“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).
“I give you my word,” we sometimes say when making a promise. We say it because we want to be trusted, to have others take what we say as true. “I give you my word; I’ll do more of the housework,” says a concerned husband to his exhausted wife. “I give you my word; I’ll be there for you whenever you need help,” says one friend to another. “I give you my word; I’ll be at your soccer game,” says the young businessman to his daughter, who only wants her dad to be proud of her.
But what happens when we hear that phrase without seeing results? It’s emptied of meaning. Ultimately, we need to see someone keep their word before we’ll believe them when they say, “I give you my word.” It’s frustrating when people make promises and fail to keep them. Just ask that daughter of the young businessman who got called in to work and missed her soccer game. Broken promises hurt.
But when God makes a promise, he keeps it. He made a promise to right what we have done wrong. He promised forgiveness for our sins. He promised life rather than death. Then he kept his word by sending his only Son, Jesus Christ. To keep the promise of righting our wrongs, Jesus lived the holy life which we could not. To keep the promise of forgiving our sins, Jesus died the death we deserved. To keep the promise of giving us eternal life, Jesus rose from the dead. It is very fitting, then, that in John 1, Jesus is called the Word. He is God’s promises in action. He is the proof that God keeps his word. God said, “I give you my word,” when he made those promises. Then when he sent Jesus, he said, “I give you my Word.” Jesus made those promises reality.
God has made even more promises. He promises to help us when we are helpless, to strengthen us when we are weak, and to guide us when we are lost. Such promises are more than just nice thoughts or good intentions. God will keep them. They’re promises from the God who gave his Word, Jesus, and kept his word to save us.