In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side,[g] he has made him known. – John 1:1-18
A personal favorite idea of mine is all about the reality behind the idea: the Word became flesh. The idea is that God came to save us. The idea is that there is an eternal God who created the heavens and the earth. The idea is that the Word of God – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son – was part of that creative act. The idea is that we nor anything else would not exist apart from the Word. That’s the idea.
That is also the reality that showed up 2000 years ago in a Bethlehem stable. That reality behind the idea that we are creatures of the Creator, that God dedicated himself to save us, and that the Son of God always existed, manifested itself in Jesus. The Word became flesh.
This removes God from an abstract idea to a flesh-and-blood presence in our world. This spells the end of pretentious religion. It puts the kibosh on presumptive outward righteousness. It makes God approachable. Who, after all, does not love a baby?
There is much more to consider this week, and we will look at this passage deeply. But one more thing bears mentioning now. The Word-become-flesh – Jesus – is the embodiment of all that we are meant to be. He is everything God intended for us from the fullness of time. Jesus embodied perfect fear, love, and trust of God, and perfect love and kindness to his neighbor. All the laws and commands of God are fulfilled in him. The commandments, promises, affirmations, blessings, and prophecies of God are embodied in Jesus of Nazareth.
This is a most blessed mystery!