The Word became Flesh
I’ve been enjoying walking through the Gospel of John with my Knollwood family. It has been encouraging to walk through John and see how God has revealed Himself in the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we see godly men and women who long for intimate knowledge of God. But they still couldn’t see God. Elijah heard only a still, small voice. Abraham dealt with angels and saw God as a smoking firepot. Moses had the most intimate dealings with God, standing before the burning bush and having the divine light shine on his face. Yet his greatest longing was to see God himself. “Please show me your glory,” Moses pleaded. But God said, “You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (Ex. 33:18–20).
Jesus came to provide the perfect revelation of God that men could receive. John describes him as “the only God, who is at the Father’s side.” (Vs. 14) Jesus is the only One who has been at the Father’s side and why he is greater than John the Baptist or Moses, not to mention Muhammad or the pope. Jesus is himself very God of very God, one in the divine Trinity.
Jesus is the One who is at the Father’s side [ literally, John says, he is “in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18 KJV)] Jesus is in the closest fellowship of love with God the Father. He, then, is the One who can show us God. Mark Johnston explains: “If God is to be known, it can only be as he is made known by Someone who already possesses true knowledge of him. Jesus is that Someone. Because of who he is—the eternal Son of God—he is uniquely qualified to reveal God.” This means that Jesus is the unique and only Savior for all who long to know God. He is the Saviour for all who are looking for a true guide to follow.
When I reflect on this, I get some answers to some questions: Do you feel empty? Do you long to be filled? Jesus is the Saviour for all who are empty and long to be filled because our souls were made to be filled with nothing less than God.
Do you want acceptance? Jesus is the Savior for all who seek acceptance, for by his grace, we are justified and received as God’s dear children. And Jesus is the Savior for all who realize that our greatest glory is to know God.
Andrew Peterson, in his song, “Is He Worthy,” asks similar questions:
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah, who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb
Who died to ransom the slave.
This, to me, is a fantastic thing. The eternal Word became a man of flesh and blood (v. 14)! Jesus comes and “pitches his tent” among his people, for God, who dwelt among the Israelites in the tent-tabernacle, now dwells among us in Jesus Christ.
When we look at passages in Exodus 34:6 and Psalm 100:5, I can see how God made known his glorious presence in the Old Testament, but also we see his loving-kindness (“grace”) and faithfulness (“truth”). But then we see Jesus come, and the outpouring of God’s glory, love, and faithfulness is so boundless in Jesus that it makes the Old Testament look merely legal by comparison (John 1:14, 17). God has never been fully visible to human eyes, but “the only God, who is at the Father’s side,… has made him known” (v. 18). As God-made-flesh, Jesus makes the invisible God visible in his character, words, and actions.
The only Son of the Father makes the Father known. Could we hope for better access to the Father? Who has had more time with the Father? Who has seen more of his work and character, seen him in more situations of judgment, merriment, or forgiveness? Who would have a more intimate view? Who could more accurately relate these truths? Who could more fully identify with the emotional depth of the Father’s love? In the Son, we have a perfect revelation of the Father.
Would you give something so precious to people like us? Would you be as generous as God is in giving so much to those who deserve so little? Those who deserve wrath? God has given the light. The light has come into the world. The darkness will neither comprehend nor overcome that light: it killed him but could not keep him dead. How are you responding to the light? Rejecting or receiving?
If you have trusted Jesus, are you drawing from his grace to live for him—for his honour and His kingdom? Listen to this charge. Is his grace flowing through you to others? “From his fullness,” every believer has received “grace upon grace” (1:16). I was reminded of this while reading Holiness by JC Ryle with some other men this week. Let us make our motto the words with which the apostle Peter concluded his second epistle: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). May we be faithful disciples, growing in Jesus Christ who make disciples of Jesus Christ.