12.31.14   The Word Becomes Flesh

John 1:14-18 (NIV) 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Speaking at a seminary chapel service many years ago, Dr. Fred Kramer said that the Gospel of John “was so shallow that lambs could wade and so deep that elephants must swim.” He meant that a baby Christian could read the Gospel of John with great profit, while the most profound theological mind could never fully exhaust the full meaning of what John was saying.

Our passage for today presents an interesting example. When John writes by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, ‘the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us’, a small child or someone new to the Christian faith can understand that Jesus, the Word of God, came to earth in human form as the baby Jesus. Yet this seemly simple passage carries with it a mystery so profound that hundreds of sermons and dissertations have been written by learned theologians in order to plumb the depths of the words.

Isn’t it wonderful that God, through this writing of John, has made known to everyone that the promise of a savior, mentioned throughout the Old Testament and by John the Baptist, has now come to pass in the birth of Jesus. God has come in the flesh so that the problem of sin and death that we all face as a result of Adam’s transgression can be resolved.

As we enter a New Year and reflect on this passage today, we not only thank God for the clarity with which He speaks to us in His Word, but ask that by the power of the Holy Spirit we would receive Him anew as well as all of gifts He gives, especially the gift of life and salvation.

Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to become man so that we may know you in a personal way and the gift of salvation that you bring through Him. Amen.