It’s time to get back to going through the New Testament and understanding the doctrine of the Trinity. We took a little detour but hey, it’s my blog and if I want to do that you all will just have to suffer. I hope you didn’t though! I also wish to think Kelp for his compliment and I agree, I am not speaking of just the pastors but to all of us. Tonight, we’re returning to the prologue to the gospel of John and looking at my favorite verse in the prologue, John 1:18.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
My good friend, Christian apologist and author Frank Turek has said before that if you can believe Genesis 1:1 in the Bible, everything else is child’s play. I understand where he’s coming from with that, but I frankly must disagree. I can easily understand the idea of a God creating the world. I’m not saying I understand how he did it, but that he did it makes sense.
To me, the concept that one person who is fully God would be born and live a life among human beings and take on our nature in addition to his deity is absolutely mind-blowing.
I spoke on John 1:1 of a predicate nominative indicating that the Word has the nature of the God he is with. The same is used with the Word became flesh. The Word took on the nature of humanity. Flesh in this passage does not refer to the sin nature, but rather to the human nature.
The incarnation should be absolutely stunning. At this point, the Word had been active and we knew the Word had come in some way, but most people would have been utterly stunned at this. The divine and the human did not interact in this way! Heaven and Earth were there and never the twain shall meet!
God acts in the way we did not expect him to at all.
He dwelt among us. It literally means that he tabernacled among us. He pitched his tent. He took up temporary residence. In 1 Kings 8, Solomon said about the temple “Surely God will not dwell among men.” Well, it turns out he would. He would dwell not just in the Shekinah glory of the Holy Spirit, but up close and personal. In fact, it can be said that Jesus was a walking Shekinah.
This is also the first mention of us. John has spoken about other people, but now he brings it home. This didn’t happen to just some random group. This happened to us. John is referring to his readers and in the long-term, even us. The Word dwelt among humans. He lived as a human. This isn’t a fairy tale story. This is actual history.
We saw his glory. John is probably thinking here of the transfiguration which is not mentioned in his gospel, but he wants his readers to know that he knows about that event. Peter also mentioned that event in 2 Peter 1.
Note also the distinction from the Father. Jesus is the Son. He is not the Father. John wants us to be sure who we are dealing with. The Father did not become flesh and dwelt among us. It was the Son who did so, but Jesus came from him. John came from God, but in saying Jesus came from the Father, we see the unique nature of the relationship between the Father and the Son.
And Jesus is full of grace and truth. These two are quite foundational for John and when we go through his writings, we will see both of them. When the Son becomes incarnate, grace and truth are beheld by men in a unique way.
Truly, John 1:14 is a stunning verse. When you read the prologue of John next time and get to that verse, just stop and think about it for awhile.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.