Summary: "The Word became flesh and we beheld His Glory" from John 1:14 is quoted every year at Christmas time: The Glory of God was revealed as God in the flesh arrived through a virgin's womb and He was laid in a manger in Bethlehem.

“The Unique Christ”

We cannot celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus, without proclaiming John 1:14 NAS: {We looked at the first part of the verse last week.} “And the Word (the Lord Jesus) became flesh ( took on human nature without leaving His Divine Essence), and dwelt (tabernacled, lived temporarily) among us”; The Eternal Self-Existent Son of God, who was Creator-God, took on a human nature while maintaining His Godly character, and He dwelt (tented) among His Created Ones in order to DIE for those who would believe in His Name.

Today we examine the second part of verse 14: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN FROM THE FATHER (the unique one of His kind), FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.”

The Glory of Jesus intently watched

In a very real and literal sense, when the Word of God entered this world as a fragile baby boy, He was witnessed by creatures whom He had created. With human eyes, Mary and Joseph, the earthly guardians of the Lord of Glory and first-time parents, would gaze intently upon the one who had come from Heaven to be their Savior. He was viewed by common shepherds, wealthy wise men, pious priests and publicans, schooled Pharisees, the sick and saintly, the rich and poor. Here was the miracle in the Flesh, promised by God from ages past, now God among flesh, WITH flesh.

In the context of the book of gospel of John, the author would soon describe the first week of the ministry of this Word who became flesh, and the humanity which was created by Him would watch Him carefully. The Glory of God was seen in the tabernacle in so many ways in the Old Testament, and now the Glory of God is seen in Jesus during the days of his “IN-FLESH-MENT”. Wherever He went, the Word was intently watched, in the way that theater attendees are fixated upon the stage or screen, not wanting to miss a single moment. The eyes of earth scrutinized the One of the Miracle Birth come down from Heaven.

1 John 1:1-3 puts it this way: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--

and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--

what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

The Glory of the Only Begotten

It’s not shocking that Jesus drew the undivided attention of the masses, after all, He displayed the very Glory of the Father because He is God in the Flesh. His “glory” was that “of the only begotten one from the Father”. If you are going to understand the glory of the only begotten, you must erase all ideas concerning “begetting”. The word “begotten” {monogenes}, has nothing to do with the word for procreation or birth.

The understanding of “begotten” appears in the New as well as the Old Testaments. In Luke 7:12: “Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.” The same is said about Jairus’ 12 year old daughter in Luke 8:42, and about Isaac in Heb. 11:17: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.”

Isaac wasn’t Abraham’s ONLY son but the son who was the beloved son, the best-loved, the chosen-by-God-son, the son of promise, the son from whom the Messiah would come. Ishmael was the son by the will of man and the will of the flesh because of man’s impatience and disobedience to God’s promise. Isaac was the son of promise, the “miracle baby” when all hope seemed to be gone.

The description of Jesus as “the only begotten” does not mean that He was born, although He arrived on this earth through the virgin womb of Mary. He always existed as the “only begotten Son” but arrived in the flesh through human means ordained by God. He did not human nature except by the will of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He took on flesh and tented among His creation for a time, until He paid the payment for sin on the Cross. Even though Israelites were called God’s Children, and Christians are called God’s children, we do not have the same status as Jesus.

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