August 23rd 2009

The Word Became Flesh

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it”.
John 1:1-5 (NIV)

John opens his Gospel by talking about a Word who existed in the beginning with God, and this Word was God. This was not a created being, but rather the One through whom God did all the creating.

In verse 14, we find the identity of this Word: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

This “Word” was none other than the One who became flesh, Jesus, the Son of God. He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the second Person of the triune God, and he is one with us, fully human and fully God, representing us and substituting for us in his perfect union and communion with the Father.

By using the term “Word” to describe Jesus, John was using a term that had rich meaning to Greek and Jewish philosophers. They believed that God had created everything through his “word,” or “wisdom.” They thought of the “Word” as the rationality and creativity behind the universe.

John used this idea to explain who Jesus is: the Word become flesh. John wanted his readers to know that Jesus did not just bring a message from God and about God-he himself was the message. Jesus showed us up close, in the flesh, what the Father is like.

Shortly before Jesus was killed, Philip asked him, “Lord, show us the Father” (14:8). And Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you for such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (v. 9). If you want to know what God is like, then study Jesus.

John 1:18 says that Jesus is “God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side“-and he “has made the Father known.” Jesus personifies the love God has for us. In Jesus, we see the heart of the Father toward us.

Jesus, the beloved of the Father, has made the Father known, and the more, through Jesus, we come to know the Father, the more we understand that in Jesus we are the Father’s beloved too.

Father, thank you that Jesus reveals who are you, and that through him you make your endless compassion and grace known to me.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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