THE WORD BECAME FLESH
John 1:14 ¶ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
William Barclay says that this is the greatest verse in the New Testament. It surely stands out as one of the greatest and most stunning statements ever made about Christ. As we celebrate Christmas again this year, let the truth of this verse settle deep down into your being.
First, John is describing Jesus as the Word of the Father. He has told us that this word is eternal, it has always been, and is the very Creator of the universe. He stated quite frankly that the Word is God Himself. Now John shocks us further by saying that this word became flesh. The Creator actually entered into His very creation. How can that be, how could God become a man? That is one of the stunning declarations of this one verse. Next John says that He dwelt, or more literally, tabernacled among us. This brings up visions of Moses’ tabernacle, blood sacrifices, and the very cloud of God’s presence. God Himself had pitched His tent among us. Next, John says we have seen His glory. John is not making a philosophical argument, he says I saw Him for myself. Jesus was more than a concept or a belief, He became a man and I saw Him. John is describing the very nature of our faith, it is an experiential religion. Christianity is more than a set of beliefs. I may have not seen the physical body that John saw, but I have experienced Christ for myself. That is exactly what John is calling us to, to be satisfied with nothing less than an encounter with Christ for yourself.
John goes on to say that Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father. This Sonship, or eternal generation, makes Jesus the unique Son of God. John is declaring the mystery of His eternal existence and His shocking human birth. Still, John is not finished. There is still more in this one statement that John made. He said that Jesus is full of grace and truth. Grace is the supernatural influence that God has upon fallen man. Grace makes the invisible world of the Spirit real to us. Grace is overflowing from the precious Son of God. John also said that truth is spilling out of Jesus. This truth is more than just accurate, factual information. This is the vey reality of God Himself. John is describing the reality he experienced from his encounter with God’s only Son.
As we celebrate Christmas again this year, we must move beyond the casual acknowledgement of the story of Bethlehem, the manger, shepherds, and the wise men. We must gaze into the face of this eternal, only begotten Son that John declared. As we do, we will find ourselves caught up in the Glory of this greatest of all mysteries. Merry Christmas y’all.