Summary: This sermon considers the benefits resulting from the incarnation Of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever changed addresses? There is so much involved. You must notify the post office. You must notify your creditors. You must notify your friends. You must notify the IRS. You must notify the utility company. I want to use the change of address idea to communicate a spiritual truth. What happens when Jesus changes addresses? That is what occured when Jesus came to earth as a baby. That is the truth behind the Christmas story. John records this transition. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn. 1:1-4,14)
John begins his book by describing God’s activity in creation. He explains that Jesus was present and involved when God created the world. However, when you move from verses 1-4 to verse 14 a change occurs. Jesus has moved from being the God of creation to being the "God man." In other words God has changed addresses. God has moved from Heaven to earth. This is more than a story. It represents a life change. It represents a transformation that can take place in people. There are some revolutionary principles found in verse 14. These principles reveal what happens when God changed his address from Heaven to earth through Jesus Christ. These principles reveal what God did at Christmas. Notice the principles.
Principle: when Jesus changed addresses He showed that God wants to know you and be known by you. One day, when I was a student at New Orleans Seminary, I was sitting in a second floor reading area of the library when a new student walked in. As I sat in that area I could look down and see anyone who walked in. That day, the new student I saw was named Judy Melton. I said to myself, “you need to get to know that girl.” I took steps to meet her. The rest is history. Judy Melton later became Judy Patrick.
When Jesus came into the world He represented a love note from God. God said “I want to know you.” In this verse Jesus is identified as the word. A word is used to communicate. A word is used to convey information. We use phrases such as:
• May I have a word with you?
• I have a word for you.
• I give you my word.
The Bible says the word became flesh. The Greek people had trouble comprehending God in a body. “To the Greek the body was evil, a prison house in which the soul was shackled, a tomb in which the spirit was confined.” (William Barclay) There arose in the church a body of people called Docetists. These people held that Jesus in fact was only a phantom, an appearance, that His human body was not a real body, that He was only a walking spirit like a ghost, that He could not really feel hunger and weariness, sorrow and pain, that He was in fact a disembodied spirit in the apparent form of a man. John tells us that Jesus was the word of God. Word represents a desire to communicate. Word represents a revealing. The God of the Bible is not some mysterious God who hides himself from man. He wants to reveal himself. He wants to be known.
There are situations where leaders remain in seclusion and seem far removed from ordinary people. If you were to take a trip to Washington, D.C. you could not casually walk in and visit George and Laura Bush. (You might throw your shoe at him and get away with it. Ha! Ha!) If you were to take a trip to Hollywood you could observe the homes of many famous people; however, you could not casually walk in and visit those people. The president and these people seem to be far removed. The same would happen if you visit Nashville. There are many country western singers and other performers who live around Nashville. You could ride by and see their homes but, as people, they would seem far removed from ordinary people. I read some time ago that Garth Brooks has a 7,000 square foot home near Nashville. You could not casually walk into that home.
There are many things about God that we do not understand. There are truths about Him that we cannot comprehend. However, the fact that Jesus is a word from God tells us that God wants to be known. He wants to communicate with us. One of the common games that children play is hide and seek. God is not playing a game of hide and seek. He wants you to know Him.