Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pondering the Incarnation

John 1:14 says, “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.”

This is the most concise statement of the Incarnation in John’s Gospel. “The Word” refers to nothing less than God Himself. “Flesh” is almost a crude way of referring to human nature – body and soul. Think on it – The infinite God, Himself became totally human.

Dwelt among us” speaks specifically of pitching one’s tent – joining the campsite. John, wants us to recall God’s presence in the tabernacle in the wilderness during the wanderings of the Children of Israel who had left Egypt and were headed to the Promised Land. God made Himself “touchable” to the desert wanderers in that “Tent of Meeting.” The “glory” or presence of God had come to live in their campsite as they trekked through the wilderness. What was true for them has become more real and true for us. In Jesus, God has pitched His tent with us; wherever we are, we are in the very presence of holiness, grace, mercy, justice, protection, strength, truth, love, guidance and hope.

What comfort - all the ways of the tabernacling of God among Israel that had been transitory and incomplete, are now fulfilled and superseded by the Word-made-flesh, dwelling among us. What had been hinted at and even realized in a dim fashion earlier was perfectly fulfilled in the Word made flesh.

What was that “Word” like? He was filled with “grace and truth.” “Grace” basically denotes that which causes joy - kindness, winsomeness, favor shown that is undeserved. “Truth” is more than the opposite of falsehood (deception). It is life and light, the total reliability of God. Truth cannot be known apart from God – Jesus is the revelation of truth. “Grace” taken by itself may have given us an unbalanced picture of God for He is also truth who demands “truth in the inward parts” of man as well as that we are doers of the truth.

What peace to know that the infinite God of the universe has chosen to become flesh and take up His dwelling among us. Ponder His Presence; bask in His blessing; feel secure in His truth – no deception; accept His grace; walk to the “tabernacle” – the “Tent of Meeting” like Moses did and enjoy the glory of His presence.

Pondering the Incarnation with you - Bob

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