Summary: 7th in a seven part series on the incarnation from John 1.
[Play trailer from “Vantage Point”]
That movie, “Vantage Point” was one of my favorite movies from recent years. As you could see from the trailer, it is a movie that is focused on one event from eight different perspectives. And it is only once you see all eight perspectives that you can piece together the one truth about what has occurred.
In a sense that is what John has been doing with the opening words of his gospel. He has been painting a picture of the “logos” from several different vantage points. And then once we’ve seen the incarnation of the “logos” from all these different perspectives, he concludes by revealing the one main truth that he wants his readers to understand. Let’s read our passage out loud together one last time and then see if we can’t identify that one truth which changed the course of mankind forever.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…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.
John 1:1-5, 14 (NIV)
So far, we’ve seen the “logos” from six different vantage points:
• We saw that He is eternal, with no beginning or end
• We saw that He is a unique person, which means that we can have a relationship with Him
• We saw that He is fully God, possessing all the attributes of God
• We saw that He is the Creator and that His creative process still continues
• We saw that he is the source of all life, both physical and spiritual
• We saw that he is the complete revelation of God
All six of those vantage points lead us to the one truth that John reveals very clearly to us when we get to verse 14:
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.
In this passage, John describes the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus Christ, an event that we refer to as the “incarnation”.
Many people claim that this is the greatest verse in the entire Bible, and while all Scripture is of great value, frankly I’d have a hard time arguing with that assertion. Just think about it. Infinity became finite. Eternity got squeezed into time. Invisible became invisible. The supernatural allowed Himself to be confined to the natural. Can you think of anything more amazing or more significant?
This week, as I was preparing for this message, I came across a couple of guidelines for determining how long a sermon should be:
The definition of a good sermon: It should have a good beginning. It should have a good ending. And they should be as close together as possible.
How long should a good sermon be? It should be like a woman’s skirt, long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to keep you interested!
Let me be real honest with you right up front this morning. The incarnation of the “logos” is such a crucial and important concept that there is just no way that I could shorten the message any more than what I’ve done. We’ll move through this just as quickly as I can this morning, and I’ll do my best to keep you interested and to keep the beginning and ending as close together as I can, but I need to ask you to do me a favor and stay with me. I don’t ask this for my sake, but for yours. And I promise that if you’ll do that, God will give you a whole different outlook and renew your sense of awe and wonder during this Christmas season.
So let’s take a look at this marvelous and wonderful event – the incarnation of the “logos”.
The “logos” incarnate
1. The “logos” became fully man without giving up His deity.
The Word became flesh…
John is very careful in the way he describes the process of the “logos” becoming flesh. This is a case where the NIV and most other contemporary translations are very accurate when they use the word “became”. Unfortunately many of us are more familiar with the KJV translation which renders that same word “was made”, which implies that the “logos” was created, in which case He would not be fully God.