Summary: If we have Christ, we have much to be grateful for.
This last Sunday, as we collected our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, it tickled me how many of us sought to pack so much into each box. Those boxes were full! But what a blessing to know we were so excited to share a message of love with the child who would receive our box, that we filled it as full as possible. In much the same way, John excitedly packs a lot of truth in our verse for today so that we might realize what a wondrous thing God has done for us in Christ.
I want us to unpack this verse together, much like the kids who will be receiving our shoe boxes will unpack them. And just like those kids will be thankful for the contents of our shoe boxes, I want us to think about why we can be thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ. John shares five things about Jesus for which we should be thankful. We should be thankful for . . .
1. Christ’s revelation to us - “The word became flesh”
John wrote his gospel for a Greek audience. This is evident from the fact that when he uses a Hebrew word, he translates it in Greek (John 1:38: “ ‘Rabbi’ which means ‘Teacher’ ” John 1:41: “ ‘Messiah’ that is, ‘the Christ.’ ”).
So in his introduction, he purposely uses the Greek word “logos” with reference to Jesus, because “logos,” which is translated, “Word” has an interesting history in Greek thought.
Around 600 years earlier, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, had lived in the same city of Ephesus that John was now living in when he wrote his gospel.
Heraclitus taught that the world was in a constant state of flux. He would illustrate this by saying that if you stepped into a river and stepped out, then stepped back in, you would not be stepping into the same river that you stepped in a moment ago; because of the constant flow of the current. But if things are in a state of constant change, the question arose, “How can you avoid chaos?” His
answer was “the logos.” The logos was the mind that kept order in the universe.
So to the Greek who thought of “the logos” as that order behind the universe, John declares, “In the beginning was the logos; the logos was with God; the logos was God; & the logos became flesh.”
Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God to mankind.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being . . .” - Hebrews 1:1-3a (NIV)
Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God to us! Oh, how blessed we are to live in the day of the fullness of God’s revelation of Himself in Christ!
2. Christ’s identification with us - “made his dwelling among us”
Because Jesus made His dwelling among us, there’s not a single thing we might face He doesn’t identify with, which the writer of Hebrews points out, makes Him uniquely qualified to meet our needs.
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” - Hebrews 4:15-16 (Amplified)
“There’s Not A Friend Like The Lowly Jesus,” was written by John Oatman, after he had been forced to retire as an insurance salesman due to poor health. When he didn’t know what he should do, he wrote these words to reflect his feelings. The message was simple: Since Jesus had walked where he was walking, he knew Jesus understood where he was and could help him get where he needed to be. This is a truth in which we, too, should rejoice.
Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done; There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No, not one! No, not one!
3. Christ’s triumph for us -
“We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only”
“Glory” is a theme through-out John’s gospel. In our Lord’s prayer, found in John 17, John records that . . .