In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. . .
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
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
John 1: 1-5, 14-18
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.
At first, communicating the Christian message was relatively simple. The first converts were Jewish. However, by 60 AD, there were 100,000 Gentile Christians for every Jewish one.
"That you may believe. . ."
John wrote his Gospel to provide a basis of faith for believers who were not familiar with the Jewish hope of a Messiah. To complicate matters, Hebrew and Greek thought forms were different.
*Hebrew thinking is expressed in concrete images.
The word of God is a
*Greek thinking is expressed in more abstract images.
The word is the judge of
The Holy Spirit led John to see that in both traditions there existed the concept of The Word. Being a Jew living among Greeks, John understood both cultures, and he employed both to make his point . . .
The Word was God . . . and the Word became flesh. . .
John tells us three things about the Word:
1. The Word was God. Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father; He has always existed as part of the Triune Godhead.
2. The Word was the Creator of all things.
In Him all things were
created, in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible
. . .
Col. 1: 16
3. The Word is the source of all Life.
I came that they may have
life, and have it abundantly.
John 10: 10
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
Here is where Greek and Hebrew thinking found
common ground: the abstract became concrete.
The word translated became means was born. The Word was born a man.
The word translated dwelt literally means pitched his tent. The Word set up camp with us.
The Word brought three things with Him.
1. Grace. The coming of the Savior was totally uncaused by humanity. It was an unconditional gift.
. . . if it is by grace, it
is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace
would no longer be grace.
Romans 11: 6
Grace is given to one person because of someone else.
. . . by one man's
obedience many will be made righteous.
Romans 5: 19
Grace is the unconditional gift of God's riches at Christ's expense.
2. Truth. This
is one of the dominant themes of John's Gospel.
*Jesus is the embodiment of truth.
Jesus answered, “I am the
way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me. . ."
John 14: 6
*Jesus is the communicator of truth.
So Jesus said, “When you
have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that
I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my
own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
John 8: 28
*Jesus made abstract truth concrete. Truth is something which must be known with the mind; accepted with the heart; and enacted in daily living.
I am the Way, the Truth,
and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.
John 14: 6
All this is from God, who
reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us
the ministry of reconciliation: that God was
reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not
counting men's sins against them. And he has committed
to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore
Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his
appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf:
Be reconciled to God.
II Cor. 5: 18-20
. . . in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.
Eph. 1: 12
Everything Jesus did glorified God. In Him, everything we do should, too.
What Does It Mean to Us Today that The Word Became Flesh?
It was John's purpose to present, in a believable way for Gentile readers, the Messiah who could transform their lives.
Jesus did many other
miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples,
which are not recorded in this book. But these are
written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God, and that by believing you may have
life in His name.
John 20: 30-31
was the Word which is responsible for all creation, then we
ought to know about Him.
If Jesus brought grace, truth, and divine glory, then we ought to experience these things in our lives.
If Jesus paid the price for our sins, then we ought to worship and serve Him.
"A man who was merely a man
and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn't be a
great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on
the level with a man who says he's a poached egg -- or
else he would be the devil of hell; you must take your
choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or
else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up
for a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But don't come up with any patronizing
nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He
hasn't left that alternative open to us."
C. S. Lewis
Because we were dead in sin (Eph. 2), God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He became a man and took our punishment upon Himself. Do you believe this?
God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through
faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate his
justice, because in His forbearance He had left the
sins committed beforehand unpunished– He did it to
demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to
be just and the one who justifies those who have faith
Romans 3: 25-26
Thou gave us the Word that we may understand Thee:
Grant that by patience and comfort of Thy Holy Spirit,
we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed Hope
of eternal life which is our in Christ Jesus, the Word.
In His name we pray,
“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”