Advent Day 2: The Word Became Flesh

Posted on December 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm,

John's GospelIn yesterday’s advent blog, we looked at the start of John’s gospel. The gospel begins with the a rather strange sentence: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. A few paragraphs later, John adds a bit more meat onto the bones, saying “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”, and a little bit after that he says that “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

Yesterday’s blog pointed out that Jesus is the creator. But that fact, whilst awesome and somewhat mind-blowing, isn’t the whole story. What John is saying here is that God has become a human being. Two thousand years ago, God lived among us. God lived and breathed, and ate and drank. He grew up, had a family, had friends. He knows what it is like to be human, not in an abstract “God knows everything way”, but in the sense that He has lived it.

And, not only has God lived out being a human. By saying that Jesus made God known, he is saying that Jesus revealed what God is like. The people who knew Jesus in the flesh saw God’s character. And, whilst only a small fraction of Jesus’ life is recorded in the gospels, they show us an awful lot of what he was like.

By looking at Jesus in the gospels, we see that God is compassionate, that He gets angry at injustice, that He loves and cares. He teaches those who will listen, and gives chances to those who refuse. He prefers people to be in relationship with Him than that they simply fuss around doing things, or following arbitrary rules. He is willing to break social conventions out of love for others.

They also show a man has gone through the experiences of life. He had they joys of friends and family, but also his fair share of sorrows. Jesus experienced what it was to be hungry, to be rejected by his family, and betrayed by his friends. And at the end, he knew what it was to be falsely accused, to be tortured, and killed.

In short, one of the key things to take away from the Christmas story is that God was once one of us. He truly understands both the joys and the struggles all human beings go through, and He shows us what God is like. And that truth is far more inspiring than anything you’re likely to take away from your average school nativity play.

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