Summary: The Son of God - the Logos of God became human over 2000 yeras ago in Bethlehem to show us the way to salvation
TSJ, TSL WSG 18-12-2016
The Christmas Story
A Scottish farmer did not believe in the Christmas story. The idea that God would become a man was absurd to him.
His wife however was a devout Christian and had raised their children as Christians.
The farmer would sometimes mock her and give her a hard time about her faith.
In particular he could not believe that God would want to come into this world as the little Baby born in Bethlehem 2000 or more years ago.
“It’s nonsense” he said: “Why should God lower himself to become a man like us?”
One Sunday just before Christmas his wife took the children to church, while the farmer relaxed at home in front of a blazing fire.
Suddenly the weather took a turn for the worse, deteriorating into a blinding snow storm, driven by a freezing north wind.
Suddenly he heard a thump on the window, followed by another.
When he went to investigate he found a flock of grey geese disorientated by the storm in his farmyard.
The farmer had compassion on them.
He wanted to help and realised they needed to get out of the storm into the shelter of his barn.
He opened the barn doors and hung up a lamp. BUT THEY WOULD NOT GO IN.
He laid out a trail of bread into the barn
BUT THEY STILL WOULDN’T GO IN.
He tried to shoo them in but to no avail.
Nothing he could do would get them out of the storm into his nice warm barn.
Utterly frustrated, he cried out loud: “Why can’t you fools just follow me in. Can’t you see that I am trying to help you and give you shelter?”
Then he thought: “I wish I could communicate with them. If only I could become like one of them, I could show them the way to go and then I could save them”
He suddenly stopped.
He remembered where his family was and what he had learned in Sunday school
AND AT LAST he understood why God had to become a man.
And he fell down on his knees and thanked God for becoming a man.
And as he looked up – to his amazement he saw the grey geese going into his barn and a white goose was leading them.
(My thanks to John Wright for this story)
Have you, like that Scottish farmer, ever wondered why God became man, an event we celebrate each Christmas?
I think the White Goose story sums it up excellently.
St John’s Gospel opens with the following words
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning”
It is the very story of the Incarnation. God becoming man
Why did St John call Jesus the Word of God and not simply call him Jesus.
Well, because the man Jesus only came into existence on this earth - as the name of the little baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.
But the Son of God existed before he became human as the baby Jesus – whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
So to clarify this, John has called him, in his pre-incarnate form “the Word of God”
John’s Gospel was originally written in Greek and in the Greek the word for “The Word” is LOGOS.
In other words, the opening of John’s Gospel should read:
In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God…And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:1 and 14)
For the Greeks, the Logos was “the rational principle of the Universe, its meaning and its plan or purpose.”
However, I believe that St. John understands the term Logos from his Jewish perspective as, in the words of T.W.Manson,
“the creative and revealing Word of God by which the heaven and the earth were made and by whom the prophets were inspired”
John’s imagery reminds us of the opening words of Genesis 1 which reads: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…
But I also think that John used the term LOGOS or The Word to describe the Son of God, because words are how we communicate with one another and God.
And Jesus was the communication of God to man
There is so much in the opening verses of John that we would be here all night trying to unpack the theology of it.
So I would like to look at five attributes of Jesus in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John.
And for ease of reference I would like to use the Greek word LOGOS as a mnemonic for these attributes. JESUS IS
L the Log-in of God
O the Origin of life