Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus came to be Immanuel but why?


John 1:14

John 1:14, “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.”

1) Jesus came to be Immanuel-God with us. The Word became flesh. As we discovered when I preached on Jesus being the Word, Jesus existed before he became a baby in Mary’s womb. He was in his glorified state with the Father and he was with him from the beginning. Jesus is just as much God as the Father is God. Therefore, when Jesus was made flesh he gave up the splendor of heaven to live as we do. Now there would not be a distance between man and God. Col. 1:15 says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Now there wouldn’t be this obscure understanding of God for now he would come down and cohabitate with his creation so that there would be intimacy and understanding; so that there would be a relationship with a tangible God in the person of Jesus. John 14:6-9. Jesus had to make Philip understand that to know Jesus was to know God. John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but God, the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” Jesus, God’s one and only Son, came so that God would be made known to us. The untouchable God made himself a touchable person. The one who controlled the universe became a helpless baby. The one who never knew death became vulnerable to death. God sacrificed so much to become one of us; such was his great love for us. In a sermon by Rich Anderson, Love Came Down at Christmas, he shared a story he had read by the famous Danish philosopher and Christian theologian Soren Kierkegaard. “A prince wanted to find a maiden suitable to be his queen. One day while running an errand in the local village for his father, he passed through a poor section. As he glanced out the windows of the carriage his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant maiden. During the ensuing days he often passed by the young lady and soon fell in love. But he had a problem. How would he seek her hand? He could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him freely; not through coercion. He could put on his most splendid uniform and drive up to her front door in a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the maiden loved him or was simply overwhelmed with his splendor. The prince came up with a solution. He would give up his kingly robe. He moved into the village; entering not with a crown but in the garb of a peasant. He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns and talked their language. In time the maiden grew to love him, because of who he was and because he loved her first.” Anderson went on to say, “This story is what John is describing here-God came and lived among us. He chose to reveal Himself to us in an understandable way when Jesus became flesh just like you and me.” When Jesus came to earth and became like us in every way he made God relatable.

2) Jesus came to show us the glory of the Father. Before, God allowed the Israelites to witness his glory only on specific occasions; whenever he decided to come into their presence. But now, in the person of Jesus, the presence of God’s glory could be seen all the time. Now everyone could be a witness to God’s glory. The glory of God being witnessed in Jesus’ teachings. The glory of God being witnessed in his character. The glory of God being revealed in his miracles. John 2:11, “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” And John could speak of seeing Jesus become the literal glory of God when he saw Christ transform on the mountain. There John witnessed the majesty and splendor of Jesus’ deified state. Jesus came to represent the glory of God. What’s interesting is that Jesus came as God in human form but there is no attention given in scripture as to what he looked like. I mean, there is emphasis given to the fact that God became a human so one would think there would also be emphasis given to how God looked as a human. People have never been able to deal with the bible’s silence about Jesus’ physical description. We have famous artists who felt they just had to put a face to Jesus. Ironically, the only verse that talks about Jesus’ appearance makes a point to say we shouldn’t focus on his appearance. Isaiah 53:2b, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Jesus looked like an ordinary Joe. Why not come as Mr. tall, dark and handsome? Why not come as this big, muscular, rugged individual? Because God didn’t want people to be drawn to Jesus because of what he looked like. People needed to be drawn to Jesus because of the glory of God. When God sent Samuel to find a replacement for King Saul among Jesse’s sons, Samuel thought for sure it was Eliab. But listen to the Lord’s response in 1st Sam. 16:7, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God didn’t want the emphasis to be on his physical appearance but his spiritual appearance. Jesus came to show us the Father’s glory; the emphasis is on the spiritual. Just like I shared last week about John the Baptist. His purpose wasn’t to draw attention to himself but to draw attention to Jesus. His purpose was spiritual not physical. What about us? Are we focused on displaying the glory of God or is our focus on the glory of self? Not that it isn’t important to be presentable. Not that it isn’t important to take care of ourselves. I’m sure Jesus didn’t go around looked all shabby and unkempt. I’m sure he was focused on eating right and staying fit. But there was a purpose to him not looking like a model. Jesus came to be the glory of God.

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