From Luther’s Table Talk:
No. 5177: The Term “Word” Has Various Meanings
Between August 7 and 24, 1540
Somebody asked, “Doctor, is the Word that Christ spoke when he was on earth the same in fact and in effect as the Word preached by a minister?”
The doctor [Martin Luther] replied, “Yes, because he said, ‘He who hears you hears me’ [Luke 10:16]. And Paul calls the Word ‘the power of God’ [Rom. 1:16].”
Then the inquirer asked, “Doctor, isn’t there a difference between the Word that became flesh [John 1:14] and the Word that is proclaimed by Christ or by a minister?”
“By all means!” he replied. “The former is the incarnate Word, who was true God from the beginning, and the latter is the Word that’s proclaimed. The former Word is in substance God; the latter Word is in its effect the power of God, but isn’t God in substance, for it has a man’s nature, whether it’s spoken by Christ or by a minister.”
Luther, M. (1999, c1967). Vol. 54: Luther’s works, vol. 54 : Table Talk (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (54:III-395). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
This quote is fascinating because Luther and the unnamed person with whom he was conversing are probing into depths not commonly understood in Lutheranism today. You can’t separate Christ and the Word that brings Him to you, just as the Word and the Spirit cannot and must not be separated in the way we think about or talk about either one (Word or Spirit.) People commonly think of the Word as the Bible, and Jesus as the Savior — neither of which is of course wrong — but they don’t often think to connect the two. Scripture itself does, Christ does, and we should not be shy or hesitant to do so either.