The Word Became Flesh
THE WORD BECAME FLESH
I have heard it said in prayers; it has been mentioned Bible classes; even in sermons; I have heard it and heard it a thousand times or more but I am not sure I have we really comprehend its significance or appreciated it.
- What John says here in vs. 14 is perhaps the most amazing thing that has ever happened to mankind and it is a doctrinal truth that lies at the very heart of the Christian faith.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
- In the first 5 verses of this gospel John says that “In the beginning the Word was”; before the foundation of the world was ever formed, the Word was!
And then John says that “the Word was with God”; the Word and God are not identical but they are ONE; the Word has the very same nature as God the Father.
And then John says that “the Word was God”; all that could be said about God may aptly be said about the Word; nothing higher could be said about the Word
And then John says that “all things came into being by the Word”; He is the Almighty Creator.
- And that “life” (both physical and spiritual is in Him. If anything in this world has life it is because of Him) and “light” is in Him (without Him we would be in darkness).
In the first 5 verses John declares the Word to be God.
- And now, here in vs. 14 John says that, that Word who was and is God, who Was and Is the Creator; and in Whom is life and light” that Word, became flesh and dwelt among us” and that is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to mankind; it is amazing that God Himself would do that.
- And I am not sure if you/I comprehend and appreciate that?
Let me put it this way to help you understand how amazing this was: Some of you may remember, in July 1969, one of the most momentous events in all of human history took place when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
- People all over the world watched on T.V.; millions on millions watched.
- And people were glued to the T.V.; and when Neil Armstrong stepped off of that ladder onto the face of the moon; people cheered; they were ecstatic; they couldn’t believe it.
- And do you remember what Neil Armstrong said: “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind!”
- That was a man, assisted by amazing technology and hundreds of experts, landing on the moon; and people were amazed!
And as amazing as that was, here in this passage, you have the Word, the pre-existent One; the eternal One; the Omnipotent One; the Omnipresent and Omniscient One, coming in the flesh.
- And not only walking on this earth but dwelling among us, not just for a week like Neil Armstrong did on the moon, but for 33 years.
- And it wasn’t a small step for the Word to take on human form; Phil 2:6 says that “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
- He subjected Himself to everything that humans suffer and endure.
And 2 Cor. 8:9 tells us that He “gave up the riches of heaven in order that through His poverty we might be rich.”
- And 2 Cor. 5:21 says, “He was made to be sin in our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
- It wasn’t a small step for the Word to take on human form and dwell among us.
And you talk about a giant leap for man-kind, His was a giant leap for mankind!
- Where would we be if He had not have come?
And let me tell you, this is the most important doctrine in the Christian faith.
- If anyone is going to be saved;
- If anyone is going to find heaven;
- If anyone is going to be forgiven of their sins, they must believe that “the Word; that God came in the flesh, and dwelt among us.”
- Any teaching that denies this is heresy.
If the Word was and is not God then we can just ignore John’s Gospel and his later epistles completely because that is the crux of his writings.
- And if the Word did not come in the flesh then the angels and shepherds and wise men lied when He was born.
- Herod killed the babies of Bethlehem for no reason.
- Jesus was never tempted in the wilderness; he never knew what it was to be hungry or thirsty or tired. He cannot relate to us and therefore cannot intercede for us.
- He never learned obedience through His suffering; Heb. 5:8-9.
- He is not the author and perfecter of our faith; Heb. 12:2.
- He was never in the garden; beaten, crucified; buried, and raised from the dead.
- If He was not God who came in the flesh and dwelt among us you can burn the song books; sell the building, and throw your Bible away and forget about any decency at all and just join the forces of darkness and do what they do else!
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” is the most amazing thing that ever happened to mankind and this truth lies at the very heart of Christianity.
- And if you and I don’t believe this then there is no hope for us.
If I really think about this and understand it, it cements my devotion and commitment to Him.
- And I know we always point to the cross and what He sacrificed on the cross, but for Him to leave and give up the riches of heaven and come to this earth and experience think that mankind experiences, that cements my devotion and commitment to Him.
- And makes me thankful that He came.
Now, look at vs. 14 again: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
- It is not uncommon for people today to say that they are searching for God or searching for His way.
- And they go from place to place and religion to religion trying to find Him.
- More commonly, they stay in one place until God finds them.
John says God has come close. He came in the flesh. And if people really want to find God all they have to do is find Jesus Christ and that is as near as your closest Bible. (He is also in the hearts of His disciples.)
- In fact, look at vs. 18: No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
- If people can’t find God it is because they are looking in all the wrong places; or they simply don’t want to.
So John says that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us” and that Word was God; but that is easy to say. Where is the proof?
- “Up until this time John, you have made some pretty convincing arguments that “the Word is God and that the Word came in the flesh, but where is the proof?”
Well, from here on through the rest of the book John is going to give testimony that “the Word” was and is Jesus and that Jesus is God who came in the flesh.
- And he begins by giving an eye-witness account stating that the “Word” is and was God.
So, look at the end of vs. 14: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- Notice that John does say, “I beheld”; he says, “We beheld.”
- The testimony of one person was easily disputed and really proved nothing.
- But, if there was two witnesses; well that was little more acceptable; but when John says “we” he isn’t talking about just two witnesses; he is talking about at least 12 disciples; and in 1 Cor. 15 the apostle Paul speaks of “500 brothers” who saw Jesus.
- When you consider all the people who witnessed all the things that Jesus did during His 3 year ministry, we don’t know how many “we” is here in this passage but it is enough to confirm what John says about “the Word” being God.
And look at what John says “they beheld”; and that word “beheld” is not speaking of a vision or a dream; this is speaking of something they literally saw!
- John says “We beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father.”
- “Glory that proves He is the only begotten from the Father.”
What does John mean when he speaks of seeing “His glory?”
- In chapter 2, at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, after Jesus turned the water into wine, verse 11 says, “This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”
- That is an indication that every time Jesus performed a miracle Jesus revealed His glory.
Then you have the Transfiguration in Matthew 17 where Jesus was “transfigured and His face shone like the sun and His garments became as white as light.”
- That could very well be what John is talking about when He speaks of seeing “His glory.”
But then there is this also. In Mark 1:41 Jesus encounters a leper and vs. 41 says that Jesus “was moved by compassion” and reached out and healed that man.
- In Matthew 9:36, Matthew says, “When he saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
- In Matthew 20:34, after two blind men called out to Him, Matthew says “He had compassion on them and touched their eyes.”
And look again at John 1:14. John says that Jesus was “full of grace and truth.”
- And in 16 John the Baptist said: For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
And we might ask, “What does His compassion, and His grace and truth have to do with John seeing His glory. Well, look at this from Exodus 33: 18.
Moses asks to see “God’s glory” and God says, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
- God didn’t allow Moses to see His face “for no Man can see Him and live.”
- Instead, when Moses asked to see God’s glory, God manifested His goodness, His grace, His compassion; His divine nature.
And when John saw those same things in Jesus, when he saw the compassion, the grace, the love and care, then John realized that what he was seeing was the “glory of God.”
- So, when John speaks of “seeing His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father” he is speaking of the miracles, the transfiguration, and the God-like virtues that Jesus manifested.
- And what John is saying is, “The Word who came in the flesh is God because He possesses the same virtues and character that only God possesses.”
In vs. 15, John will once again use John the Baptist to confirm that the Word is Jesus, and that Jesus is God and He came to “explain God” to us. What He is like.
- If you want to know God; if you want to understand Him; if you want to know what God is like; look at Jesus.
But here is the problem. People look at what Hollywood says about God; and they look at what some of these books say about God; at what philosophers say; what some songs say and then they say, “That is what God is like!”
- “We have a God who is biased, bigoted, unfair, cruel, unjust, immoral; and the reason people think that is because they look in all the wrong places, instead of looking at Jesus.
Jesus defines God; He displays God’s glory; He dispenses grace and truth.
So it is amazing to me that the Word would become flesh and dwell among us; and it is the most important thing for us to believe.
So, why does John tells us all of these things? Here it is again: John 20: 30 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Your faith in Christ is not misplaced.
If you want eternal life; there is only One way to get it and that is through Jesus Christ. It is all about Jesus. And if you refuse to believe that He is God who came in the flesh there is no hope for you.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023