The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory—glory as of the Father’s only Son—full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
“The Word became flesh…” Each of these words is chock full of life-changing significance. While a column like this can only touch the surface of their meaning, I hope the following reflections will serve to increase your love of our Incarnate Savior this Christmas.
The Word… From the first verses of Scripture, we learn that the God of Israel is One who speaks (Genesis 1:1-3). God reveals not only information about His identity but also declares what is good and pleasing in His sight (Genesis 1:4). To hear and obey God’s Word is to believe that what God says “proves true” (Proverbs 30:5) and that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalms 119:105). What God says to us shapes the course of our lives together as God’s people. Indeed this Word is not far from us (Deuteronomy 30:11-14), and the Word is described as “coming” to the Lord’s prophets, who in turn proclaim God’s Word to God’s people (see Jeremiah 1:2; Ezekiel 1:3; Hosea 1:1; Joel 1:1). While flowers, grass, people, and everything else in God’s creation will shrivel and fade, “the Word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 4:8). But this Word is more than a concept to be analyzed and dissected. On the contrary, this Word is ultimately a Person—God the Son, who was in the beginning with God and who is, in fact, fully God. “Through him all things were made…” (John 1:1-2).
…became flesh… Although this same Word was “in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Rather, he emptied himself by taking the very form of a servant, being made in human likeness…” (Philippians 2:6-7). Without ever ceasing to be God the Son, the Word became a human being—Jesus of Nazareth—and was born of the virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, the Son knew the full breadth of the human experience. He was like us in every way—except He did not succumb to temptation and sin (Hebrews 4:15). His hunger and thirst were just as real as ours, even as His tears of sorrow were just as painful as ours. Most importantly, His shed blood—though infinitely precious—was just as real as ours.
…and dwelt among us… Because the Word became flesh, salvation is both possible and available! In the Word we have more than the perfect leader or teacher; we have Someone who is uniquely capable of saving us from the just penalty of our sins. In the Word made flesh we have more than a fellow traveler on the path of life; we have a High Priest who can offer to God what we could never offer ourselves—namely, a pure and undefiled life.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! Merry Christmas!