Summary: In the Incarnation, Jesus, God in the flesh, becomes one of us.
Telling It Out Loud
Text: John 1:14-18
1. When we were pastoring in Yellville, AR I met a group of Christians from another church in town. They were wonderful people but from time to time they would say things that just didn't set well with me. One day one of them said to me, "We don't want to talk about doctrine, we just want to talk about Jesus!" So asked them, "What do you believe about Jesus?" They replied, "Well He is the Son of God!" To which I commented, "So you believe in the doctrine of the Deity of Christ?" The brother looked at me and said, "Well I guess so." Then I asked him what else he believed about Jesus? He said, "I believe that he died for my sins." Then I replied, "Oh, so you believe in the doctrine of the Atonement of Christ?" By this time he was getting a little aggravated with me, but I kindly pushed him a little a bit further and asked him what else he believed about Jesus? He said, "Well I believe that he came to earth and became like one of us!" So I piped up, "Great you believe in the doctrine of the Incarnation!" After a while I think my point was getting across to him that it is impossible to talk about Jesus and not talk about Christine doctrine because it all revolves around Jesus. People get bent out of shape about theological terms, however, if someone takes the time to explain the doctrines to them in ways terms they understand they discover that theology isn't as evil as they suppose. Take for example the doctrine of the Incarnation. Scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer once said "The best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person." The theological word for all of that is incarnation, meaning "in the flesh." Jesus was the incarnation of God. Jesus was the way that God sent His "idea" to humanity; there was and is no better way! Like the little girl who said, "Some people couldn't hear God's inside whisper and so He sent Jesus to tell them out loud."
2. In telling it out loud Jesus...
a. Revealed God In Person
b. Revealed God In Character
3. Let's stand together as we read John 1:14-18.
Proposition: In the Incarnation, Jesus, God in the flesh, becomes one of us.
Transition: First of all...
I. Jesus Revealed God In Person (14, 18).
A. The Word Became Human
1. While to many of us these verses cause us to think of Christmas, and they should, but there are greater spiritual truths to found in their words.
2. John begins this section by returning to his reference to the Logos, the Word. He says, "So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son."
a. Verse 14 marks the fourth statement about the Word in this introduction to the presentation of Jesus.
b. Note the contrast between vv. 1 and 14. Verse 1 states that the Word "was," referring to its permanent condition or state, while v. 14 states that the Word "became" flesh, involving a change in state.
c. This is the basic statement of the Incarnation, for Christ entered into a new dimension of existence through the gateway of human birth and took up his residence among men.
d. The verb translated "made his home" means "to pitch a tent, to dwell temporarily" (BAG, p. 762).
e. He left his usual place and accepted the conditions of human life and environment, with the attendant temporal limitations that all humans experience. (Tenney, The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 9: John and Acts, 33).
f. The literal translation of the word "human" (here in the NLT) is "flesh."
g. John does not say, "the Word became man," nor "the Word took a body."
h. He chooses that form of expression which puts what he wants to say most bluntly.
i. Notice that this is the first time that John indicates that the Word and Jesus are to be taken as the same.
j. Up to this point it would have been quite possible for the reader to take "the Word" to refer to some supreme cosmic principle or the like.
k. But in one short, shattering expression John unveils the great idea at the heart of Christianity—that the very Word of God took flesh for our salvation.
(Morris, The New International Commentary on the New Testament – The Gospel According to John, 90-91).
l. That John had in mind the Shekinah and the glory that was associated with it seems further indicated by the express statement that the glory was "the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father."