Three Big Little Words

“And God said …”

These are three big words that come to us again and again throughout Genesis 1, the chapter that opens our Bibles. The Lord spoke at that first Creation moment to announce Light. And Light came to an earth without form. All was void, empty, and covered with darkness.

Over the days that came next, the Voice of the Lord set the things related to earth in order. His declarations revealed Heaven and seas and land. More of His words brought stars to the night and birds to the skies. Other words made the waters and the lands alive with creatures that swam and walked and slithered.

This panorama of Creation was set in place for the Lord’s most prized work, for the being He fashioned in His own image. That being was and is Man, created male and female according to His design and purposes.

And how was – how is — Man to live? By bread? No, not by bread alone was he to live. Deuteronomy 8:3 tells us: [M]an does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

Jesus Himself rested His human sustenance on this very statement during His wilderness confrontation with Satan in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. The devil challenged Christ to make bread from stone, but He spoke and reiterated that the Word is enough.

The Man Believed the Word

We come to a place in John’s gospel where the story of Jesus begins to magnify the power of His Word. In John 4, the Lord’s words to the woman at the well set her free from her tortured life in bondage to sin and stirred her to become a witness of the Messiah to a Samaritan town.

The message of Jesus about His living waters and the nature of worship in Spirit and in Truth transformed her heart at once. Many more hearts were changed as He spoke to the townspeople over the next days there in Sychar.

The Word of God was revealed as quick and powerful to do much more. And this we read at the end of John 4 and into John 5.

A desperate man, a Jewish official in Capernaum, made it to Jesus. He pleaded for the Savior to come and heal his dying son. This obviously was a serious situation, more serious in my mind than the wine crisis at the Cana wedding.

Here, in John 4, as in John 2 when He first answered Mary, His mother, about the wine, Jesus’ initial response to this brokenhearted man seems less than compassionate: “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (John 4:48). The man, however, would not be put off, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

God the Son spoke and answered this official’s cry from the heart. “Jesus said to him, ‘Go, your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (John 4:50).

The Creator was at work in His Creation. His primary tool was the Word. The story continues with the man heading home to find his servant running to tell him that his son was alive and well. The healing came at the hour when Jesus spoke: “Your son will live.” The Word of power did a miracle according to the faith that came alive in this man.

Was it the sign alone that made a believer of this man and his household? I don’t think so. The man believed the Word and it was this that set in motion the chain of events. Let us always remember that Christ accomplished this miracle with a sentence.

Take Up Your Bed and Walk

The pattern continues in John 5. In this chapter, we read the story of man who had been lame for 38 years. This man had come to Bethesda, a mystical healing pool in Jerusalem. A crowd of invalids stayed close to this pool. Every now and then, a bubbling came to the water. People thought it was an angel at work, for legend had it that the first one into the moving water was healed.

The scene at Bethesda was an “every man for himself” arrangement. None there was merciful enough to help this man into the pool.

How could this be? This was Jerusalem, the holy city, home to the Temple. Should this not have been a place full of mercy?  Bethesda was situated near the city’s Sheep Gate, the one the Passover lambs were herded through to be sacrificed.

Where was loving kindness? Where was hope in the Lord? What kind of atmosphere had descended upon the City of David?

The paragraphs tell us something about it. The ritual laws and traditions had come to dominate the way of life among the Jews in Judea.

And then Jesus showed up.

He walked into Bethesda on the Sabbath, and He spoke to the lame man. Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed; he grabbed his mattress and began to walk (John 5:7-8).

Soon the man was halted for a violation of the Sabbath. Carrying his bed was against the Law. He could have cared less about the rules, I imagine. He was walking for the first time in nearly four decades.

All he did was respond to the Word from Jesus. And, as yet, this man knew nothing of the One who made him well. He didn’t even get His Name.

There were charges made against Jesus. This kind of “work” was not supposed to happen on the Sabbath. How did He heal? With a sentence. Other times He would touch or be touched. He smeared mud on a pair of eyes to make them see. Mostly, it was with the Word that the Son brought Light to make things right.

The religious defenders of the Scriptures were confounded by this. In their confusion, these men of the Word set themselves against the Word. And so it would go as Jesus continued to finish His work and bring the glory of Heaven through His purpose of redemption.

“And God said …”

From this moment forward, Jesus was marked as a Law-breaker. The confrontations would grow more and more heated. All He really did was talk, tell the Truth, and let the Word exercise its power.

All He really did was talk, tell the Truth, and let the Word exercise its power. Click To Tweet

John began His account of Jesus with this in mind. He wrote of Jesus as being the Word made flesh and come to dwell among us. He spoke and His life spoke. His signs pointed to His mission to reach the Cross. There He would also speak remarkable words of forgiveness and salvation and victory.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

The theme of the Word and its power in Creation is stamped all over the Scriptures, from start to finish. From everlasting to everlasting, the Word and the Wisdom of God that comes through it have been at work. Let’s not miss this reality. Let us purpose to know the Truth and allow the Truth to set us free, to heal us in every way.

“And God said … Let there be Light and there was Light” (Genesis 1:3).

“These words are trustworthy and true. …” (Revelation 22:6).



Steve Andrulonis
Latest posts by Steve Andrulonis (see all)