Friday, February 19, 2010

The Word Became Flesh...

I have been working with my son AJ on a long memory verse this week for school: John 1:1-14.

1:1 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 enlightens 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 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 from the Father, full of grace and truth.

What a passage!

I particularly enjoy comparing verse 1 and 14.

(1)In the beginning was the word...(14)and the Word became flesh.

(1)and the Word was with God
...(14)and dwelt among us.

(1)and the Word was God...(14)full of grace and truth.

Do you see what God has done on our behalf? It could be no more amazing than the incarnation. Paul writes to the Philippians concerning Christ who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6-7)

The eternal Word- the one who was with God, who is God, who is the creator of all things, including flesh, now becomes flesh. I have studied this biblical reality off and on for many years, yet working on John 1 with my son has struck me afresh. The bible is clear about the incarnation- the only way man can be saved- God has to do it Himself for us. Wow. The eternal one subjected Himself to time, space, and creaturehood. Harry Reasoner said it well-

My guess is that the whole story- that a virgin was selected by God to bear His Son as a way of showing His love and concern for man- is not an idea that has been popular with theologians in spite of all the lip service they have given it. It is a somewhat illogical idea, and theologians love logic almost as much as they love God. It is so revolutionary a thought that it probably could only come from a God who is beyond logic and beyond theology.

The Word became flesh. What a demotion! But here’s the clincher- He didn’t come in the form of a human King. Yes, we know He is King, but He does not come dressed in splendor. Quite the opposite- a bondservant born of a lowly woman, to die on a cross.

I told AJ I didn't care if he memorized all 14 verses perfectly verbatim, but I absolutely did not want him to lose the incredible revelation this passage gives.


Rick Calohan said...

One of the first long versus I remembered was John 14:1-6 at Bethany Baptist VBS when I was around nine years old in the ole King James Bible, John 14: 1-6

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I like how you stated,
“I told AJ I didn't care if he memorized all 14 verses perfectly verbatim, but I absolutely did not want him to lose the incredible revelation this passage gives.”

While I may stumble and fall to remember all seven verses today, the one verse that I shall never forget is verse six and the “incredible revelation.”

Michael Lockridge said...

I spent so much time in that chapter in my first semester in Greek that I still remember it in Greek. A fine place to spend a lot of time.

Much easier than the beginning of Matthew. More interesting as well. A long list of people is not a fun memory project.

The wonder of the incarnation is a very worthy subject for meditation.


Glenn Wardell said...

If no incarnation, sacrificial death and resurrection are concepts, not an objective reality that we can base our hope upon. Glad to see this talked about at Lent by a Presby (and happy to see Alec Motyer quoted earlier in the week).

Woody Woodward said...

One of the books Pastor Nathan has required us “counselor’s want-a-be” to read is a book by Tedd Tripp called, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” Have to admit, I prejudged the need for this one ole’ guy to read a book about childrearing. Even though ours are long gone from the nest, I was wrong on my need to read! Pastor, in reading your heart felt thoughts about you investing in helping to Shepherd AJ’s Heart, this Tedd Tripp’s thoughts jumped out. Here are some excerpts that are worth further Tony encouragement. “Parents think that if their child would get saved, all the problems of living would be solved. Sometimes parents feel this way because in this is their own experience, getting saved was a spiritual watershed. They want their child to have that experience. So wanting to see your child saved is a noble cause, but there is another cause, much more important. There are many passages that teach the need of parents to shepherd to train, to instruct, and to discipline your children. None of these passages has getting a child to pray the ‘sinners prayer’ as its focus. Having well behaved children is not a worthy goal. It is a great secondary benefit of biblical childrearing, but an unworthy goal in itself. Correcting bad behavior should not be ones focus. The burning issue then becomes what others think rather than what God thinks. Patient, godly correction is precluded by the urgent pressure to change behavior. If you goal is well behaved kids, you are open to hundreds of temptation of convenience. What general biblical objectives will guide and focus your view of life and therefore your training of your children? What is a worthy biblical goal? The familiar first question of the Shorter Catechism answers these questions. “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” You must equip you children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. If you teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, you turn them away from God. If you objectives are anything other than “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever” you teach your children to function in the cultures terms, not God’s.” The thing that really spoke to my heart through this reading was to see how many of our young Redeemer parents are training up their children in God’s ways, not the worlds. I am thankful that God judges the thoughts and the intentions of my own sinful heart. So even though I feel I failed miserably, as a very immature father, and put behavior as a priority over God’s Way, I know I am not too old to learn to be a better grand-parent. And watching so many of our Redeemer Parents train up their brave warriors in the ways of the Lord, is teaching an old dog a very important new lesson!