January 24, 2020

In the Beginning Was the Word

John 1:1-14

Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

—  Psalm 119:89

The writers of the New Testa­ment quote the Psalms more than a hundred times. In his teaching and sermons, Jesus himself quotes at least sixteen psalms. But Psalm 119 is never quoted in the New Testament.

Does that mean this weighty (and lengthy!) psalm is only for Old Testament readers? Of course not. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). What’s more, another compelling reason for treasuring this psalm is that we see the eternal Word of God, Jesus himself, in it.

Though he’s not explicitly mentioned in Psalm 119, Jesus—the eternal Word of God—provides the key for understanding this psalm. The psalmist hints at this truth by saying, “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

Though the psalmist sees “only a reflection as in a mirror” (1 Corinthians 13:12), John 1 reveals clearly that Jesus is the living Word of God. In the beginning with God the Father and the Spirit, he created all things; he came to live as one of us, full of grace and truth; and now he reigns over all things forever. All of the psalmist’s love of and longing for God’s Word are ultimately a longing for Jesus.

If you have time, read Psalm 119 again—with a love of and longing for Jesus.

Your unfailing love has come to us, O God, through your salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. May we praise his name forever! Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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