Gary WilkersonApril 6, 2015

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John’s main audience for his gospel was the Greek culture. That’s why he immediately identified Jesus as “the Word,” referring to the Greek term logos. Greeks had been examining this concept of logos for centuries, an idea that spoke of wisdom; knowledge; reason; the meaning of life; the philosophy of human existence.

Now John challenged them: “Do you really want to know the meaning of life, to understand all human purpose on this earth? The logos you search for is found in the literal Word of God—His Son, Jesus. Christ is the logos everyone hungers for! You seek knowledge, but logos— real, knowable wisdom and life—is fully expressed in Jesus.”

When I was about twelve I overheard a newspaper reporter interviewing a Teen Challenge resident. She asked him, “What’s different about this program? What does it offer that you wouldn’t find at a secular treatment center?” The young man answered, “We get the Holy Ghost in the morning, Jesus in the afternoon and the Father at night.” That response may sound canned today, but it didn’t forty years ago. I remember the young man’s excitement as he told the reporter, “Teen Challenge is all about God. Only He can set me free this way. Only He can give me purpose and hope and make me happy. Lady, this is real!”

That’s the very word John used to describe Jesus to the Greeks: real. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9, ESV). From the Greek, John uses the word “alethinos,” meaning “real.” The Greeks thought “logos” was unknowable, but John told them, “God isn’t hiding Himself. He came to earth to live among us. The mystery of God has been revealed to you in Jesus!”

How exactly is this mystery revealed? Jesus chooses to make Himself known to the world through His people. When John says Christ comes to dwell in us, the verb He uses means “tabernacle.” Jesus “tabernacles” in us, just as God did in the Old Testament—His glory descending from heaven to dwell among His people. He chooses to make His home in us, making us—both individuals and congregations—the dwelling place of His glory.

This was a core truth for my father, David Wilkerson, who often said, “I don’t want a visitation from God. I want a habitation.” That truth came straight from John, who told the Greeks, “The logos is more than information, more than mental assent to an idea. It is God Himself coming to dwell within you!”

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