The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as awitness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
The opening words of John’s gospel split into four straightforward sections:
1. The deity of the light (vv1-5)
2. The witness to the light (vv6-8)
3. The response to the light (vv9-13)
4. The personhood of the light (vv14-18)
These verses tell us that the light (who is the Word) is very God. They tell us that John the Baptist was not the light but was a man who witnessed to it. They are clear that certain people did not receive the light but those that did became children of God. Finally, it tells us that the light is Jesus Christ, the one who has come from God and is himself both very God and very man. As v18 makes clear, and John makes explicit later in this gospel and in his letters, he who knows Jesus Christ knows God.
That is why Christmas is so vitally important. The incarnation of Jesus Christ is the moment when God made himself known to man. Not by revelation through human transmission, which he had done at many times in various ways, but God himself became man and dwelt among us. He entered into our world to make God fully known. Jesus said to his disciples “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7).
If you are looking for God, if you want to know what he is like, look to Jesus Christ. He was the one sent from the Father, God with us, to make God known. If God exists, it is surely important that we know what he is like and that which he requires. If Jesus Christ is the one who has made God known, then his understanding of how we have peace with God and right standing in his sight is truly the only view of any significance. And Jesus’ view was very simple: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
This Christmas time, consider who Jesus Christ really is. He is the one who makes the Father known and gives life to all those who receive him and believe on his name. Why not make this the merriest Christmas of all and find forgiveness for sin, peace with God and life in Jesus Christ?