Words of Jesus?

7 Sep

 

Opening my Bible, I find two types of words, those that are black and those that are red.  Why are there two different colors for the words in the Bible?!? Quickly, I turn to the front pages of my Bible and read the phrase: Words of Jesus in red.  But instead of answering my question, this merely creates a new question. Why the distinction? Let me explain…

“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 was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

When I read this passage, and others like it (i.e. Colossians 1:15-17), I cannot help but think that if the Bible is God’s inspired word to us, then all of it is in one sense the “words of Jesus.”  The argument is as follows:

(P1) Jesus is God
(P2) The Bible, in its totality, is of God
(P3) The Bible, in its totality, is of Jesus
Conclusion: All the words of Scripture are, in a sense, Jesus’ words

That means that the creation of the world, all the history contained in the canon, the wisdom literature of Psalms, Proverbs, etc., the prophetic books like Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Gospel accounts, the Epistles from Paul, John and Peter and the apocalyptic book of Revelation are all of the Son.

Now, they might not all have been spoken by the God-man Jesus while He was on earth, but, based on my argument, everything in the Bible is of Jesus.  The implications of this, in my opinion, are significant:

1. There is no longer a need to distinguish between the words of Jesus and the rest of the Bible.
2. We can seek to interpret the Gospel narratives and the message they convey alongside Paul’s theology (rather, God’s Word) to gain insight into the depths of the Gospel and how we live in light of this message, in a manner worthy of our calling.
3. We can see how the the coming of Jesus Christ and the Gospel are prefigured and promised throughout all of Scripture (this also reveals to us the fact that God, from eternity past, had planned to send His Son to die for the sins of man to forgive, redeem and reconcile to the glory of God).
4. We recognize the beautiful work of the Trinity in Scripture and its formation.

I would like to say that these ideas are still a work in progress.  I am far from perfect in my knowledge and understanding, but by the grace of God, I can continue to think critically about these ideas and their implications, as well as how they lead me to worship the God of all creation.  I find it a worthwhile endeavor and challenge you to try it as well. There is sweet and lasting joy to found in the wisdom of Christ!

 

 

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4 Responses to “What Are The Words of Jesus?”

  1. the WayWard follower September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    interesting thoughts. i’ve grown up with that perspective; however, in recent years have grown to a different understanding of the scriptures. i’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on it as you process through your own journey on this :

    http://mjkimpan.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/series-review/

    and

    http://mjkimpan.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/ambassadors-of-reconciliation-2/

  2. Tyler Helfers September 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Thanks for the encouragement and thoughts (through the links to your blog). I grew up with a “constitutional” view of Scripture. God, Church and Christianity were merely about rules and obligations which were put upon me. Since receiving the Gospel, my understanding of Scripture has changed, as has my views regarding salvation, the Christian life, etc.

    From reading your posts, I understand what you are saying about having a “role in the redemptive plan” and the privilege/calling for God’s people to be engaged in the world, but I am curious about the “different understanding of the Scriptures” you hold. From your posts I feel as though you may have a different understanding of the Gospel than myself, but I’m not sure I saw a different view regarding Scripture as a whole presented. My perspective regarding Scripture as a whole is that it is of/from God, a revelation of Himself and His plan of redemption for a people for His glory. Let me know if I am mistaken. Thanks again!

  3. R Ratliff September 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    I think you could simplify your argument a little.
    (P1) The Bible is God’s word
    (P2) Jesus is God
    (Q) The Bible is Jesus’s word
    And then it would suffice to say that there is scriptural to support what your logic has led you to believe. Am I simplifying things too much?

    So the conclusion is… tsk tsk to the publishers who tried to be helpful by identifying the words of Jesus?

    • Tyler Helfers September 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. Your way of putting the argument is simpler and more concise. Though, I think my reason for putting it the way I did was merely to connect it with the title and cement the point. Thanks though!

      With regard to Scriptural support, I would say that there are passages that have much to do with Jesus being the central figure of all Scripture, with all the Scriptures pointing to Him, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that Scripture supports the position that all the words of the Bible are Jesus’ words (if that makes sense). However, I think that if you hold a Trinitarian view of God and believe the Scriptures to be the holy, inspired, inerrant Word of God, then logic would say that all the words of Scripture are Jesus.

      Regardless, in a light-hearted way, yes: tsk, tsk publishers.

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