The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Did you read the verse above? Or if you did read it, did you skim it in comfortable familiarity? This is a common occurrence for those who are well acquainted with the scriptures. Knowing the word of God is a beautiful blessing that enriches our lives. However, that familiarity can cause us to miss the power of certain scriptures that blow the roof off our understanding of God and His goodness. We can grow used to the verses we read, slipping over them like water on a duck’s back, confident that we already know what it says, rather than marinating in what the verse means. In short, we run the risk of becoming apathetic.
Imagine you had a swiss army knife. Not the small ones, but the old school kind with the red casing and a million attachments which made it heavy. Say you needed to open a package and you only used one of the blades. Of the 33 tools and features of a traditional swiss army knife, you never opened any of the others, satisfied that only one blade is necessary, to the point of believing that there is nothing else to be found in this tool. How often do we do that with scriptures and verses like John 1:14?
The verse “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” is an exceptional statement that cannot be celebrated enough. The Word not only means Jesus, but also shares that He was present at the beginning (John 1:1), which means His presence is not new, but that He stood with God at the earth's creation (Colossians 1:16). This means that the creator of humanity became His creation and dwelt among them. Many mythologies are dense with stories of their “gods” taking human form, but the major difference is intent. The fictional stories of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian gods all have selfish reasons for taking human form, are passive, or only descend as a way to weakly rectify conflict they began. Yahweh is the only deity in the archive of mythology that comes to earth with sacrificial intent, standing in the place of His creation as His creation to protect them from perfect justice given as a consequence to humanities mistakes.
From Genesis, we were introduced to a God who wanted to connect with His creation, not out of loneliness, but because He is Love (1 John 4:7) and love is, by nature, an other-centered outpouring. With the fall of man, sin prevented us from fully being able to bask in God’s presence face to face. Even centuries later, when He walked past Moses in Exodus 33:18-20, God could only show His back, and even then, Moses’ face glowed for days after. Sin made physical proximity as well as edenic intimacy with God impossible. The sin was too deep and God’s glory too great for us to ever return to full communion by our own efforts.
Then came Jesus. Pastor and theologian Jeffery Rosario references Christ coming to earth as God turning around. Philippians 2:6-11 breaks down the stripping down that our Creator did willingly, to ensure our salvation. Line by line, this verse dives into the mindset with which God entered into His humanity. Our Heavenly Father, our Creator, the omnipotent, immortal, holy God of the universe, humbled Himself in every aspect, made Himself vulnerable in ways only found in humanity because He understood that the only being who could endure His wrath of justice was Himself.
Sin was a virus and we were its host, slowly destroying His children that He loved, and loves, with a divine power and magnitude that is inconceivable to a sin-dulled mind. That God came to earth through Jesus as a human, is a representative of unconditional love.
Every step of Christ’s coming, every reason, every aspect, every detail, is an exceptional revelation of a God that is so much bigger than we could ever make up for ourselves. The imaginary gods of other mythologies were always limited by the human minds who created them. The features of Yahweh’s descent onto earth is too saturated with love and a narrative that is so perfect it boggles the mind. We cannot miss those details of a multidimensional God which will only strengthen our faith, because we are too committed to the convenience of a one dimensional understanding. So lean in and resonate on the richness of how the Word became flesh.